Dec 23, 2017

    Princess Michael Has Apologised For Wearing "Racist" Jewellery To Lunch With Meghan Markle

    A spokesperson said: "Princess Michael is very sorry and distressed that it has caused offence."

    Princess Michael of Kent, who is married to Queen Elizabeth's cousin, has come under fire for wearing a blackamoor brooch to the Queen's Christmas lunch on Wednesday.

    Jonathan Brady / PA Wire/PA Images

    Blackamoor jewellery mainly dates from the 17th and 18th centuries, and usually depicts black Africans in servant roles which many consider racist.

    Meghan Markle, engaged to Prince Harry, was a guest at the lunch, and this would have been their first meeting.

    Jonathan Brady / PA Wire/PA Images

    Last year, Kensington Palace issued a statement on behalf of Prince Harry, which condemned the racist abuse that Markle, who identifies as biracial/mixed race, had been receiving online and from the press.

    In the statement the palace said Markle "has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment. 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."

    People noticed the pin on Princess Michael's jacket, and called it racist.

    Has no one noticed the Blackmoore pin that Princess Michael of Kent is wearing? Really? #MeghanMarkle offically mee… https://t.co/OrXwN2emaq

    Apparently wearing slavery inspired brooches is the ultimate royal holiday tradition in the colonies where Princess… https://t.co/JYeK4Y4lvv

    Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, a spokesperson for the princess said she was "very sorry and distressed that it has caused offence".

    Jonathan Brady / PA Wire/PA Images

    The Telegraph said it is understood that the brooch was a gift and there was no malice behind the reason for wearing it.

    It was reported in 2004 that Princess Michael had told a group of African-Americans in a restaurant in New York to "go back to the colonies".

    She said she never made the comments, but in an ensuing interview with ITV she denied being a racist by saying: "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."

    Earlier this week, Prince Harry and Markle released their official engagement photos. They are due to be married next May.

    Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle, December 2017.

    Ikran is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

    Contact Ikran Dahir at ikran.dahir@buzzfeed.com.

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