It has been met with a royal wall of silence. After the Duchess of Sussex’s “bombshell” interview with Oprah Winfrey, Buckingham Palace is under intense pressure to react to the claims that sparked a racism crisis. In the most damaging allegation for the Royal family, Meghan said that when she was pregnant with her son, Archie, “concerns” had been raised with the Duke of Sussex about how dark the baby’s skin might be. US President Joe Biden was among those to praise her “courage” for speaking out. But the Palace failed to issue a response within 24 hours of the interview being aired in the US. It is understood that officials have prepared a statement, but the Queen had not signed off on it last night as she wanted more time to consider it. Associate Editor Gordon Rayner has the inside story of how the Royal family held grimly to a trusted PR strategy. These are the other key claims the Palace will be poring over.
Two hours of the interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex failed to make it into the final edit, raising the prospect of further revelations being drip-fed by US television. It emerged that Ms Winfrey interviewed first the Duchess – and then Meghan and Harry jointly – over three hours and 20 minutes. But only one hour and 25 minutes made it into the prime-time programme that was broadcast on the US network CBS on Sunday, and repeated last night on ITV for a fee of £1 million. Chief Reporter Robert Mendick explains what may follow.
Tests fiasco | Children who receive false positives when tested at school will still be banned from the classroom for 10 days and told to self-isolate, the Government said. Ministers are accused of pursuing a “ridiculous” policy on lateral flow tests that has “no scientific basis” and will result in youngsters missing out on school unnecessarily. It came as millions of children returned to classrooms for the first time in months.
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Around the world: £400m debt ‘linked’ to Nazanin
Britain is looking at ways to pay off the £400 million debt that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe’s husband, Richard Ratcliffe, believes is linked to her detention in Iran, a former senior diplomat has confirmed. Senior Foreign Correspondent Roland Oliphant reports the process is “in the endgame”. View more striking world pictures in our gallery.
Boot stepping into Foot | Terry Boot will step into the position of finance chief at Shoe Zone after his predecessor Peter Foot walked away. The AIM-listed chain, which has 430 stores in the UK, posted a drop in sales of 24.3 per cent to £122.6m for the year to the end of October.