Prince William reacted to Harry and Meghan's Oprah interview on Thursday, saying, "We are very much not a racist family"

By Stephanie Petit
March 11, 2021 12:52 PM
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Prince Harry says he and older brother Prince William are on "different paths."

During Harry and Meghan Markle's interview with Oprah Winfrey on Sunday, the Duke of Sussex said that other members of his family can't leave the "system" the way he did.

"It's been really hard," Harry explained. "I am part of the system with them, I always have been, but I guess — and I'm very aware of this — my brother can't leave that system, but I have."

When Oprah asked if William — who is second in line to the throne behind their father, Prince Charles — wanted to leave the royal family, Harry replied, "I don't know. I can't speak for him."

He continued, "With that relationship and that control and the fear by the U.K. tabloids, it's a toxic environment. But I will always be there for him, and I will always be there for my family. I've tried to help them to see what has happened."

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
Prince Harry and Prince William
| Credit: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images
Prince harry and Megan and Oprah
Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and Oprah Winfrey
| Credit: Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions

Harry, 36, said that he "didn't see a way out" of the royal family before meeting Meghan, 39.

"I was trapped, but I didn't know I was trapped. Trapped within the system like the rest of the family," he said. "My father and my brother are trapped. They don't get to leave, and I have huge compassion for that."

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Prince Harry, Prince William and Prince Charles

He also described his relationship with his older sibling at the moment as "space."

"I love William to bits. He's my brother. We've been through hell together," Harry explained. "But we are on different paths."

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Prince William and Kate Middleton
| Credit: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images

On Thursday, Prince William, 38, and  Kate Middleton, 39, stepped out for the first time since the interview aired. William hit back at racism claims made during the interview, telling a Sky News reporter, "We are very much not a racist family."

For more on Prince William's statement, listen below to the episode of PEOPLE Every Day.

When asked if he had spoken to Harry after the Oprah interview, he added, "No, I haven't spoken to him yet, but I will do."

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During the Oprah interview, Meghan said that there were "concerns and conversations about how dark [Archie's] skin might be when he's born" voiced by a member of the royal family. 

Later in the sit-down, Oprah pressed Harry on the issue, asking him who was behind the racially charged comment. "That conversation I'm never going to share," he said. "It was awkward. I was a bit shocked."