Prince Harry admits he was 'probably bigoted' before his relationship with Meghan Markle

In an upcoming interview with CBS, the Duke of Sussex says he 'didn't see what I now see'

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle leave after a service of thanksgiving for the reign of Queen Elizabeth II in London in June 2022. PA
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Prince Harry has said he was “probably bigoted” before his relationship with Meghan Markle.

In a new teaser for an interview with CBS News in the US, which is due to air on Sunday, the Duke of Sussex speaks about how he “didn't see what I now see”.

He says “the race element” to the couple's relationship had been “jumped on straight away” by the British press, adding he had no idea how “bigoted” UK media was until his wife and their relationship were thrust into the spotlight.

“I went into this incredibly naive. I had no idea the British press were so bigoted. Hell, I was probably bigoted before the relationship with Meghan.”

Interviewer Anderson Cooper responds by asking the duke: “You think you were bigoted before the relationship with Meghan?”

The duke replies: “I don't know. Put it this way, I didn't see what I now see.”

The interview is part of a media blitz the prince is making ahead of the release of his autobiography Spare on Tuesday.

Final part of Harry & Meghan Netflix documentary released — in pictures

Other interviews will be broadcast in the coming days on ITV and GMB in the UK, as well as a separate appearance on the Late Show on CBS in the US.

The book, whose release was supposed to be tightly controlled, was accidentally put on sale early in Spain. Material has also been leaked by The Guardian in the UK, which obtained a copy in the US.

It does not appear to reveal any more race allegations, following bombshell claims in the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s recent Netflix series.

In it, Prince Harry claimed he and Meghan suffered with racism from the outset, and were not supported by his family.

The documentary also referenced when Princess Michael of Kent wore a Blackamoor-style brooch to an event the Duchess of Sussex attended in 2017.

Prince Harry said: “There is a huge level of unconscious bias. It is education, it is awareness. It is a constant work in progress for everybody, including me.”

In another clip from the upcoming 60 Minutes interview, due to air on Sunday, the Duke of Sussex explained why his move away from the royal family has been so public.

“Every single time I've tried to do it privately there have been briefings and leakings and planting of stories against me and my wife,” Prince Harry told Mr Cooper. “You know, the family motto is never complain, never explain, but it's just a motto.”

“There's a lot of complaining and a lot of explaining … being done through leaks,” Mr Cooper suggested.

“They will feed or have a conversation with the correspondent,” said the prince.

“And that correspondent will literally be spoon-fed information and write the story. And at the bottom of it they will say that they've reached out to Buckingham Palace for comment. But the whole story is Buckingham Palace commenting. So when we're being told for the last six years, 'We can't put a statement out to protect you'. But you do it for other members of the family. It becomes — there becomes a point when silence is betrayal.”

In a teaser for another interview scheduled to air on the same day in the UK with ITV, the prince speaks about seeing “the red mist” in his brother during a confrontation in which he alleged Prince William knocked him to the floor.

“He wanted me to hit him back, but I chose not to,” he tells ITV News at Ten presenter, Tom Bradby.

A poster advertising the forthcoming publication of the book 'Spare' by Prince Harry, in the window of a book store in London on January 6. AFP

“What was different here was the level of frustration, and I talk about the red mist that I had for so many years, and I saw this red mist in him.”

Mr Bradby, who is a friend of Prince Harry's, says: “Wouldn't your brother say to you, 'Harry, how could you do this to me after everything? After everything we went through?' Wouldn't that be what he would say?”

He replies: “He would probably say all sorts of different things.”

Asked if he will attend his father's coronation later this year, he said: “There's a lot that can happen between now and then but the door is always open, the ball is in their court.”

In another excerpt from the interview, the prince said: “I would like to get my father back; I would like to have my brother back.”

Without saying exactly who he is referring to, he adds “they feel as though it is better to keep us somehow as the villains”, and “have shown absolutely no willingness to reconcile”.

Prince William and Prince Harry through the years — in pictures

Updated: January 06, 2023, 1:04 PM