In the wake of revelations made by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s that a senior royal discussed the Duke and Duchess’s son Archie and “how dark his skin might be when he’s born.”
It appears as though there is a dislike for colour and a racist attitude that will continue to haunt and taint Buckingham Palace.
There was one clear thread throughout Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s recent dynamic interview with Oprah Winfrey : The young couple believe they were driven from the Royal Family because of racism.
It was explicit in perhaps the most shocking allegation: that a member of the royal family came to Harry while Markle was pregnant with their son Archie with “concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he was born.” Meghan is American and identifies as biracial.
In my view Meghan was the British royal family’s greatest opportunity for change, regeneration, and reconciliation in a new era. A chance and opportunity for them to embrace colour and shake off any racial resentments previously held against them.
However, those at Buckingham Palace kicked that opportunity smack bang in the face.
The treatment given to Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, has not only infuriated a great many but exposed the royal family as racist.
The issue of racism was and is one of the overarching problems that has shaped Markle’s time as a royal, even before she was an official member of the family. When the couple began dating in 2016, Prince Harry released a public statement via Kensington Palace in defense of Markle’s privacy and safety, where he called out racist and sexist press and social media—an action he repeated after their marriage and the birth of Archie.
BBC’s Danny Baker’s tweet in which he posted a picture of a white couple with a chimpanzee under a caption which read “Royal Baby leaves hospital” epitomised the racist sentiments held in the media circles.
The duchess of Sussex has been on the receiving end of the relentless (and often blatantly racist) tabloid coverage by the British media. Something that has forced observers to make discomforting parallels to the rabid media interest in Harry’s mother, the late Princess Diana. Harry has noted on multiple occasions that his biggest fear is “history repeating itself,” something that he thinks could pose even greater danger to Markle because of her race.
The duchess of Sussex has been vilified and portrayed as the one who influenced Prince Harry to leave the royal family.
However, throughout the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s account of why they fled the royal life to live in a more private setting in Southern California it was implicitly clear that racism was at the core.
All the vilification and tabloid stories were nothing but racist articles promoting nothing but hate. Buckingham Palace did nothing about it.
Harry talked about his frustration from the lack of support from his family, in the face of racist attacks on Markle. “For us, for this union and the specifics around her race, there was an opportunity—many opportunities—for my family to show some public support,” he said. “And I guess one of the most telling parts and the saddest parts, I guess, was over 70 female members of Parliament, both Conservative and Labour, came out and called out the colonial undertones of articles and headlines written about Meghan. Yet no one from my family ever said anything. That hurts.”
In the interview with Oprah, Megan said that she was shocked to learn that Archie, the first mixed-race great-grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II, would not be given the title of prince—and would also be denied security protection, something that concerned Markle given the racist harassment she and her family have received since becoming a royal.
The royal family just snubbed their only chance to cleanse themselves and Buckingham Palace of racism. They could have embraced colour by accepting not only Megan but Archie, as the first mixed-race Prince.
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