It was a bombshell moment in Harry and Meghan's interview with Oprah that left the veteran talk show host dumbstruck: when Meghan shared that "there were conversations about how dark his [Archie's] skin might be when he was born ... Those were conversations that family had with Harry."
Now, a new book claims it was a comment made by Prince Charles as he sat down to breakfast with wife Camilla that sparked the discussion about the child's skin colour.
According to the New York Post, in "Brothers And Wives: Inside The Private Lives of William, Kate, Harry and Meghan", by Christopher Andersen, Charles, upon learning of his son's engagement to Markle, mused to Camilla: "I wonder what the children will look like?"
Camilla is said to have been "somewhat taken aback" and replied: "Well, absolutely gorgeous, I'm certain."
Anderson writes that Charles clarifies: "I mean, what do you think their children's complexion might be?"
According to the New York Post, Andersen doesn't put the onus of what became one of the most shocking claims in Oprah's interview solely on Charles.
Instead, the author suggests that: "The question posed by Charles was being echoed in a less innocent way throughout the halls of Buckingham Palace." He points to palace advisers known as the "Men in Grey" and described as "the old boys' network", an elitist group who discussed what the royal family would "look like to the rest of the world" once Markle's African-American heritage became part of the family's make up.
The book goes on to describe a frustrated Harry, who, according to another insider, was told by his father that he was being "overly sensitive about the matter".
And it alleges Prince William deemed the comment about Archie "tactless" but "not a sign of racism within the family".
According to The Post, a spokesperson for Prince Charles described the book and its claim as "fiction and not worth further comment."
But it's not the only claim made by Andersen. He also details the royal family's concern over Harry's "rush to the altar" and the widely-reported rift between Harry, William and their wives, alleging the "Fab Four" are now "barely speaking".
And he brings the Queen into the feud by suggesting she left Harry feeling "erased" by the family, pointing to her decision to move a photo of Harry and his family out of shot before she recorded her annual Christmas message.
"[She] looked over the table where the photographs she had so lovingly selected were arranged," Andersen writes, adding that a picture of William, Kate and family remained. "All were fine but one, [the Queen] told the director."
The book goes on to claim Harry was so hurt by the Christmas snub it was what triggered his decision to step down as a senior royal.
Andersen says the Prince's plans to leave were leaked to UK tabloids, sparking Harry and Meghan's unprecedented announcement of their departure on Instagram, to get ahead of the news cycle.
He writes that the royals were blindsided by the couple's move and that William responded to the announcement with: "What the f*** do Harry and Meghan think they're doing? My father will be furious."
He says William's fear was confirmed by Camilla's comment to a neighbour who she told "I have never seen [Charles] that angry before."
The Post reports request for comment from the Queen on Andersen's book was met with a statement by a spokesperson who said: "We don't comment on books of this kind as to do so risks giving it some form of authority or credibility." Meanwhile, representatives for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had no comment and a spokesperson for Harry and Meghan did not respond to requests for comment.