The Lowdown Hub

The Duke of Cambridge Prince William hits back at Harry and Meghan: We are not a racist family

The Duke of Cambridge also reveals that he has not yet spoken to his brother, the Duke of Sussex

The Duke of Cambridge has directly responded to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s interview with Oprah Winfrey for the first time. Prince William said he had not yet spoken to his brother, and denied when asked, that the Royal family was racist. You can read the latest here.

The Duke of Cambridge has spoken out on the Harry and Meghan Oprah interview and insisted: “We are very much not a racist family.” Prince William revealed he had not yet spoken to his brother but did intend to. On a visit to a school in east London on Thursday, he was asked: “Have you spoken to your brother since the interview?”

He replied: “No I haven’t spoken to him yet but I will do.” He was then asked: “And can you just let me know, is the Royal family a racist family, Sir?” The Duke replied: “We are very much not a racist family.” The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stepped out in public for the first time since the Sussexes’ made a series of explosive allegations about the Royal family during a two-hour television interview, aired in the UK on Monday night.

The comment, which the Duke of Sussex later refused to elaborate on, has sparked furious debate and speculation about which member of the family was responsible. Ms. Winfrey later revealed that it was neither the Queen nor the Duke of Edinburgh, only serving to narrow down the field of suspects. Prince Harry defined his current relationship with his brother as one of "space". The Queen reacted to the interview by insisting that the couple’s allegations would be "taken very seriously" but that "recollections may vary". “The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning,” she said. Concerns among Commonwealth nations The race allegation has already prompted significant criticism and concern among Commonwealth nations. Political figures in Africa said that they were dismayed by the Duchess's claim, while there have been demands in former Caribbean colonies to drop the Queen as their head of state.

Idayat Hassan, head of the center for democracy and development in Nigeria, the Commonwealth's most populous black nation, said that Nigerians were "disappointed" by the revelations. We are a proud nation and have always assumed the royal family was pro-African and we enjoyed the relationship," he said. “We would rather it was considered and right than rushed and wrong,” one aide said. Prince Charles, 72, is understood to be “deeply concerned” about the racism allegations and feels “let down” by his son and daughter-in-law, who he has supported “more than he would care to say.”

A source close to him said earlier this week that the “incendiary” interview had caused pain and division and that trust in the couple had been eroded. “It goes against everything the Prince of Wales believes in. He believes diversity is the strength of our society,” the source told the Evening Standard. “For Harry to say he feels ‘let down’ seems a little rich when you consider what he has done. “The Duke of Sussex continues to say he respects his grandmother, but he has ridden roughshod over the institution she represents. Time is said to be a great healer, let’s hope so.”

Ahead of the engagement on Thursday, aides insisted the Cambridges would not be answering questions about the issues raised in the interview.

“They won’t be answering questions and they’d rather you didn’t ask them. In a school environment it’s not appropriate,” one said.

But the Duke's anger about the situation was visible, despite his mask, and could be heard through his clipped tone as he replied to the questions shouted out as they left the premises.

The couple had earlier chatted to the school’s youngest pupils who were enjoying a play session. Some were digging for treasure in a sandpit.

“Have you found any treasure yet?” the Duchess, wearing a pink Max & Co coat, asked.

The Duke helped build a wall in the playground’s construction area after sitting down on the floor and taking directions from a youthful construction manager, a little girl.

”I was just doing what I was told,” he joked.

Children at School21, a state-funded school for pupils aged 4-18, will be given access to lessons on issues such as anxiety and depression from Mentally Healthy Schools.

The lessons are on a website financed from an initial £800,000 grant from the then Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry and launched by Kate at Roe Green Junior School in Kingsbury, northwest London, in January 2018.

The future Queen has championed the idea of early intervention by experts to help children struggling with mental health problems. One in 10 children suffers some kind of mental health issue, often because of problems in the family such as abuse, addiction, neglect, or marital breakdown affecting all social classes.

The course materials have been accessed more than a million times since the project was launched as a pilot in January 2018 and nationally in primary schools in March that year.

The fallout from Harry and Meghan’s interview continues, with Piers Morgan and the director of the Society of Editors both resigning over the matter. One person who was not expecting to feature in this story was Michael Deacon, yet feature he did. In this article, he explains how he got sucked into the row and why it might be evidence of a little hypocrisy from the American media.

The disappearance of Sarah Everard has had a profound effect on the local community and beyond. On Wednesday the suspect was named by the media as Wayne Couzens, a Metropolitan Police officer. Everything we know about him is summarised here. Martin Evans has the full story of how the investigation unfolded. Attention, however, should not be lost from Ms. Everard, who is profiled here with the words of her friends and family.

While Britain's vaccine programme goes from strength to strength, the EU’s continues to flounder. In response, European leaders have peddled a number of falsehoods, most recently that the UK is blocking exports. Far from just politicians attempting to mask their own failings, argues Allister Heath, this is a clear sign that Britain must accelerate its divergence from Europe.

It was the greatest over ever bowled. Forty years ago this Sunday, Michael Holding and Geoffrey Boycott dueled in the Bridgetown heat as, ball by ball, the West Indian tortured the Yorkshireman. Four decades later, the two men reunited for a Telegraph special to recreate that wonderful moment of sport and discuss the build-up, each delivery, and the aftermath. It’s a wonderful piece and very much worth a read.

Among the many reasons postulated for Britain’s tragically high death toll from Covid-19, our overlarge waistlines have held particular prominence. A vast proportion of the country is overweight and the lockdown may be making the problem worse. In her latest column, Allison Pearson takes a look at her own weight and argues that it’s time for all of us to be less squeamish when it comes to discussing obesity.

Finally, the Faroe Islands' foreign minister might seem an unlikely candidate for a high-priority meeting with his American counterpart. But, as Richard Orange reports, the small North Atlantic archipelago is set to play an increasingly important role as climate change heats up the geostrategic battle for the Arctic. Find out why in this fascinating piece.


PS As we approach a year since the UK was first placed under Covid restrictions, we would like to hear how the pandemic has changed your life. Share your story with us here.