Royal Split


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London, UK – 26th April 2018: The front of Buckingham Palace in the morning at sunrise with nobody around

Nikita Cardozo, Staff Writer

On January 8, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, revealed their plans to relinquish their positions as senior members of the British royal family and establish financial independence. This astonished the people of Sussex, as Harry is considered to be the second most popular royal after the Queen. In response, Queen Elizabeth claimed that she “recognizes the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and supports their wish for a more independent life.” While the Queen has been understanding, the British press has slandered Meghan as ungrateful and selfish for breaking up the royal family. As a result of Harry and Meghan’s actions, the monarchy loses not only three family members, but also the new, modern, and more progressive image Meghan represented. 

While people are more aware of issues surrounding racism in America, the black community in the United Kingdom is much smaller. The UK population is 88 percent white and 3 percent black, which explains why many were surprised when Prince Harry chose to marry Meghan Markle, who is biracial. Meghan, however, has embraced her identity: during a royal tour in South Africa, she declared, “I am here with you as a wife, as a woman, as a woman of color and as your sister.” According to a study by the Center for Social Investigation at Nuffield College, racist hate crimes in the UK increased by more than 100 percent during the year of Meghan and Harry’s marriage, likely due to the racially charged coverage in British media. A survey conducted by The Guardian in 2018 found that 53 percent of minority individuals in Britain “believed they had been treated differently because of their hair, clothes or appearance, compared with 29 percent of white people.” These differences have been accentuated after Markle, a prominent public figure, has brought racism to public attention. 

A Buzzfeed news article compared headlines regarding Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton, detailing the clearly biased ways Meghan and Kate have been portrayed in the media. When Kate was seen cradling her baby bump, the Daily Mail headline claimed, “Not long to go! Pregnant Kate tenderly cradles her baby bump while wrapping up her royal duties ahead of maternity leave.” When Meghan was seen cradling her own baby bump, the Daily Mail headline criticized, “Why can’t Meghan Markle keep her hands off her bump? Experts tackle the question that has got the nation talking: Is it pride, vanity, acting—or a new age bonding technique?” When Markle joined the royal family, the British press even went so far as to portray her as an angry black woman by claiming that she shouted at her staff and brought her sister-in-law to tears. While parts of predominantly white population of the UK has tarnished Meghan, the Black Briton community has expressed their support of Meghan and Harry’s decision, asserting that Meghan didn’t get the assistance she needed from the royal family. In the wake of this backlash, the British community’s question still remains: Did Prince Harry and Meghan Markle make the right choice?