Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, the home secretary dismissed claims that negative reports about Meghan had been driven by racism, arguing that people of any background “can get on in life” in the UK.
“I’m not in that category at all where I believe there’s racism at all. I think we live in a great country,” Patel said before going on to describe Britain as a “great society, full of opportunity”.
When asked directly if she believed the media had been in any way racist towards Meghan, the Cabinet minister replied: “I don’t think so, no... I certainly haven’t seen that through any debates or commentary or things of that nature.”
In November 2016, shortly after Prince Harry and Meghan started dating, the royal issued a statement in which he called out the “wave of abuse and harassment” that his then-girlfriend had faced in the press.
Prince Harry’s statement also referenced his concern at the “racial undertones of comment pieces” he’d seen in the media.
In her interview, Patel was asked to comment on future security arrangements for Meghan and Prince Harry in the wake of the news that they will step down from the royal family and split their time between Canada and the UK.
“I’m not going to provide any detailed information on the security arrangements for either them or any members of the royal family or for any protected individuals,” she replied, describing it as ”thoroughly inappropriate” for her to comment.
“At this moment in time, right now, the royal family themselves need some time and space for them to work through the current issues that they’re dealing with.”
On Monday evening, Buckingham Palace released a statement on behalf of the Queen, announcing there would be a “period of transition” for Meghan and Harry.
“My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family,” the monarch said.
“Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working members of the royal family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family.”