Meghan and Harry interview: Royal comments about Archie's skin colour not necessarily racist, says Teuila Blakely

  • 10/03/2021

Teuila Blakely says the "concerns" allegedly voiced by someone in the Royal Family about how dark Meghan and Harry's child's skin would be are not necessarily "damning", depending on their context.

The Sione's Wedding star and Dancing with the Stars NZ contestant spoke about the bombshell Oprah interview in Three's special programme After The Interview on Tuesday night.

  • CBS Presents Oprah with Meghan and Harry can be watched in full on ThreeNow.

Meghan told Oprah that when she was pregnant with Archie, the Royal Family said he would not be granted the protections and titles he was entitled to and that there were "also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he's born".

Blakely, who is mixed race, says similar conversations occurred within her family.

"At a time where racism is at the forefront of our world in terms of creating awareness around it, I think [those comments] can be damning. [But] I think what's really important to remember [is] we didn't understand the context of how that conversation or how those 'concerns' were presented.

"For the Royal Family, who have never had a person of colour come into their ranks before, the possibility that their first great grandchild could be coloured would be a conversation you would have.

"I come from a mixed race family and I know that my dad's family in central Otago acted in exactly the same way when my Samoan mother came into the picture. Those conversations were had about if the children would be brown.

"They definitely could be damning, if we know the context - if they really were racially-based, but also if it was just a conversation of: "well Harry, do you think he's going be quite brown?'"

The allegation of racist comments from the Royal Family have drawn an official response from Buckingham Palace.

"The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. Whilst some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately," the statement reads.