Mar 16, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Michelle Obama addresses Meghan Markle's royal family racism comments

A screenshot of Michelle Obama on NBC's "Today" show.

A screenshot of Michelle Obama on NBC's "Today" show. Photo: NBC

Former first lady Michelle Obama told NBC Tuesday it "wasn't a complete surprise" to hear Prince Harry and Meghan Markle speaking to Oprah Winfrey last week about facing racism within the British royal family.

What she's saying: In an interview with Jenna Bush Hager on NBC's "Today" show, Obama said: "Race isn't a new construct in this world for people of color.

  • "So it wasn't a complete surprise to hear her feelings and to have them articulated."

Driving the news: In the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's bombshell interview last week, both Harry and Markle, whose mother is Black, said unnamed relatives had expressed concern about what the skin tone of their baby would be.

  • Buckingham Palace has said while "some recollections may vary," the issues the couple raised "are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately." 
  • Obama noted that this "first and foremost is a family" and that she prays "for forgiveness and healing for them so that they can use this as a teachable moment for us all."
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