To Top

Princess Michael of Kent embroiled in racism storm

On Wednesday, The Queen hosted around 50 members of her family at Buckingham Palace for her annual pre-Christmas lunch before she and Prince Philip set off to Sandringham until mid-February.

This year, an extra buzz was in the air as the bride-to-be, Meghan Markle joined Prince Harry at the dinner table. It was the first time she was to meet many of who will soon be her family, and as such, she was probably nervous to make a good impression on them, they were excited to welcome her.

However, tensions may have been raised after Princess Michael of Kent showed up wearing an offensive piece of jewellery. The royal, who is married to The Queen’s cousin Prince Michael of Kent, had on display a blackamoor brooch which “fetishise slavery” according to Harpers Bazaar.

Embed from Getty Images

The consensus today is that blackamoor art is offensive and has many negative connotations. People have expressed their shock and concern on social media about Princess Michael wearing the brooch.

One user wrote: “Princess Michael of Kent isn’t exactly known for her tact but her choice of brooch yesterday for the Queen’s Christmas lunch can’t have been a coincidence and it was disgusting.”

Another wrote: “Has no-one noticed the blackamoor pin that Princess Michael of Kent is wearing.? Really? Meghan Markle official meets the family and is greeted by THIS?”

Blackamoor rose to popularity in the 18th century during the Early Modern Period. They are often African males depicting a servant. Full body depictions involve them in an unrealistic pose to hold for any length of time.

In both 2012 and 2013, fashion house Dolce & Gabanna caused an uproar as they used the art in two separate collections. First earrings and then on a fabric print.

Princess Michael has a history of making allegedly racist remarks, including an instance in 2004 where she apparently told a group of black diners to ‘go back to the colonies’ during a row.

Her Royal Highness strongly denied the allegations, claiming she actually said that she would be ‘ready to go back to the colonies.’

Since then, she has made some cringe-worthy comments including during an interview about her time in Africa.

She said: “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.

“I travelled 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.”

It has been reported the Ms Markle spoke with Princess Michael of Kent during the lunch, but as the brooch was on her jacket, it would be likely that Meghan may have not even seen it.

An article by NYU Stories did a story on the blackamoor collection in 2015 interviewing Awam Amkpa, curator and NYU professor of Africana studies who at the time had an exhibit of the largest collection of the art in North America.

Speaking of the art and its depiction, he explained the issue as its “to say that Africans are more acceptable as pieces of art than as fellow citizens.”

Ampka was asked by Dolce & Gabanna to work with them on their collection to which he refused. As for the earrings which the designers produced, he was worried about them playing off the “fetish” side of the blackamoor history.

  • bearzy123

    Will her majesty give this “lesser” royal a dressing down >? And, if not, why not

    • Elenore Robins

      You should take a lesson on life starting with (Why don’t you get a life 101). This is a new era and we’d all better be getting used to it. Love has no measurement called lesser

    • Elenore Robins

      I meant that she should take a lesson not you.

  • Peter Bradshaw

    What makes this thing offensive?I would have to see it before coming to an opinion on the matter. Is it more offensive than blacks calling each other the n word or dog. Oh in case you didn’t know I am black. I would cut this woman a lot of slack in the overly politically correct environment in which we live. As an aside people used to call me Jesus and white man in my community which is black because they thought I would be offended. I once took issue with someone pointing out that though I am of a light skin colour I am still black only to find out they were trying to annoy me. My father who was as white as you can be found it offensive when people called him whitey which looking back at it was foolishly thinskinned of him.

    • Canada

      Like other black or bi-racial people from the US and elsewhere, Meghan Markle is used to encountering racism and I bet she can handle herself very well when she is faced with it – whether it is subtle or overt. This old royal is a minor player in the British royal family and will be of no significance at all in years to come.

      • Peter Bradshaw

        Well said. Not too sure the lady meant anything offensive.

    • harleygrl

      Oh, you’re black? Then you’re a good breakdancer, amiright? Lot’sa rhythm, you just come by it naturally, do ya?

      • Peter Bradshaw

        If you really believed that I would only think you are silly stupid. Which reminds me a little Chinese student told me he was of the view Jamaicans all wore false hair. That my hair which is wavy he believed it was a wig or hairpiece. I just asked him to come pull at it. I have heard black people say black is beautiful red or white is corruption in reference to my light skin. Get over it that’s how people are of all races. A woman came up to me at a Christmas drinks party and said she hates light skinned people but found me to be nice Dwl Look stupid people like you by definition can’t do better. I find it funny when folk make a monkey of themselves in public.

  • Kim

    And so it begins…

  • Peter Bradshaw

    Can everyone just cut the crap and comment on how stunning Mz Markel looks. Fans of hers from Suits like me are going to miss her. 🙁

  • Charles Buchanan-Boardman

    Did Prince Harry choose Markle for his wife just to cause trouble and controversy? Princess Michael of Kent is an incredibly beautiful woman – always has been and always will be. She does not need Prince Harry’s childish tantrums. He undoubtedly brought attention to all of this nonsense.

    Obviously, Prince Harry is going through a stage. If Markle is unable to birth her own children Prince Harry’s only issue would be that of illegitimate children from his many concubines. King Charles II’s turned out well so I am not worried if this union does not produce any legitimate royal children.

More in The Kents