Priyanka Chopra says the criticism Meghan Markle faces stems from racism

Priyanka Chopra has said the criticism the Duchess of Sussex has faced stems from racism [Photo: Getty]

Priyanka Chopra believes racism is to blame for the scrutiny Meghan Markle has faced since becoming a royal.

Speaking in a new interview the actress, who has been close friends with the Duchess of Sussex for three years, explains that she believes her friend’s character hasn’t altered since meeting Prince Harry.

When asked if the criticism of the new royal is rooted in racism, Priyanka told The Sunday Times Magazine: "I've seen that and it's really unfortunate."

"But if there's anyone who can handle it, it's her," she added. "Of course it has to do with racism, it's an obvious reason.

“But the beauty of Meg is that she's been herself through all of this."

The 36-year-old went on to say that the duchess is still the "same chick" she's been since the pair met.

"Now that she's got a real platform, she talks about the same things she always did," she continued.

"We spent hours speaking about the difference that influence and dialogue can make to the world before this whole thing happened, so what you see now is authentically her. She's always been the girl wanting to move the needle."

READ MORE: Meghan Markle won't be meeting President Trump during state visit

Priyanka Chopra attending the wedding of her close friend the Duchess of Sussex [Photo: Getty]

Meghan and Priyanka first hit it off after meeting at an ELLE Women in Television event in January 2016, and have remained close since.

In an interview with Press Trust Of India in 2016, the royal spoke about the fact that she and Priyanka had “just clicked.”

“It was just an easy, natural progression,” she told the publication. “We've managed to keep in touch via email and text, and try to see each other whenever we're both in the same town.”

Despite their close friendship, Priyanka is yet to meet the duchess’s new baby.

On Friday the actress denied claims that she visited the new mum and baby Archie, while in the UK.

It was reported last week that the actress and her husband Nick Jonas, 26, stopped by the Sussexes’ home in Frogmore Cottage in Windsor during a trip to the UK.

READ MORE: Newlywed Priyanka Chopra responds to article labelling her a 'global scam artist'

It was also claimed the newlyweds picked out gifts from jewellers Tiffany & Co for the royal tot.

But Priyanka has said the reports of a visit are not true.

There were also rumours that Meghan and Priyanka had fallen out, after having both missed significant events in each other’s lives.

The duchess was missing from Priyanka and Nick’s opulent wedding in India just before Christmas.

Priyanka then didn’t attend Meghan’s baby shower in New York in February.