Hilary Mantel: Meghan has been victim of ‘abominable racism’

Oxford Literary Festival

Hilary Mantel has said people who do not believe the Duchess of Sussex has been the victim of "abominable racism" need to "check their privilege".

The Booker Prize-winning author, whose follow-up to Tudor novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies will be released later this week, said she supports the royal couple.

Harry and Meghan plunged the royal family into a period of crisis in January when they announced they wanted to step back from their royal roles and become financially independent.

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Harry and Meghan step down
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Harry and Meghan step down
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-520/STAR MAX/IPx 2020 1/7/20 Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan visit Canada House in London, England, UK.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced Wednesday that they were stepping back from their role as "senior members of the royal family"� and would work to become financially independent. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex look at a special exhibition of art by Indigenous Canadian artist, Skawennati, in the Canada Gallery during their visit to Canada House, central London, UK on January 7, 2020. (Photo by Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Photos/Abaca Press/TNS/Sipa USA)
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-107/STAR MAX/IPx 2018 6/19/18 Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan The Duchess of Sussex at Royal Ascot Day One at Ascot Racecourse. (Berkshire, England, UK)
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-03/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 2/7/19 Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan The Duchess of Sussex at the Endeavour Fund Awards Ceremony held at Drapers' Hall. (London, England, UK)
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-375/STAR MAX/IPx 2018 7/5/18 Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan Markle The Duchess of Sussex attend the Your Commonwealth Youth Challenge reception at Marlborough House. (London, England, UK)
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-09/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 7/14/19 Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan at the premiere of "The Lion King" in London, England, UK.
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-178/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 9/23/19 Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan The Duchess of Sussex visit Cape Town, South Africa.
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-178/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 7/14/19 Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan at the premiere of "The Lion King" in London, England, UK.
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-03/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 2/7/19 Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan The Duchess of Sussex at the Endeavour Fund Awards Ceremony held at Drapers' Hall. (London, England, UK)
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-178/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 2/24/19 Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan visit Lycée Qualifiant Grand Atlas and meet students and teachers in Asni Town, Atlas Mountains, Morocco.
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-178/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 9/23/19 Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan The Duchess of Sussex visit Cape Town, South Africa.
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-09/STAR MAX/IPx 2018 10/22/18 Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan The Duchess of Sussex visit Kingfisher Bay Resort on Fraser Island in Australia.
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-178/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 2/24/19 Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan visit Lycée Qualifiant Grand Atlas and meet students and teachers in Asni Town, Atlas Mountains, Morocco.
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-178/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 9/24/19 Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan The Duchess of Sussex visit Cape Town, South Africa.
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-178/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 9/24/19 Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan The Duchess of Sussex visit Cape Town, South Africa.
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-375/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 5/8/19 Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan The Duchess of Sussex with their baby son, who was born on Monday morning May 6th, at a photocall in St. George's Hall at Windsor Castle in Berkshire.
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-178/STAR MAX/IPx 2018 12/25/18 Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend Christmas church services at St. Mary Magdalene Church on the Sandringham Estate.
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-03/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 2/7/19 Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan The Duchess of Sussex at the Endeavour Fund Awards Ceremony held at Drapers' Hall. (London, England, UK)
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-03/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 7/14/19 Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan at the premiere of "The Lion King" in London, England, UK.
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-178/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 10/2/19 Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan The Duchess of Sussex visit Johannesburg, South Africa.
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-178/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 9/24/19 Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan The Duchess of Sussex visit Cape Town, South Africa.
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-178/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 10/2/19 Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan The Duchess of Sussex visit Johannesburg, South Africa.
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-178/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 9/23/19 Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan The Duchess of Sussex visit Cape Town, South Africa.
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-22/STAR MAX/IPx 2018 6/9/18 Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex, The Duchess of Sussex and members of The Royal Family at the Trooping The Colour ceremonies as The Queen marks her official birthday - including an inspection of the troops from the Household Division, the Horseguards Parade March in Whitehall and watching a fly-past from the balcony at Buckingham Palace. (London, England, UK)
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-178/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 2/25/19 Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Meghan The Duchess of Sussex during their visit to Morocco tour The Andalusian Gardens. They viewed traditional Moroccan arts and crafts on display in the walled public gardens amid exotic plants, flowers and fruit trees. They met with young social entrepreneurs and discussed youth empowerment in Morocco. (Rabat, Morocco)
January 20th 2020 - Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer use "royal highness" titles and will not receive public money for their royal duties. Additionally, as part of the terms of surrendering their royal responsibilities, Harry and Meghan will repay the $3.1 million cost of taxpayers' money that was spent renovating Frogmore Cottage - their home near Windsor Castle. - January 9th 2020 - Prince Harry The Duke of Sussex and Duchess Meghan of Sussex intend to step back their duties and responsibilities as senior members of the British Royal Family. - File Photo by: zz/KGC-178/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 2/25/19 Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex are received by HM The King of Morocco in an Audience today at the Royal Palace, Rabat, Morocco.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex leaving after their visit to Canada House, central London, to meet with Canada's High Commissioner to the UK, Janice Charette, as well as staff, to thank them for the warm hospitality and support they received during their recent stay in Canada. Picture date: Tuesday January 7, 2020. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire PA
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The couple are dropping their HRH styles and preparing for a life mostly in North America from March 31.

Mantel told Harper's Bazaar UK: "I'm pleased that it's the marriage that's surviving and the connection with the monarchy that has to go, because I think almost all of us would have bet that if she (Meghan) left, she'd have to leave alone.

"Though none of us know the details of how this is going to work out.

"But I think that Meghan was too good to be true. She was a smiling face in a dull institution, she cheered the nation up no end, or at least men and women of goodwill.

"I do think abominable racism has been involved. People who say that's got nothing to do with it – well, they need to check their privilege!"

The April issue of Harper's Bazaar is on sale from March 4.

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