Oprah’s recent interview with ex-royal couple Meghan and Harry, revealed that the British royal family still cannot accept Meghan as a bonafide family member. Meghan who is African American by blood, is the product of a union between a Black American monther and a white American father. One of the highlights of Meghan’s revelations is that prior to the birth of their child, there were “conversations” in the palace discussing the baby’s skin tone and how dark his skin might be.
Nevertheless, Oprah was able to confirm that it was not Queen Elizabeth II nor Prince Phillip was among those who brought up the question about the skin color of meghan and Harry’s son.
The ex-royals said it’s a turning point in the worldwide racial reckoning of last year. A lot of institutions have been acknowledging the ugly aspects of their histories particularly those concerning racism; but confronting the British monarchy about racism can be a significant issue.
Although Harry and Meghan celebrated their wedding nationally, their life as a married couple has been affected by racist comments; making it obvious that racism still exists in the royal family. Especially since the British royals are members of a dynasty that for centuries, had amassed wealth gained from the trade and enslavement of Africans.
Lost Hopes of Eradicating Anti-Black Sentiments in Britain
According to a professor of African American studies at Emory University, Kali Nicole Gross, the Oprah’s interview with meghan and Harry had once again reminded the audience of how long anti-Black racism has been around in the UK and how African Britons have constantly encountered its existence. Gross said that she was naive to have believed that the Harry-Meghan union would set a different trend as she truly believed for a moment that the English monarchy accepted Meghan and her African American origin.
This despite how members of the royal family have been accused of racism in the past, including Prince Philip, Harry’s grandfather and husband of Queen Elizabeth II. While visiting China in 1986, he made remarks to a group of British students that if they will stay longer in China, they would become “slitty-eyed” themselves. Another public display of his racist stance was in 2002, when he asked an Aborigine in Australia if their tribe was “still throwing spears”.
In 2004, The Sun reported that Princess Michael who is married to a first cousin of Queen Elizabeth had told Black guests in a New York restaurant to “go back to the colonies.”
The most recent report of racism displayed by a British monarch was that of Harry’s father, Prince Charles was when in 2018, when he remarked that journalist Anita Sethi “did not look like she hailed from Manchester, because of her skin color.”