Priti Patel has denied that racism could be a factor in Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to step back from senior royal duties.
The home secretary said that people of any background can “get on in life” in Britain and that she “certainly hasn’t seen” any examples of racist media coverage towards the princess, who is mixed race.
The royal couple’s announcement that they intend to step down as “senior” royals and “carve out a progressive new role” within the family, has sparked ongoing national debate about whether the intensity of tabloid media criticism of Meghan has been fuelled by racism.
MORE: Leave.EU weighs in on ‘Megxit’ with sexist tweet about ‘pussy-whipped’ HarryBut Patel said that, as someone who “comes from an immigrant background” herself, she doesn’t “subscribe to that view”.
She told BBC Five Live’s breakfast show: “I haven’t listened to the debates but I’m not in that category at all where I believe there’s racism at all.
“I think we live in a great country, a great society, full of opportunity where people of any background can get on in life.”
Asked specifically about Markle’s press treatment, she said: “Everyone has a perception in terms of what they read in the press and how they see what’s being written, or particular positions of individuals and journalists, but I certainly don’t see that.”
She would not comment on the matter of security for the couple, which reportedly costs the taxpayer between £600,000 and £1 million per year, but which could rise if the couple move away from their home in Windsor.