• World
  • United Kingdom

Royal Family Removes Prince Harry’s 2016 Statement About ‘Sexist’ and ‘Racist’ Comments Against Meghan Markle

2 minute read

The Royal Family has removed Prince Harry’s 2016 statement addressing the racist and sexist comments Meghan Markle received following public knowledge of the couple’s relationship from their website. 

The statement was released that November by Harry’s spokesperson following a “wave of abuse and harassment” Harry’s now-wife was facing from the British press and social media users. It was the first public confirmation of his relationship with Markle. Harry said then that he was worried about Markle’s safety, and called out the “racial undertones of comment pieces,” as well as the “outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments.”

Newsweek, which first reported the deletion of the statement, says the statement was removed at some point between Dec. 3, 2023 and Dec. 10. 2023. 

The statement also mentioned the private battles Markle had faced because of the media storm caused by her relationship, including legal fights to prevent “defamatory stories” from being printed, bribes from press to Markle’s exes, and “attempts of reporters and photographers to gain illegal entry to her home.”

“Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her," the statement read.

The decision to make a statement was heralded as shocking by many. Royal press strategy advised Harry, 39, to remain silent about the media attention, but Harry said he wanted to make  “course correction” quickly, according to his memoir Spare. The decision had angered his father, King Charles, and brother, Prince William, who had never put out a statement in defense of their partners. 

Prince Harry and Markle, 42, stepped down as senior royals in January 2020, with the initial idea to split their time between North America and the U.K. The royals had said they wished to become financially independent while supporting the Queen. In February 2021, the couple confirmed that they would not be returning as working members of the Royal Family. 

They currently live in California with their two children. They celebrated their sixth anniversary this month.

More From TIME

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com