LONDON (AP) — Prince William insisted Thursday that his family is not racist as he became the first member of Britain’s royal family to speak out about accusations of bigotry made by Prince Harry and Meghan, his brother and sister-in-law.

William made the comments in response to questions shouted at him by reporters during a visit to an East London school. While members of the royal family often ignore such queries, William used the opportunity to address the explosive allegations that have rocked the monarchy.

“We’re very much not a racist family,” William said as his wife, Kate, walked by his side.

Buckingham Palace is struggling to quiet criticism after Harry and Meghan alleged that the duchess was the victim of racism and callous treatment during her time as a working member of the royal family. The palace tried to respond to the charges, made during an interview with U.S. TV host Oprah Winfrey, with a 61-word statement that critics called “too little, too late.”

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