The UK’s most senior police officer of color has said the duchess of Sussex faced “disgusting” threats to her life during her time in the royal family.
Neil Basu said that as head of counter-terrorism, he had to deal with credible threats from far-right extremists against Meghan Markle and her husband Prince Harry.
His comments, in an interview with Channel 4 News broadcast late on Nov. 30, appear to reinforce Harry’s claims about security fears. Meghan, a mixed-race former television actor, married the younger son of King Charles III in 2018, but they quit royal life in 2020 and moved to the United States.
Basu, 54, who is stepping down after 30 years with London’s Metropolitan Police, was asked if there were genuine threats to Meghan’s life.
“Absolutely,” he replied, calling the threats “disgusting and very real. We had teams investigating it. People have been prosecuted for those threats.”
Harry, 38, took the U.K. government to court to force a review of a decision to pull his state-funded protection when he was back in the country from the United States.
At the beginning of their relationship, Harry took the rare step of publicly criticizing the tone of some media coverage of Meghan. He condemned the “racial undertones of comment pieces and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments.”
The couple also accused the royal family itself of racism, in a 2021 television interview with Oprah Winfrey.