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Royalty

Anthrax scare for Meghan Markle, victim of ‘racist hate crime’: Scotland Yard

White powder purported to be the deadly toxin was sent to Prince Harry’s fiancée

PUBLISHED : Friday, 23 February, 2018, 3:13am
UPDATED : Friday, 23 February, 2018, 10:54pm

Police say they are treating as a racist hate crime a letter containing white powder sent to Meghan Markle, which sparked an anthrax scare.

The letter was received this month at St James’s Palace in central London. The powder, which was purported to be anthrax, was found to be harmless after being examined by experts.

It is understood the package contained a racist note and was received on 12 February.

In a statement, Scotland Yard said: “Officers are also investigating an allegation of malicious communications which relates to the same package, and it is being treated as a racist hate crime.”

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The force added: “The matter is being investigated by officers from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command.”

Markle, a successful actor, is from a mixed-race background.

The couple are due to be married in May. The letter was received at the palace shortly before a package containing white powder also prompted a scare at the Palace of Westminster.

The Evening Standard newspaper said the royal couple had been informed of the suspicious package.

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The police inquiry is trying to determine if the same person or people were responsible for the sending both letters.

Anthrax can be weaponised in powder form and is potentially deadly. But there have been a number of scares where harmless white powder has been sent to prominent people.

Scotland Yard said in a statement: “Police are investigating after a package containing a substance was delivered to St James’s Palace on Monday 12 February.

“The substance was tested and confirmed as non-suspicious. Officers are also investigating an allegation of malicious communications which relates to the same package. No arrests; inquiries continue.”

A spokesperson for St James’s Palace said they would not comment and it was a matter for the police.