Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during an interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Photographer: Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions/Getty Images 

London (AP) — Buckingham Palace issued a statement Tuesday, saying the family was saddened to learn of the struggles that Harry and Meghan revealed this week and that they would be taken very seriously.

The statement is the first comment by the palace following Harry and Meghans two-hour television interview with Oprah Winfrey in which they alleged that Meghan had experienced racism and callous treatment during her time in the royal family.

The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning, the palace said in a statement issued on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II. While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.

The statement also said that Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members.”

The palace often tries to stay above controversy by remaining silent and riding out the storm, but the Duke and Duchess of Sussexs charges were so damaging that the family had to respond.

Earlier, some observers had said that Buckingham Palaces silence on the topic has only added to the furor surrounding the TV interview.

The interview, which aired Sunday night in the U.S. and a day later in Britain, has rocked the royal family and divided people around the world. While many say the allegations demonstrate the need for change inside a palace that hasnt kept pace with the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements, others have criticized Harry and Meghan for dropping their bombshell while Harrys 99-year-old grandfather, Prince Philip, remains hospitalized in London after a heart procedure.

The interview, which aired Sunday night in the U.S. and a day later in Britain, has rocked the royal family and divided people around the world. While many say the allegations demonstrate the need for change inside a palace that hasnt kept pace with the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements, others have criticized Harry and Meghan for dropping their bombshell while Harrys 99-year-old grandfather, Prince Philip, remains hospitalized in London after a heart procedure.

During the two-hour interview, Meghan described feeling so isolated and miserable inside the royal family that she had suicidal thoughts, yet when she asked for mental health help from the palaces human resources staff she was told she was not a paid employee. She also said a member of the royal family had expressed concerns to Harry about the color of her unborn childs skin.

Winfrey later said Harry told her off camera that the family member wasn’t Queen Elizabeth II or Prince Philip, sparking a flurry of speculation about who it could be.

Harry also revealed the stresses the couple endured had ruptured relations with his father, Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, and his brother, Prince William, illuminating the depth of the family divisions that led the couple to step away from royal duties and move to California last year.

Prince Charles didnt comment on the interview Tuesday during a visit to a vaccine clinic in London.

Harrys father visited a church to see a temporary vaccine clinic in action and met with health care workers, church staff and people due to receive their vaccine jab. The visit was his first public appearance since the interview aired in the U.S. on Sunday night.

Maziya Marzook, a patient at the event, said private matters didnt come up at all during Charles visit.

He didnt bring up anything, Marzook said. He was more interested in how the vaccine was and how we feel.

___

Sylvia Hui contributed to this report.

___

Follow all stories on Prince Harry and Meghans interview at https://apnews.com/PrinceHarry

    Before it’s here, it’s on the Bloomberg Terminal.

    LEARN MORE