Meghan Markle and Prince Harry give interview to Oprah Winfrey
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry give interview to Oprah WinfreyReuters

More than 49.1 million viewers worldwide have so far watched Oprah Winfrey’s interview with British royals Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.

The estimate of 49.1 million viewers in 17 countries is sure to rise. Not all of the ratings are in, and CBS licensed the interview to air in more than 80 territories, the network said.

In the United States, the interview was seen by 17.8 million people on CBS, the Nielsen company said. It aired a night later in Britain, where ITV said it had 13.3 million viewers, a huge number for a smaller country.

On Tuesday, Buckingham Palace released an official statement on behalf of Queen Elizabeth in response to the interview.

"The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan," the statement from the Royal Family 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. Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members."

The BBC reported that the heads of the royal family had convened emergency meetings with their advisory teams in order to decide on a response to the interview and accusations leveled against them by the couple, including racism regarding their son Archie's skin color.