Meghan Markle’s powerful essay on her biracial identity
In this way, the Los Angeles-reared Markle will be the first American whose marriage to a member of the royal family will be embraced by the “firm,” as the family calls itself. Her situation in 2017 isn’t at all scandalous, unlike that of King Edward VIII, who was forced to abdicate the throne in 1936 in order to marry the twice-divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson.
However, Markle’s situation with Harry could be seen as controversial. What is also certainly groundbreaking about the upcoming marriage is that Markle is a woman of color. Her father is white, and her mother is black.
The idea of a member of the British royal family marrying someone who is biracial set off a range of responses on social media. Not surprisingly, the internet racists had lots of offensive things to say, according to Rawstory.
But mostly there was celebration, according to Refinery29. The celebration came from people who said, among other things, that it was time for someone to shake up Britain’s class system, which has long been accused of elitist and racist ways.
the monarchy is a relic of colonialism that—
[reads headline] GO PRINCESS! BLACK PRINCESS! [hits ferocious cabbage patch] BLACK PRINCESS! BLACK PRINCESS! https://t.co/iOf0cupqsM
— wikipedia brown (@eveewing) November 27, 2017
WE GOT ONE IN THE PALACE, Y’ALL! pic.twitter.com/ijYqJZqmIq
— lauren warren (@iamlaurenp) November 27, 2017
Actually, Markle’s biracial identity hasn’t been a subject the media has talked about much over the past few months. Part of the reason for the lack of discussion could stem from the unfortunate way the British press addressed her background soon after it became known that she was dating Harry, the Huffington Post said.
A Daily Mail columnist speculated on the “exotic DNA” Markle would bring to the royal family tree and described her mother as “a dreadlocked African-American lady from the wrong side of the tracks.”
Other tabloids used terms like “gangsta” and referred to the “crime-plagued” Los Angeles neighborhood Markle grew up in.
Actually, Markle is a “valley girl,” who grew up in a comfortable leafy suburb of Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley. She’s also a graduate of Northwestern University, one of America’s top colleges.
It could be that the media heeded Harry’s rare public condemnation of the tabloids writing pieces with “racial undertones” about his girlfriend, or of reporters harassing her and her family.
Then again, Markle herself may have diffused tensions by writing openly herself about the challenges of being biracial.
In December 2016, she penned a poignant essay for Elle UK. In the essay, she said she’s been asked to explain her racial heritage nearly every day of her life, from the time she was a little girl to when she was auditioning for roles in movies and on TV in the “label-driven” entertainment industry.
Markle said her parents met in the 1970s. Her father worked as a lighting designer for a TV soap opera, and her mother eventually became a yoga teacher.