Shadow education secretary Kate Green said Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s allegation an unnamed royal had raised concerns about how dark their son’s skin tone might be before he was born was “really distressing”.
Speaking to Sky News, she added: “And if there are allegations of racism, I would expect them to be treated by the palace with the utmost seriousness and fully investigated.”
During the interview that aired on US TV on Sunday night, Meghan said that when she was pregnant with Archie a member of the royal family raised “concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born”.
A stunned Winfrey asked of the comments on Archie’s skin tone: “What? Who is having that conversation?”
Meghan paused and said there were “several conversations” with Harry about Archie’s skin tone, and “what that would mean or look like”.
Asked whether there were concerns that her child would be “too brown” and that would be a problem, Meghan said: “If that is the assumption you are making, that is a pretty safe one.”
Pushed by Winfrey on who had those conversations, Meghan refused to say, adding: “I think that would be very damaging to them.”
Harry also refused to give further details, adding: “That conversation, I am never going to share. At the time it was awkward. I was a bit shocked.”
On Monday morning, Oprah Winfrey told CBS This Morning that Harry told her it was not the Queen or the Duke of Edinburgh who made the racist comment about how dark their baby’s skin would be.
She said: “He did not share the identity with me but he wanted to make sure I knew, and if I had an opportunity to share it, that it was not his grandmother or grandfather that were part of those conversations.
“He did not tell me who was a part of those conversations.”
Asked if the palace should respond to the claims, Green told Sky News: “I’m sure that the palace will be thinking very carefully about that and I certainly think people will be wondering what is going to be said.
“There is never any excuse in any circumstances for racism and I think it is important that action is taken to investigate what are really shocking allegations.”
Earlier this month Buckingham Palace announced its HR team would investigate the circumstances around allegations of bullying made against Markle, less than 24 hours after the claims were made in The Times.
Meanwhile, children’s minister Vicky Ford said there is “no place for racism in our society” when asked about the allegations by the duke and duchess.
She told BBC Breakfast she had not seen the interview, but added: “There’s no place for racism in our society and we all need to work together to stop it.”