Actress and former Miss World, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, has publicly defended Duchess Meghan in a new interview with The Sunday Times, saying she believes the barrage of negative press and difficulty to accept the new mother as a member of the monarchy is largely rooted in racism.
"Of course it has to do with racism," the 36-year-old told the publication.
"It's an obvious reason. But the beauty of Meg is that she's been herself through all of this."
Priyanka, who first met Meghan in 2016, said it was "really unfortunate" that the Duchess has had to deal with relentless criticism from the media but says "if there's anyone who can handle it, it's her," insisting that despite becoming a member of the royal family, she hasn't let that change her.
"A lot of people got to know her after everything [once she started dating Harry], but I knew her before and she's the same chick," Priyanka said.
"Now that she's got a real platform, she talks about the same things she always did.
"We spent hours speaking about the difference that influence and dialogue can make to the world before this whole thing happened, so what you see now is authentically her.
"She's always been the girl wanting to move the needle."
And this certainly seems the case, with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's official Instagram account regularly sharing causes that that the royal couple are passionate about.
Just this weekend, the Sussex Royal account posted about their chosen cause for the month of June – Pride month.
Last month the couple announced that each month they would rotate the accounts they followed on Instagram based on the causes and social issues that matter to them, their first month being Mental Health Awareness.
Priyanka, who attended Prince Harry and Meghan's wedding last year, just months before marrying her own beau Nick Jonas, also recently shut down a report by The Sun which claimed she had gifted baby Archie a gift from Tiffany & Co during a visit to Frogmore Cottage, saying she had not made the visit at all.
"While these are great gift ideas… this story is untrue, and I was actually in town for work," Priyanka tweeted.
Priyanka is certainly not the first celeb to publicly defend the former actress. On separate occasions, Hollywood actor and close friend George Clooney has spoken out against the media's "unjust" and "unkind" coverage of the Duchess, telling Good Morning Britain in March that she "hasn't done anything except happen to live her life."
"She's a really kind and smart and intelligent young woman and they're a really wonderful, loving couple," he told the morning show.
In February he also told Who magazine that he believed she was being "pursued and vilified".
"She's getting a raw deal there and I think it's irresponsible."
WATCH: George Clooney defends longtime friend Meghan Markle. Story continues below...
TV mogul Oprah Winfrey has also spoken about the negative rumours and reports that had surrounded Meghan while making an appearance on CBS This Morning in April, telling the show's hosts: "I feel that if people really knew her they would know that she is not only everything we perceive of her in being graceful and dynamic in holding that position, but she has a wonderful, warm, giving, loving heart.
"I think it's very unfair."
Both George Clooney and Oprah also attended Harry and Meghan's historic wedding at St George's Chapel in May last year.
Meghan's negative coverage by the press has by no means been a recent development since becoming a member of the royal family.
In 2016, just as the news broke that she and Prince Harry were indeed dating, the Palace released a rare statement regarding concerns Prince Harry had for the safety of his new girlfriend.
"Prince Harry is worried about Ms. Markle's safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her," the statement read.
"The past week has seen a line crossed. His girlfriend, Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment. Some of this has been very public – the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments."
On May 6th the Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcomed their son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor into the world, with both parents clearly delighted by their first child's arrival.
During a visit to Oxford Children's Hospital a few days after little Archie's birth, Prince Harry revealed he already can't imagine life without his son, while Meghan shared during a press photo call that becoming a mother has been "magic".
"I have the best guys in the world, so I'm really happy."
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