Questions of racism linger as Harry, Meghan step back

LONDON (AP/CNN) - As Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, step back as senior royals, a debate is raging about what role racism played in fueling the couple’s discontent.

When Harry began dating the biracial “Suits” actress, sections of the U.K. media hailed it as a sign that Britain had entered a “post-racial” era in which skin color and background no longer mattered, even to the royal family.

But soon criticism grew, some of it with racial overtones, and so did Meghan and Harry’s unhappiness.

U.K. Labour Party lawmaker Clive Lewis says the royal rift is evidence that Britain still has a problem with “structural racism.”

Britain’s prime minister says he is confident the royal family can resolve a crisis over the future plans of Prince Harry and his wife Meghan.

The couple are seeking to greatly reduce their royal role and spend substantial amounts of time in Canada. That’s where Meghan filmed “Suits” for seven years.

The Sussexes announced last week that they would be taking a step back as senior members of the royal family and become financially independent.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he is “absolutely confident” a workable solution to the royal rift can be found. He also says it will be easier if politicians don’t provide a running commentary.

Queen Elizabeth II has said that she and senior royals respect the couple’s decision but would have preferred they remain as full-time royals.

Markle did not call in to the royal crisis summit held by Queen Elizabeth on Monday.

The queen called Harry, his brother Prince William and their father Prince Charles to come together to “talk things through."

Buckingham Palace said in a statement on Tuesday that Meghan and Prince Harry ultimately decided that it “wasn’t necessary” for her to join the meeting via phone.

After the Queen’s meeting on Monday, she released a statement saying in part ..."my family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family.”

Meghan is currently in Canada with the couple’s son, Archie.

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