Remember When This Royal Princess Wore a Racist Brooch to Meet Meghan Markle for the First Time?
Remember when Princess Michael of Kent wore a racist brooch to meet Meghan Markle for the first time?
In December 2017, Princess Michael of Kent — wife of Prince Michael of Kent, Queen Elizabeth II's first cousin — was spotted wearing a racially offensive brooch on her coat while arriving to the palace for the Queen's annual Christmas luncheon.
The event marked Markle's first time attending the Christmas lunch hosted by the Queen, and also happened to be her first time meeting some members of the Royal Family, including Princess Michael.
Observant followers noticed the brooch worn by Princess Michael and called out the royal on social media for wearing it to the luncheon.
“Ummm, did anyone else clock this? notorious racist princess michael of kent wearing a Moor broach while attending lunch with Meghan Markle,” one Twitter user noted at the time.
Blackamoor, the style of brooch she was wearing, historically depicts African people as exoticized figures and fetishizes slavery. It is widely considered offensive, CNN explained.
“The brooch was a gift and had been worn many times before. Princess Michael is very sorry and distressed that it has caused offense,” her representative said in a statement following the controversy.
Princess Michael’s decision to wear the brooch came at the same time as Markle's engagement to Prince Harry brought about discussions regarding racism and classism in British high society. At the time, the American actress was about to become the first biracial person to join the U.K.'s royal family.
Former Chef to the British Royal Family, Darren McGrad, tweeted that Princess Michael’s decision to wear the brooch was an “appalling show of disrespect and jealousy.”
The princess reportedly vowed to never wear the brooch again.
However, wearing the problematic brooch was not Princess Michael's first controversial incident involving race. In 2004, she allegedly told a group of African-American diners in a New York restaurant to "go back to the colonies" after she complained that they were being noisy.