One member of the royal family is under fire and apologizing for an insensitive brooch she wore to meet Meghan Markle at the Queen’s Christmas lunch this week.
Princess Michael of Kent, the wife of the Queen’s first cousin Prince Michael of Kent, arrived at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday sporting a “blackamoor” brooch on her left shoulder, an 18th Century piece of jewelry that many believe represents racial conquest as the line is known for depicting people of color in positions of servitude. The brooch in question features a dark-skinned man wearing what appears to be either a turban or a crown.
Many fans of both the royal family and Markle criticized the move, saying it was offensive to wear the brooch given that Markle is biracial. Princess Michael has since apologized for wearing the brooch, with a spokesperson adding that she’s “very sorry and distressed” and vowing she’ll never wear it again. This isn’t the first time, however, the princess has been accused of racism. In 2004, she allegedly told a group of African-Americans at a New York restaurant to “go back to the colonies.” She later tried to make up for her words, but ended up digging herself an even bigger hole.
“I even pretended years ago to be an African, a half-caste African, but because of my light eyes I did not get away with it, but I dyed my hair black,” she told ITV. “I traveled on African buses. I wanted to be a writer. I wanted experiences from Cape Town to right up in northern Mozambique. I had this adventure with these absolutely adorable, special people and to call me racist: it’s a knife through the heart because I really love these people.”
Newly engaged Markle and fiance Prince Harry have been the subjects of many racist remarks throughout the course of their relationship, which the former has called “disheartening.”
“You know it’s a shame that that is the climate in this world to focus that much on that or that that would be discriminatory in that sense, but I think…at the end of the day I’m really just proud of who I am and where I come from, and we have never put any focus on that,” she said. “We’ve just focused on who we are as a couple.”