Little Mix star Leigh-Anne Pinnock has shared a message of support for the Duchess of Sussex and said her interview with Oprah Winfrey showed the “underlying racism lying within the royal establishment”.
Harry and Meghan said there had been “concerns and conversations” before their son Archie was born about his skin tone and “what that would mean or look like”.
It was just one of several astonishing claims made by the couple during the bombshell interview, broadcast in the UK on ITV.
Speaking on Monday, after the interview had aired in the US, Winfrey said the alleged comment about race had not been made by the Queen or the Duke of Edinburgh.
Pinnock, who is black, shared a lengthy message of support for Meghan on Instagram, saying there is no “safety net” for people in the public eye, especially for women of colour.
She wrote: “What people may wish to believe and view as a ‘privileged life’ let this be a lesson to all of us. When you become known to the public there is no safety net to protect you from what people can fire out and say about you.
“We witness this all the time, particularly concerning women and more to the core, women of colour. Meghan has been dragged from the start and we have all witnessed it. I praise her strength and determination for speaking out on her experiences showing the underlying racism lying within the royal establishment.”
Pinnock praised Harry for “standing by his wife and child” and “being brave enough to say enough is enough, we’re out” in leaving the royal family.
Former Wales rugby star Gareth Thomas also praised the couple. The duke had previously praised him for going public with his HIV diagnosis.
Thomas posted a picture of him and Harry together and said: “MY definition of an amazing human being, is someone who is there for you when you are at your lowest. He was, and is still there. My choice is to LOVE the man I know, and the decisions he makes.”
Sharon Osbourne said the royal family “must feel ashamed”.
Appearing on US TV show The Talk, she said: “The thing that really got me was the press release that the palace gave out about Harry and Meghan not wanting their son to have a title.
“They said he was not going to become a prince. That is his (birth)right… it’s really shameful and hurtful for that child, when he grows up, because he will look at his cousins and go, ‘what’s wrong with me?’”
Britain’s Got Talent star Ashley Banjo was defended by the couple after his dance troupe Diversity caused controversy with a performance inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement.
He tweeted: “Harry and Meghan told me over the phone they were there for me and they understood more than most… I’m forever thankful for that support. Nothing but the highest love and respect for them both.”
TV presenter and singer Myleene Klass said Meghan had been “incredibly brave” to do the interview.
She added: “Too much for any one person to carry. Why people still chose to not believe them is so wrong.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki praised Harry and Meghan for being courageous, a message she said was endorsed by President Joe Biden.
She said: “For anyone to come forward and speak about their own struggles with mental health and tell their own personal story, that takes courage. And that’s certainly something the president believes.”
Tennis superstar Serena Williams, a friend of Meghan, posted a message of support shortly after the interview aired in the US.
“Her words illustrate the pain and cruelty she’s experienced,” Williams said.
“I know first hand the sexism and racism institutions and the media use to vilify women and people of colour to minimise us, to break us down and demonise us. We must recognise our obligation to decry malicious, unfounded gossip and tabloid journalism. The mental health consequences of systemic oppression and victimisation are devastating, isolating and all too often lethal.”
Williams, speaking after Harry and Meghan revealed they were expecting a girl, added: “I want Meghan’s daughter, my daughter and your daughter to live in a society that is driven by respect.
“Keep in your memory the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
Not all of the reaction to the interview was positive. Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan said: “I don’t believe a word she says, Meghan Markle. I wouldn’t believe her if she read me a weather report.”
Mind, the mental health charity, criticised Morgan and said it was “disappointed and concerned” by his comments after Meghan said she had had suicidal thoughts.
It added: “It’s vital that when people reach out for support or share their experiences of ill mental health that they are treated with dignity, respect and empathy.”
CBS Presents Oprah With Meghan And Harry was a huge ratings success for the US network.
An estimated 17.1 million viewers tuned in across the Atlantic, according to preliminary numbers from the Nielsen company.
Nielsen said it had the largest audience for any prime-time entertainment special so far this television season.
The interview has been licensed in more than 80 markets around the world, CBS said, including Australia, sub-Saharan Africa and Europe.
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