| 24 July 2024, Wednesday |

Former UK police officers sentenced for sending racist messages about Meghan, royals

Following their dissemination of racist and derogatory messages on WhatsApp that included allusions to Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, and other members of the royal family, six former London police officers were handed suspended prison terms on Thursday.

Commander James Harman of the Metropolitan Police, who oversees the Anti-Corruption and Abuse Command, said in a statement following the sentencing hearing that “the racist and discriminatory content of these messages is absolutely appalling”.

“Given the defendants once served as police officers, we recognise that this case may further damage confidence in policing,” Harman said.

The six officers, who have all retired, were charged after an investigation by the BBC’s Newsnight programme which discovered the men sent the messages between August 2018 and September 2022, a period when they had all left the police.

Three of the messages featured racist comments about Meghan, the wife of King Charles’ younger son, Prince Harry. Meghan’s mother is Black and her father is white.

One of these messages also included a picture of the late Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip, while others referenced Charles’ eldest son and heir Prince William and his wife Kate, along with Rishi Sunak, Britain’s first prime minister of colour.

  • Reuters