Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have been virtually inseparable since they met. Although it seems to have covered all of the benchmarks for the fifth in line to the throne, the relationship has not made it to the point of an engagement. Markle has left her job on the series Suits and moved to London, so what’s going on? What is preventing Prince Harry and Kensington Palace from pulling the trigger on a Meghan Markle/Prince Harry wedding?
It’s hard to deny that what some are calling “soft racism” exists, and it has been bad enough in the press for Prince Harry to have a statement issued by Kensington Palace in an attempt to call off the media dogs to leave Markle alone. But while Queen Elizabeth has met Meghan Markle and reportedly hit it off, she isn’t deaf and knows that there will sadly be some disapproval for Markle and Prince Harry as a “mixed-race” couple.
The statement from Kensington Palace on behalf of Prince Harry indicated that things had gotten worse in the press for Markle and the Markle family, and the royal family, Meghan Markle, and Prince Harry were feeling it.
“Some of this has been very public – the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments. Some of it has been hidden from the public – the nightly legal battles to keep defamatory stories out of papers.”
While Meghan Markle and Prince Harry seem very much in love, the reported push as of late to share Markle’s ancestry as English in the press is reportedly an attempt to “whitewash” Markle for British consumption. There were documentaries and various articles about how Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are distant cousins, connected through Prince Harry’s great-grandmother, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. The media campaign seems to be packaging Markle as an English girl rather than a bi-racial American.
The stories in the press traced Meghan Markle’s family back to various spots in the U.K., France, and Germany, giving her some European cred. But Yvonne Ridley of the Herald Scotland calls the “whitewashing” of Meghan Markle disgraceful. Ridley claims that all this talk of Markle’s British ancestry “bears all the hallmarks of the palace spin doctors.”
Ridley, a formal royal correspondent, says she recognizes the signs that the palace is trying to spin a story or situation to paint an “appropriate” picture of Meghan Markle.
“Instead of celebrating her ethnic background the white colonialists from Buckingham Palace, Clarence House, and Kensington Palace are working round the clock to bleach Markle’s past.”
Yvonne Ridley says that Kensington Palace is missing an opportunity to welcome Markle, a woman of mixed heritage into the royal family and instead spinning the story to claim that “Meghan Markle might be part black but she’s really a white girl.”
Ebony writer Kehinde Andrews agrees with Ridley in his article “Fear of a Black Princess: Britain’s Royal Racial Problem.” Andrews says that even those against Prince Harry dating Markle, a woman of color cannot come right out and say it in our new “post-Obama, post-racial age.”
But he says that it hasn’t stopped some media outlets from peddling the soft racism that has to cause concern in Kensington Palace. Headlines like “Harry’s Girl is (almost) Straight Outta Compton,” which focused on the neighborhood where Markle’s black mother lives. The article continues questioning if it is the kind of place where “the Queen would pop round for tea,” suggesting that Mrs. Markle lives in gang territory.
Andrews says that one doesn’t have to read too much between the lines to understand that they are saying that Meghan Markle doesn’t fit in and that she doesn’t belong, even if Prince Harry is willing to vouch for her.
Do you think Kensington Palace is doing some spin to increase acceptance for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry as a couple by “whitewashing” Markle’s cultural background?
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