Racism So Real: Former British Officers Comes Clean About Racist Messages About The Royal Couple
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s marriage really had British officials in an uproar.
Five former British police officers admitted to sending racist messages about the royal couple, NBC News reports. Robert Lewis, Peter Booth, Anthony Elsom, Alan Hall, and Trevor Lewton pleaded guilty at London’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court to sending by public communication grossly offensive racist messages.
After a BBC investigation last year exposed them, all of the officers were arrested and charged for sending offensive and racist messages in a closed WhatsApp group about Meghan and Harry and the rest of the royal family, including Prince William, Kate, the late Queen Elizabeth II and her late husband, Prince Philip. U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, former interior minister Priti Patel, and former Health Secretary Sajid Javid were also targeted.
A sixth officer, Michael Chadwell, denied one count of the same charge and is due back in court on Nov. 6. The others are scheduled to be sentenced on the same day.
All of the officers were members of London’s Metropolitan Police Force, spending time with the Parliamentary and Diplomatic Protection branch, responsible for guarding politicians and diplomats. The messages were sent between 2020 and 2022, when none of the suspects worked as officers. According to Newsweek, other messages included talks of the U.K. government’s plans to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda and the floods in Pakistan.
This isn’t the first time British police have been involved in a scandal regarding Markle. In 2022, two serving officers were fired after WhatsApp messages were made public, revealing racist conversations. One message was even sent during Meghan and Harry’s 2018 wedding.
Racist incidents like this prompted the Prince and his bride to move their family to America in 2020 after leaving the monarchy due to high tension between members of the royal family, the royal institution, and the British tabloid press. In the 2021 documentary series, The Me You Can’t See, the youngest son of Princess Diana and King Charles said the media played a key role in racial hatred toward his wife. “My biggest regret is not making more of a stance earlier on in the relationship with my wife in calling out the racism when I did,” Harry told Oprah Winfrey in an interview.