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Buckingham Palace’s reaction in focus after Harry and Meghan’s bombshell interview


(L-R) Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge watch the RAF flypast on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, as members of the Royal Family attend occasions to mark the centenary of the RAF on July 10, 2018 in London, England.

Neil Mockford | GC Images

LONDON — All eyes are on Buckingham Palace on Tuesday following the explosive interview given by Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex to Oprah Winfrey in which allegations had been fabricated from racism inside the palace and an absence of help from the royal household over psychological well being points and media intrusion.

So far, there was a wall of silence from the royal household following the interview, which was aired on CBS on Sunday and British broadcaster ITV on Monday night time, drawing in hundreds of thousands of viewers on either side of the Atlantic.

The Palace is alleged to have held “crisis talks,” in line with British media reviews, together with the BBC, with senior royals reported to have had pressing discussions over methods to restrict the fallout from the interview, which noticed Harry and Meghan allege {that a} member of the royal household had questioned what pores and skin tone their then-unborn youngster may need.

Meghan, the primary mixed-race member of the fashionable British royal household, wouldn’t reveal who had made the remark, saying: “It would be too damaging for them.”

The Palace wouldn’t touch upon the interview when contacted by CNBC on Tuesday.

Oprah Winfrey later clarified that the royal who had made the remark was not Queen Elizabeth II or Prince Philip. The two-hour interview, skillfully dealt with by veteran broadcaster Winfrey, was watched by 17.1 million viewers in the U.S. Up to seven million viewers had been anticipated to have watched the U.Okay. transmission, with the ultimate figures set to be launched later Tuesday.

In addition to allegations of racism, the interview contained damaging claims that the Palace had failed to supply help to Meghan when she skilled psychological well being points that left her feeling suicidal.

The Sussexes spoke of the pressures of royal life and additionally stated they’d been prompted to go away the U.Okay., and to step again from their roles as working royals early final yr, due to hostility from the British tabloid press that they stated the Palace had did not defend them from.

Nonetheless, the couple additionally stated the royal household had been welcoming of Meghan when their relationship started in 2016. Meghan additionally stated that the queen had all the time been “wonderful” to her.

Britain’s press responded on Tuesday with a mix of recognition of how damaging the interview had been, and additionally some defensiveness.

While many papers mirrored on the “bombshell” allegations that had left the Palace “reeling,” others stated the interview was self-serving for the couple and disrespectful to the queen. The Daily Mirror’s headline stated the interview had provoked “the worst royal crisis in 85 years,” whereas the Daily Express headlined with: “So sad it has come to this,” alongside an image of the queen. The Daily Mail, in the meantime, headlined its paper this morning with the phrases: “What have they done?”

How damaging is it?

The interview has left commentators and royal correspondents questioning how damaging the allegations are for the royal household, an establishment that has labored to keep up a public picture of responsibility and decorum and has all the time sought to maintain inside household affairs, not to mention rifts and controversies, out of the highlight.

After the U.S. broadcast of the interview, there was widespread public help for Meghan amongst commentators and mates of the couple. In the U.Okay., a rustic in which most individuals have a tendency to carry the queen in excessive regard, if not all the time the broader monarchy, the reaction has been extra blended.

A reside YouGov ballot on Tuesday requested the general public “with whom do your sympathies mostly lie” after the interview and the present outcomes confirmed 40% of respondents feeling extra sympathetic towards the queen and royal household, with 24% extra sympathetic towards Harry and Meghan. Tellingly maybe, one other 24% stated “neither.”

Whether the revelations will rock an everlasting fascination with the British royal household at dwelling and overseas stays to be seen. The dispute is sure to reignite debate over the worth of the monarchy, nonetheless, and republican sentiment.

It has already stoked dialogue in Australia, a part of the Commonwealth and the place the queen remains to be head of state, over whether or not it’s time for change, with former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull reportedly telling ABC TV on Tuesday that “our head of state should be an Australian citizen, should be one of us, not the Queen or King of the United Kingdom.”

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, in the meantime, stated on Monday that the nation was unlikely to cease having the queen as a head of state anytime quickly.

Royal price?

There has lengthy been a debate over the value and value of the monarchy, which brings in tourism revenues to the nation, but additionally comes at a price to the British taxpayer.

The Royal Household receives revenue from what’s often called its Crown Estate — land and properties belonging to the queen, similar to Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, open to the general public throughout regular occasions and which carry in income — in addition to what’s known as the Sovereign Grant.

The single grant is cash paid by the federal government to allow the queen to “discharge her duties as head of state”, the federal government says, but it surely additionally helps different senior royals’ official duties similar to abroad visits, hospitality and public engagements.

In change for these public funds, nonetheless, the queen has to give up income from the Crown Estate to the federal government, which in flip calculates how a lot cash makes up the grant.

Explaining how the Sovereign Grant works, the federal government famous final yr that: “In exchange for this public support, the Queen surrenders the revenue from The Crown Estate to the government which for 2018-19 was £343.5 million. The Sovereign Grant for 2020-21 is £85.9 million which is 25% of £343.5 million.”

The sovereign grant for 2018-2019 amounted to £82.2 million ($107.1 million), up from £76.1 million in 2017-2018, which was equal to £1.24 per particular person in the U.Okay. Currently, the royal household will value each Brit (on a inhabitants complete of 66.eight million) £1.28 per yr.

That’s not a lot on condition that the royal household does appeal to guests to the U.Okay., with tourism company Visit Britain reporting again in 2017 that tourism linked to royal residences similar to Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle provides as much as 2.7 million guests a yr. It’s exhausting to pinpoint what number of guests come particularly to the U.Okay. due to the monarchy, nonetheless.

Royal weddings, together with Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011, and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s nuptials in 2018, had been additionally seen as bolstering U.Okay. tourism, including a whole lot of hundreds of tourists, and giving a lift to gross home product. Both princes’ weddings led to a boon for U.Okay. tourism and the economic system. Again although, weddings contain further safety and spending that in the end falls on taxpayer’s shoulders; Harry and Meghan’s wedding ceremony reportedly value about $42.eight million with a big a part of the funds spent on safety and further policing, whereas William and Kate’s 2011 wedding ceremony reportedly got here at a price to the taxpayer of £20 million, or round $27 million.

The anti-monarchy marketing campaign group Republic contests the concept that the monarchy is a boon for U.Okay. tourism, saying there isn’t a proof to again up such claims.



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