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WORLD | 22-02-2018 16:23

UK police probe 'racist' package sent to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Authorities determined the contents safe, but have continued a different type of investigation.

Police are investigating a suspicious package sent to Great Britain's Prince Harry and his fiancé Meghan Markle as a racist hate crime, Scotland Yard said Thursday.

Officers from the Metropolitan Police's counter-terrorism command were called in after "a package containing a substance" was received on February 12 at a sorting office in St James's Palace in central London.

The force said counterterrorism detectives are investigating the incident as an alleged malicious communication offense, "and it is being treated as a racist hate crime."

The Evening Standard reported the package was a letter containing white powder and a racist message. Contacted by AFP, Prince Harry's press service at Kensington Palace declined to comment on the report.

Earlier this month, a letter containing white powder was sent to an office at Parliament, leading to a partial evacuation of the building. It also was found to be non-toxic.

The prince and Markle are due to marry May 19 at Windsor Castle.

When their relationship was first revealed in 2016, Harry issued a strongly-worded statement against media harassment of his mixed-race girlfriend.

Harry's communications secretary Jason Knauf said at the time that Markle had been the subject of "a wave of abuse and harassment."

"Prince Harry is worried about Ms Markle's safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her," Knauf said then.

-TIMES/AP/AFP

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