By Ross Ibbetson for MailOnline and Harriet Alexander for DailyMail.com
The black choir that performed at Meghan and Harry’s wedding was invited by Prince Charles, it has emerged – and the gospel group’s founder said she refuses to believe that he is racist.
Karen Gibson MBE led her London-based Kingdom Choir in a widely-acclaimed rendition of soul classic Stand By Me at the May 2018 nuptials at Windsor Castle.
Ms Gibson told TMZ it was Charles who invited them to perform at the wedding and that he had gone ‘out of his way’ to congratulate them on their success since.
The conductor said she was ‘finding it hard to believe’ that it could have been Charles who said anything about the couple’s unborn baby being ‘too dark.’
Ms Gibson was referring to the shocking allegation of racism that was levelled at an unnamed senior royal during Meghan and Harry’s interview with Oprah on Sunday night which has sent shock waves through Buckingham Palace.
The couple chose to rule out that the remark was made by the Queen or the Duke of Edinburgh, leaving the allegation to hang over the remaining senior royals, including Charles, Prince William, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge.
The Kingdom Choir, based in London, performed at the May 2018 royal wedding
Karen Gibson, founder and choir leader, said she could not believe Charles was racist
Prince Charles, pictured with Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland, invited the choir to perform
Meghan and Harry on Sunday night alleged that questions were raised about Archie’s skin
The serious claim prompted William yesterday, on a visit to a school in east London, to emphatically deny the charge.
‘We are very much not a racist family,’ he told a reporter.
Buckingham Palace earlier this week issued a rare statement on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen to say how ‘saddened’ the family were by how unhappy Harry and Meghan told Oprah they had been.
It said: ‘The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.’
The choirmaster Ms Gibson also revealed this week how it had been difficult to get Harry and Meghan to agree to a version of Ben E. King’s song for the wedding.
She told The Sun: ‘They wanted the song stripped back, without a beat. Gospel is very lively and vibrant so it took a while for us to understand what they meant.
‘We sent 12 versions to them over email but none were approved so, in the end, we had to go with what we thought was best.
Prince Charles had been ‘gracious’ towards the choir, the founder told TMZ
‘We performed one version in front of them at Kensington Palace and they said, “That’s it.”‘
She added that the newlyweds sent them a thank you card after the wedding.
The royal family has been fighting off claims that they are racist, after Meghan, who has a black mother and a white father, told Oprah that someone within the family asked how ‘dark’ her son Archie’s skin would be.
Meghan also revealed that she had found her experience of living as a royal so unbearable that she had considered killing herself.
Harry told Oprah that he felt ‘trapped’ within the monarchy and said that his father, Charles, and brother, William, remained trapped by it.
He said that chief among his concerns for his wife had been ‘history repeating itself,’ a reference to his mother Princess Diana’s death in Paris in 1997.
On Thursday Prince William became the first senior royal to address directly the string of allegations made by Harry and Meghan in their explosive interview.
He also confirmed the depth of the rift between him and his brother.
William admitted he had not even spoken to Harry about the TV show – four days after it aired.
The Queen and Prince Charles (pictured together in 2019) have backed Prince William after he spoke out to insist the Royal Family are ‘very much not a racist family’ as the fallout from Harry and Meghan’s bombshell interview continues to grow
Asked whether his family were racist, William replied: ”We’re very much not a racist family.’
His reaction laid bare his clear hurt over the claims made by his brother and sister-in-law.
The prince’s comments were praised by insiders, who said the 38-year-old did ‘very well given the emotion and enormity of it all’.
On Thursday night, royal insiders claimed that although William and Harry have not spoken in months, the elder brother is prepared to stand ‘shoulder to shoulder’ with the Duke of Sussex at the unveiling of a statue of their late motherSources told the Mirror ‘both camps are prepared to come together’ and put on a ‘united front’ when the tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales is installed at Kensington Palace on July 1.