Lorraine viewers outraged as Meghan Markle’s ex-boyfriend claims the royal family have been ‘racists for centuries’

 LORRAINE viewers expressed their outrage today after Meghan Markle's ex-boyfriend claimed there has been racism in the Royal Family for centuries.

Joshua Silverstein said the Firm has a "history of racism" that "goes back to the transatlantic slave trade" as he praised the Duchess of Sussex for speaking out against it.

🔵 Read our Meghan and Harry live blog for the latest updates

Joshua Silverstein praised his ex Meghan Markle for speaking out against racism in the Royal Family
Joshua Silverstein praised his ex Meghan Markle for speaking out against racism in the Royal FamilyCredit: Rex
Lorraine spoke with Joshua this morning
Lorraine spoke with Joshua this morningCredit: Rex

The dad-of-three, who dated Meghan when she was 13, said she had been "honest and transparent" during her bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which she spoke of racial bias in the Firm towards her unborn son.

He told Lorraine: "She got on Oprah and she was very honest and transparent with her experience with the Royal Family. 

"There’s a history of racism that I’m sure you know in the royal family that goes back to the transatlantic slave trade.

"So the fact that Meghan was able to get on TV and bravely talk about that, is awesome."

But Lorraine viewers were quick to hit back, with one writing on Twitter: "Why have you just allowed somebody on your show to say that The British Royal Family are institutionally racist without asking him to back that up with facts?"

Another wrote: "Why are we being told how racist the UK is by some unknown person. Lorraine just agrees. No balance."

Twitter users hit back at the interview this morning
Twitter users hit back at the interview this morningCredit: ITV
Meghan and Joshua dated when they were youngsters
Meghan and Joshua dated when they were youngsters

Someone else added: "I can't believe that interview with Megan's first boyfriend. What was Lorraine playing at?

"She allowed him to accuse the royals as being racist of Megan telling truths in her interview with OW. She didn't correct him once."

But Joshua told Lorraine such backlash is typical "whenever people of colour speak out".

He said: "Whenever people of colour speak out about oppression and racism, generally the public, there’s a huge backlash - the fact that she got up and spoke about that knowing it could create a lot of tension between her and her family I thought was amazing on her part."

He added that change "cannot take place unless people are willing to have a conversation".

"I think the more and more people begin to become honest with their role in oppression and privilege then we can move forward.

Meghan and Harry spoke about racism within the Royal Family during their Oprah interview
Meghan and Harry spoke about racism within the Royal Family during their Oprah interviewCredit: AFP

The Royal Family and the slave trade

Britain fully entered the slave trade in 1660 when Charles II helped found a new company called “Royal Adventures into Africa”.

The company was granted a monopoly on the British slave trade for 1000 years and its members included the Royal Family and aristocracy.

Two years later, the company had made a profit of £1miilion. It wound up in 1672, but was reformed as the Royal African Company and once again received Royal Protection. 

By 1689 the company had transported 90,000 slaves from the west coast of Africa to British possessions in North America and the Caribbean.

In 1698 the Royal African Company’s monopoly on the slave trade was broken and by the early eighteenth century, London, Bristol and Liverpool had developed into prosperous slave ports. 

By the 1780s, Britain had shipped over 330,000 slaves to the new world and the British economy relied heavily upon the trade.

The Abolition of Slavery Act was passed in Britain in August 1833.

The Society for the Extinction of the Slave Trade and the Civilisation of Africa was later founded in 1839, working for worldwide suppression of the slave trade. It was presided over by the Queen's consort, Prince Albert.

Prince Charles has previously acknowledged Britain's involvement in “the "appalling atrocity" saying "the unimaginable suffering it caused, left an indelible stain on the history of our world”.

"I think the unfortunate role of humanity is we want to pretend things are great. The more people can speak comfortably about pain and trauma, then healing can begin."

During their interview with Oprah back in March, Harry and Meghan revealed the pressures they faced as senior royals.

The Duchess of Sussex had claimed there were conversations with Harry and a "family" member about their unborn son Archie and what colour his skin would be - 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.”

Buckingham Palace later responded with a statement which said that although "some recollections may vary", the issues raised in relation to race were "concerning".The statement read: "The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years  have been for Harry and Meghan. 

"The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning.  Whilst some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately. 

"Harry, Meghan  and Archie will always be much loved family members."

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