As promised, Oprah Winfrey’s tell-all interview with Meghan Markle included no shortage of revelations about what life was like as the Duchess of Sussex. One of the most upsetting things she shared was how the royal family handled the topic of race, specifically when Meghan became pregnant with her and Prince Harry’s first child, Archie.
Meghan said she learned through Prince Harry that members of the royal family had spoken to him and expressed “concerns” about whether or not their unborn baby would have dark skin.
As she recounted to Oprah, there were “concerns and conversations about how dark [Archie’s] skin might be when he was born.” Meghan clarified that no one spoke directly to her; the conversations were between Harry and members of his family. Harry then relayed the conversations to Meghan.
Oprah became visibly upset about this horrifying bombshell and asked Meghan to name the royal family members who had raised the issue of Archie’s skin color. She declined, saying “that it would be very damaging to them.”
Meghan was subjected to racist media coverage
The new book Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand addresses the role that racism played in the British media’s treatment of Meghan Markle. According to Harper’s Bazaar, the palace refused to refute negative stories about Meghan the same way they did other members of the royal family.
The outlet shared an excerpt on the topic: “Traditionally, the palace has had no comment when it comes to rumors, but the Sussexes felt it wasn’t afraid to bend the rules if it was to correct a story about higher-ranking family members,” Scobie and Durand wrote. “Case in point: A spokesman went on the record in July 2019 to deny claims by a cosmetic clinic that Kate had had ‘baby Botox’… Harry and Meghan were frustrated by this approach.”
As reported by NBC News, the treatment of Meghan sent a loud and clear message to Black Britons. Eniola Ladapo, a student at the London School of Economics, told the outlet that she didn’t pay much attention to the royal family until Meghan became engaged to Harry. She recalled thinking how “powerful” it would be to have a child of African descent in the monarchy.
Ladapo described the treatment of Meghan as a “very rude awakening.” She told NBC News that “[i]t reminded us that we shouldn’t get too comfortable, and no matter how much we think we are accepted into society, we really aren’t.”
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