Cliveden House, the high-end hotel where Meghan Markle and her mother Doria Ragland stayed the night before the royal wedding, has placed two Blackamoor statues that have been in storage for decades for their racist connotation back on prominent display. The statues, which were popular in the 18th and 19th century, had fallen out of favor due to their racist symbolism.
The Daily Mail says that Cliveden House is now facing some backlash over the timing of the placement of the statues right outside the front door. Blackamoor statues generally feature black slaves in service to a master.
Over Christmas, Princess Michael of Kent wore a Blackamoor brooch and sat across from Markle at the dining table and was forced to apologize for being insensitive. Royal watcher Phil Dampier said it was just months later that the Cliveden placed their offensive statues back at their entrance.
“Cliveden were lucky enough to play such a lovely role in the wedding so the timing couldn’t be worse. It beggars belief.”
A recent visitor to the luxury hotel was disgusted by the racist symbols.
“I think this is highly offensive. Cliveden now has an association with Meghan as it’s where she stayed before getting married so it’s just as inappropriate as the Princess Michael episode.”
A spokesman for the National Trust says that the Blackamoor sculptures at Cliveden were being restored and have now been moved from the entrance to the garden.
“Representing the diverse cultural history of the nation sheds light on past cultural attitudes and provides us with contemporary challenges, but it should not mean exercising censorship or shutting down debate.”
Since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle started dating, they have experienced what’s being called “soft racism” around the U.K. It got bad enough that Prince Harry had Kensington Palace issue a statement that decried the treatment.
“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.”
Journalist Yvonne Ridley says that instead of appreciating Markle’s diversity, they want to whitewash her and force her in line.
“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.”
Ridley adds that the narrative is that people should ignore her “black part.”
“Meghan Markle might be part black but she’s really a white girl.”
Cliveden House has not yet issued a comment.