THE MEMBER of the Royal Family who asked how dark the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s baby would be was "being realistic", a former footballer has said.

John Barnes said most black people thought “so what?” when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made the claim in their interview with Oprah Winfrey.

During the bombshell interview in March, the Duchess said there had been “several conversations” within the Royal Family about how dark Archie Mountbatten-Windsor's skin might be.

“In those months when I was pregnant, [there were] concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he was born,” she said.

Prince Harry added: “That conversation, I am never going to share. At the time it was awkward, I was a bit shocked.”

The Queen later issued a statement saying that the issues raised would be dealt with privately.

The Duke of Cambridge defended the monarchy, saying “we’re very much not a racist family” after the interview aired.

The Argus: John Barnes John Barnes

Former England and Liverpool footballer John Barnes said most black people would expect that conversation to happen.

In an interview about his new book The Uncomfortable Truth About Racism, Barnes, a father-of-seven who is married to a white woman, said: “If you listen to what Meghan says, it’s not about them worrying if the baby is dark or not, it’s them worrying about how the public are going to view that.

“Because they know if the baby is too dark, the public will not view the baby as positively. They’re being realistic,” he told The Times.

“Let’s not pretend the public won't care whether it's a blond-haired blue-eyed baby or jet black, because they will.”

The Argus: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Barnes went on to state he wasn’t a fan of Prince Harry and Meghan, but said his family loved Prince William, Kate Middleton and Princess Diana.

Barnes hasn’t been shy when sharing his thoughts on the topic of race in recent years.

In 2019, he supported actor Liam Neeson for opening up about his desires to hurt a black man after someone close to him was raped.

He has since spoken in defence of Peter Beardsley, who made racist comments to young black players as Newcastle United’s under-23 coach.

“I’m not an apologist,” Barnes previously said. “I give balanced, constructive views and what happens is that bits and pieces of what I say are used against me.

"For a long time, John Barnes was seen as the voice of reason when it came to race. John Barnes hasn’t changed, what’s changed is the reporting of John Barnes.”