Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s March interview with Oprah Winfrey led to a number of massive bombshells that followed the British royals for months, but perhaps none was more shocking than the accusation that a member of the royal family had “concerns and conversations” about the skin tone of their first child, son Archie. The allegation immediately led to speculation about the unnamed royal’s identity, and while recent reports have suggested the couple was on the brink of dropping names during the interview, doing so could possibly land them in some major legal trouble.
According to lawyer Mark Stephens, who presented James Hewitt when allegations of his affair with Princess Diana emerged, the royal in question could have filed a lawsuit against Harry and Markle had they been publicly named. Stephen explained to Mail+ that the individual could possibly have “been able to sue for libel and breach of privacy” if the “concerns and conversations” were made in “a private conversation between two individuals where there was a reasonable expectation of privacy and for the contents of the conversation not to be shared with a third party, the media.”
“First of all the exact words that were said would have to be identified, and the context they were made in,” Stephens added. “Was it racist or was it just an inquiry? The words may have had a racist overtone but were they intended in that way?”
Stephens, who added that a potential legal risk remains even though the person has not been named because “you can defame a group by not saying who said it,” said he is unsure if the individual would actually take legal action if Markle and Harry did eventually identify them. Stephens noted that “the royal approach until very recently has been to never complain and never explain,” though more recently, the royals have “moved away from that so I do wonder.” He also cautioned that the British royal family “will have to step up on” such accusations “at some point, as long as they go uncontroverted some people will believe the truth of them.’
The new report comes just after royal biographers Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand wrote in their revised version of Finding Freedom that the royal couple considered “sharing this detail” during the interview.” The couple, however, ultimately decided against doing so as it would be “very damaging to them” if their identity was revealed. It was later revealed that Harry told Winfrey off-camera that the royal in question was not his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, or grandfather, the late Prince Philip.