A leading equalities campaigner today dismissed claims that royals discussing Prince Archie’s skin colour should be considered racist, declaring: ‘There is no family of colour anywhere in the world where that conversation doesn’t take place’.
Sir Trevor Phillips has said that any chat about Archie would have been out of ‘excitement’ for a new baby and about whether he would look more like Meghan or Harry.
Sir Trevor revealed that his family had the same conversation about his youngest grandson and believes that discussing skin colour in a mixed race home should be viewed no differently to discussing the colour of a child’s eyes or hair.
The chat about Archie, if it happened at all, came to a head this week with two alleged ‘royal racists’ being outed on national television in the UK after King Charles and the Princess of Wales were named in the Dutch first edition of Omid Scobie’s Endgame.
Sir Trevor, a former Labour politician and former chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, was previewing his Sunday show live on Sky News last night when he was asked about whether he would cover the Endgame scandal.
He said: ‘It’s unlikely we’re going to spend much time on that because I’ll be absolutely frank and say I think it’s a nonsense story. I think that there is no family of colour anywhere in the entire world where that conversation doesn’t take place’.
Sir Trevor Phillips has dismissed the row over royals allegedly discussing skin colour of Archie now named in Omid Scobie’s book as ‘nonsense’
The prince and Meghan Markle told Oprah that a a member of Harry’s family speculated about what colour Archie’s skin would be when he was born
‘I have a grandson who is absolutely gorgeous and delicious, I wish I could show you a photograph of him, and of course we as a family talk about is he going to look more like his mother, who looks like me, or his father, who is of Puerto Rican heritage.
‘In the same way that I guess your family might talk about what hair colour, what eye colour. We all have the same hair colour. The thing that is different about us is skin colour.
‘So it’s a mark of excitement. I suspect, I have no idea what context the conversation took place – and I imagine the conversation did take place – but I suspect what somebody might have been saying is I really hope this baby looks more like her than it looks like him.’
His comments echo those made previously by a host of other figures, including Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle.
He told ITV’s Good Morning Britain back in 2021 that he did not ‘think the British royal family are racist at all’, adding that he hoped the comment on skin tone was ‘just a dumb question’.
He said: ‘The thing about what colour will the baby be, or how dark will the baby be, I’m hoping it’s just a dumb question from somebody, it could be that simple. It could be somebody’s just asked a stupid question, rather than someone being racist.’
He added: ‘This whole thing about colour and how dark the baby is is bull****. I married a beautiful black woman and had a beautiful child. If she turned out dark, it wouldn’t have been a problem.’
Ex-footballer John Barnes also previously claimed that the royal who asked about the skin tone was ‘being realistic’ and claimed most black people would say ‘so what’ to the question reportedly posed during Meghan’s pregnancy.
Barnes, a father-of-seven who is married to a white woman, said he would ‘expect that conversation’ to happen, adding that people will ‘always wonder’ what the baby will look like.
His comments echo those made previously by a host of other figures, including Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle
Ex-footballer John Barnes also previously claimed that the royal who asked about the skin tone was ‘being realistic’ and claimed most black people would say ‘so what’ to the question reportedly posed during Meghan’s pregnancy
Prince Harry claimed in his interview with Meghan and Oprah Winfrey in March 2021 (pictured) that a member of the Royal Family asked about what colour Archie’s skin would be
In an interview with the Sunday Times Magazine, he said: ‘You speak to most black people and they’ll say ‘Yeah, so what?’ I would expect that conversation to be had by the family.
‘People will always wonder what the baby will look like and if it is going to be dark.
‘If you listen to what Meghan says, it’s not about them [the royal] worrying if the baby is dark or not, it’s them worrying about how the public are going to view that.
‘Because they know if the baby is too dark, the public will not view the baby as positively. They’re being realistic.
‘Let’s not pretend the public won’t care whether it’s a blond-haired blue-eyed baby or jet black, because they will.’
Linden Kemkaran, a mixed-race mother, also claimed in a piece in the Telegraph that the comments were curiosity and not racism.
She wrote: ‘During my own pregnancies, I had many comments from family, friends and colleagues who wanted to know if I thought the baby might have my colouring – brown skin, eyes and hair – or my husband’s – white skin, blue eyes and blonde hair.
‘Would the dominant genes triumph or would the recessive blue-eyed gene break through? None of this offended me or struck me as being racist.’
It comes as Omid Scobie took the extraordinary step of swearing on his own life, and his family’s, on live TV last night that the naming of two royals in the Dutch version of Endgame is not a ‘stunt’ to shift more copies of his book.
Mr Scobie, 42, said he was ‘hurt’ by the suggestion and dismissed it as a conspiracy theory by people who want to believe that he is ‘in cahoots’ with Meghan Markle, declaring: ‘It couldn’t be further from the truth’.
He also refused to apologise for the racism scandal that has erupted, claiming: ‘I’m as frustrated as everyone else. The book I wrote, the book I edited, the book I signed off on, did not have names in it’.
The Dutch version of Endgame, which has had to be pulled from bookshops
But questions about whether he put the names in remain because one of the Dutch translators told MailOnline yesterday: ‘The names of the royals were there in black and white. I did not add them’.
Meghan first revealed vague details of the exchange in an interview with US chat show host Oprah Winfrey in 2021. She claimed there had been ‘conversations’ – suggesting more than one – in which ‘concerns’ were raised to Harry about how dark Archie’s skin might be.
But Harry stated later in the interview that it was one conversation. No other details were provided about who was involved. When Harry was asked about the allegations in a interview earlier this year with ITV’s Tom Bradby, he insisted the couple had accused his family members of nothing more than ‘unconscious bias’. He blamed the media for blowing the situation out of proportion.
The racism row was not mentioned in either Harry’s autobiography Spare or the Netflix series the couple made about their exit from royal life.
The statement from the late Queen about the alleged remarks, that ‘recollections may vary’, suggests it was only Meghan and Harry who considered them racist at the time.
The row resurfaced earlier this year when it emerged Meghan had written to the King setting out her concerns about racism in the family. Reports indicated it specifically named only one individual about a single comment made.
This week the Dutch edition of a book by royal biographer Omid Scobie – long seen as a mouthpiece for the Sussexes – appeared to accidentally name the ‘royal racists’, citing Meghan’s letter as its source.
They are separately named in different chapters, the first reference claiming the letter ‘revealed and confirmed’ the identity of one and the second suggesting the letter disclosed another royal ‘took part in such conversations’.
Mr Scobie denies writing the names in his manuscript, blaming it on a ‘translation error’.
Booker-nominated translator David McKay said it seemed ‘very plausible’ the confusion had arisen either due to an earlier manuscript being translated inadvertently, or changes being made post-translation which were not copied across.
Both Dutch translators who worked on Mr Scobie’s controversial book insisted that the names of two royals at the centre of a racism scandal were in the manuscript they received.
Saskia Peeters said she did not add the names to the Dutch version of the book Endgame. Speaking to MailOnline from her home in Arnhem, she said: ‘As a translator, I translate what is in front of me.
‘The names of the royals were there in black and white. I did not add them. I just did what I was paid to do and that was translate the book from English into Dutch.’
The second translator, Nellie Keukelaar-van Rijsbergern, then told The Sun: ‘We are professionals and we’ve done this for years, both of us. It’s unfair.’