Prince Harry says 'there was a lot of stereotyping' about Meghan Markle: 'American actress, divorced, biracial'

Prince Harry opened up about his family's
Prince Harry opened up about his family's "fab four" image. (Photo: Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The first of Prince Harry's TV interviews in support of his controversial new memoir, Spare, has aired in the United Kingdom.

On Sunday, ITV broadcast a sit-down interview between the royal and journalist Tom Bradby. The men's conversation addressed Harry's rift with the royal family, his learning of mother Princess Diana's death in a 1997 car crash and his hopes that he and wife Meghan Markle would work closely with Prince William and Kate Middleton — a dream he admits was soon dashed.

According to Harry, 38, he had been something of a "third wheel" when joining his brother and sister-in-law on outings.

"I had put a lot of hope in the idea that, you know, it'd be William and Kate and me and whoever," he told Bradby. "I thought ... the four of us would, you know, bring me and William closer together, we could go out and do work together, which I did a lot as the third wheel to them, which was fun at times but also, I guess, slightly awkward at times as well."

But after meeting his future wife, then starring on the series Suits, he realized that things weren't going to go quite so smoothly.

"I don't think they were ever expecting me to get ... into a relationship with someone like Meghan who had, you know, a very successful career," Prince Charles's younger son shared, adding that Meghan's outsider status and fame led to a "a lot of stereotyping."

"There was a lot of stereotyping that was happening, that I was guilty of as well, at the beginning," Harry said, noting that this caused a "barrier" to his family "welcoming" the actress into their circle.

When asked to specify what stereotypes Meghan , who divorced producer Trevor Engelson in 2014, was subjected to, Harry responded: "American actress, divorced, biracial."

"There's all different parts to that and what that can mean but if you are, like a lot of my family do, if you are reading the press, the British tabloids, at the same time as living the life, then there is a tendency where you could actually end up living in the tabloid bubble rather than the actual reality," he continued.

Harry added that his older brother "aired some concerns" ahead of his 2018 wedding.

"He never tried to dissuade me from marrying Meghan, but he aired some concerns very early, and said 'this is going to be really hard for you' and I still to this day don't truly understand which part of what he was talking about," Harry shared. "Maybe he predicted what the British press's reaction was going to be."

It was the British press, he said, that branded the two royal couples as "the fab four," something that bred "competition" rather than connection.

"The idea of the four of us being together was always a hope for me," he said. "Before it was Meghan, whoever it was going to be, I always hoped that the four of us would get on. But very quickly it became Meghan versus Kate. And that, when it plays out so publicly, you can't hide from that, right? Especially when within my family you have the newspapers laid out pretty much in every single palace and house that is around."

The interview also saw Harry clarifying to longtime confidant Bradby that he and Meghan never accused the royal family of racism, despite revealing in their 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey that there had been speculation as to what their son Archie's skin color might be. "Having lived within that family," Harry said, he attributed the comments to "unconscious bias" rather than racism.

Spare will be published on Tuesday, Jan. 10.