PHOTO BY TONE’O OBTAINED THROUGH CREATIVE COMMONS
We’ve all seen this story before: a prince meets a young woman, they fall in love and get married in a grand wedding. Yet, true fairy tales are anything but that.
Both Princess Diana and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, would deal with the hardships of being in the public eye and the abuse of the media. Both gave bombshell interviews that rocked the English crown. Both struggled with mental illness due to the royal family. Both Diana and Markle have similar stories side-by-side, yet there is one key difference: race.
On March 7, 2021 an interview aired with Oprah Winfrey, who sat down with Markle and her husband Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, to talk about their relationship with the British royal family and what caused them to step back from royal life. In this tell-all interview that left many wanting more, Markle opened up about how the royal family and British media were unbearably racist.
In one of the more shocking moments during the interview, Markle said, “There [were] conversations with Harry about how dark your baby is going to be and what that would mean or look like.”
This statement alone pulled at the seams of the already-falling-apart monarchy. The royal family, who are white and rich, has a history of racism, including their most recent silence during the Black Lives Movement. This conversation with Winfrey solidified some thoughts that many already believed: that the British crown is racist and unwilling to evolve with society.
The issue is, will this tarnish the royal family’s reputation? The question will go explicitly unanswered, yet there is clear-cut evidence that the crown is dealing with this like any other PR crisis.
The royal family has had a plethora of crises in the past, including Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s Nazi connections, Prince Charles’s affair with Camilla, Princess Diana’s death and Prince Andrew’s connection to Jeffrey Epstein.
The royal crown is centuries old, with centuries of crises larger than that.
The royal family might survive this, but that does not mean that they are invincible. Time and time again the crown does not take responsibility for its actions, which may be due to how the people of England idolize and feel towards the crown. The monarchy exists to keep traditions alive, yet when the family does not evolve its beliefs or morals, it cannot reflect the society that it represents.