November 27, 2017

Lots of talk of religion and "royal blood," but not a word about race in BBC's announcement of the engagement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle."

"Their married home will be the prince's current residence Nottingham Cottage, on the grounds of Kensington Palace - where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, with Prince George and Princess Charlotte, also have an apartment," BBC reports.
Until recently, a union with Ms Markle would have ruled Prince Harry out of succeeding to the throne - due to her being a Roman Catholic. But new rules on royal succession came into force in 2015, allowing members of the Royal Family to marry a Roman Catholic and become king or queen.

The instant Prince Harry and Ms Markle are pronounced "man and wife" she will automatically become Her Royal Highness, Princess Henry of Wales. However, she does not automatically become Princess Meghan - because she is not of royal blood.
Here's a NY Post column by David Kaufman from September: "Why almost no one is talking about Meghan Markle’s race."
... Meghan Markle is black — or at least as black as our first black president, Barack Obama — born to an African-American mother and white father in Los Angeles. Yet, in stark contrast to the endless clamor surrounding Obama, there’s been surprisingly little discussion about the skin color of the world’s highest-profile potential bride.

Don’t blame the silence on Markle — who’s hardly shied away from sharing her multi-culti background....

Part of the reason for the lack of discussion around this admittedly sensitive subject may be because of what happened when the British press tried talking about her background initially: UK tabloids used terms like “gangsta,” “slave ancestors” and “crime plagued” to describe Markle, her family and her childhood neighborhood in Los Angeles.

Harry’s reaction was swift and clear — lay off. But in removing racism from the Markle story, the palace also erased race, reducing Markle to just another raven-haired pretty face rather than the African-American pioneer she actually is (and the cultural modernizer the royal family so desperately needs).....
Kaufman thinks we should talk about Markle's race. It's "a big deal — and we should say so." But the prevailing opinion seems to be something like: 1. Markle should be spoken of as the individual that she is (and we all are), 2. Talking about race is theoretically a good idea, but we're actually not very good at it, 3. We want to keep things pretty for Harry and Meghan (because that makes us feel good), 4. Even if Markle has already spoken about race, it remains her prerogative to decide just how much her race will be talked about, and 5. It's not like Obama, because he was a politician, and millions of people were deciding whether to merge our identity with his, but Meghan and Harry are getting married and it's (mostly) about them deciding to devote themselves to each other.

83 comments:

David Begley said...

I just saw and heard of this woman for the first on TV. She didn’t look black to me at first glance.

Also no mention that she went to a Catholic high school run by nuns.

Biotrekker said...

It's obvious, isn't it? Meghan Markle doesn't "look black". Obama does. All the blathering about race and genetics and endless analytics comes down to what the person looks like or seems like. That's a heuristic that is deeply ingrained in us all.

Ralph L said...

She's also a divorcee, which used to be a no-no with the royals and the C of E.

She'll have to have some babies quickly or risk Down's Syndrome and decreased fertility. Got to push Andy's daughters down the line of succession.

rhhardin said...

That's bad news. We can't make fun of the royals this time without being racist.

Enforced seriousness will rule around the ceremony.

David Begley said...

She is historic in another way. Northwestern alum. The Big Ten comes to the royals.

Paco Wové said...

Americans shouldn't care what the U.K. royals do. At least not in public.

james james said...

Good for her, good for him, good for England.

Maybe good for racists, too, but you can't have everything.

Nowadays not even the Monarchy can have everything.

It was good to be King. Two hundred-plus years ago.

-jj

Saint Croix said...

she is hot

way hot

way way way hot

hottest princess ever

pay attention Disney

I know grown men aren't your target audience

but this is what a princess should look like

Rob said...

Not of royal blood, the poor dear. I wonder what the criteria are for that.

Saint Croix said...

oh yeah, she's in Suits

boy that's a crap show

that's pretty cool when your real life is more amazing than your fantasy life

traditionalguy said...

Good luck to her in joining the Saxe-Coberg Gotha family. That is a bold move. But will she take that as a last name, or use the family's PR name: "Windsor."

james james said...

I, too may be of royal blood.

I met a Nigerian guy on the internet who believes I have royal ancestry.

He just needs some money to help prove it.

Sure, it costs something now, but once it is confirmed I will be rich.

-jj

Ralph L said...

They'll probably finesse the The Princess Harry business by making her a Duchess. I don't remember The Princess William even being mentioned.

james james said...

The princess business certainly does attract attention.

Meanwhile the royals are keeping Prince Albert in a can.

You don't hear much about him, anymore.

-jj

Hagar said...

Mountbatten, Tradguy.

Being a royal is hard work; it s not for sissies.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

She’ll be granted letters patent making her a princess in her own right, or President Trump should declare war.

Darrell said...

When Doctor Who becomes a woman, anything is possible.

Saint Croix said...

Her parents got divorced and her mother raised her.






john said...

I'm late to this affair, but is it fair to pry into how many producers she has been forced to have sex with to achieve her status as an actress?

I wish I looked that good at 36. In a male way.

Lyssa said...

I just saw and heard of this woman for the first on TV. She didn’t look black to me at first glance.

I'm a fan of her show (but don't watch it now; it's gone way downhill), and when they introduced her character's parents as a black dad and a white mom, she threw out a little "Heh, you didn't know I was black, did you?" and I admit, I completely scoffed - yeah, we're supposed to believe that she's half-black. I was really surprised to later learn that she was.

The whole monarchy business is ridiculous, but they seem nice, so I wish them the best.

David Baker said...

There seems to be some question as to which one is marrying down.

MikeR said...

Probably they aren't talking about race because no one cares. Aside from some journalists who make a living at that kind of stuff.

Michael K said...

Maybe if Obama had married his white girlfriend he would have been similar. By choosing Michelle for political reasons, he also chose racism.

AllenS said...

What does the Black Lives Matter think about this situation?

Professional lady said...

I hope they are happy together. I've lived next door to a mixed race couple for about 15 years. We've never felt the need to discuss that fact with them and they've never felt the need to discuss that fact with us. We just like each other and keep an eye on each other's homes when we travel.

traditionalguy said...

Interestingly, the Saxe-Coberg Gotha family received the Tsar's dog and kept him at Windsor Palace until he died naturally...unlike the Tsar and the rest of his family. The Tsar's royal blood line also was German.

By 1917 it was time to re-name themselves after their Castle they liked best.

mockturtle said...

MikeR contends: Probably they aren't talking about race because no one cares. Aside from some journalists who make a living at that kind of stuff.

Bingo!

Hagar said...

Kate Middleton's Duchess of Cambridge act is the gold standard for this line of work.
You could bounce heavy mortar rounds off that and not even make a dent!

See also Melania Trump. She is it doing very well.

Curious George said...

So what if she's half black and half white. His father remarried a half white and half plow horse.

David said...

She's black?

Obviously I have not been keeping up.

Best of luck to them both.



Darrell said...

In the British satire show, The Windsors, Kate and Pippa Middleton are Gypsies. Nobody could beat Kate in tarmacing drives.

tcrosse said...

The Telegraph reports that her title is expected to be Duchess of Sussex.

Darrell said...

The Sweet Smell of Sussex.

n.n said...

The "No Labels" factions, and concerned journolists, are debating how to label her, him, them.

Bill Peschel said...

I'm all out of fucks to give, now that the New York Times has revoked George Zimmerman's "white Hispanic" race card.

Best of luck to them. I like the Brits. My weird mental map's crammed with their culture, history, landscape, languages, and people.

MayBee said...

I liked their body language this morning. Very natural and seemed very much in love.

tcrosse said...

So what if she's part black. At least she's not a Moslem. Or is she ?

Ken B said...

"hottest princess ever"

*snort*

Not even close.

Grace Kelly.

Kate Middleton too, but that's a closer call.

mockturtle said...

Hagar offers: Kate Middleton's Duchess of Cambridge act is the gold standard for this line of work.
You could bounce heavy mortar rounds off that and not even make a dent!


Yes. Contrast her to the puerile, self-absorbed Princess Di.

tcrosse said...

Yes. Contrast her to the puerile, self-absorbed Princess Di.

Be fair. Di was dealt a bad hand, being hitched to Chuckie Cheese.

SeanF said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SeanF said...

(whoops, let's try this again)

Althouse: ...millions of people were deciding whether to merge our identity with his...

My initial reaction is that there's something very, very wrong with this mindset (about voting for president), but I need to think about it some more.

Sydney said...

I'm guessing the greatest mark against her is being American.

Angel-Dyne said...

"Part of the reason for the lack of discussion around this admittedly sensitive subject may be because of what happened when the British press tried talking about her background initially: UK tabloids used terms like “gangsta,” “slave ancestors” and “crime plagued” to describe Markle, her family and her childhood neighborhood in Los Angeles."

And:

"Meanwhile, the mainstream press appears too timid to fully “go there” on Markle’s race — and only alludes to the significance of her royal relationship without directly linking it to Markle’s color."

Kaufman seems really put out that the tabloids aren't keeping up a full-Roderick Spode act re Ms. Markle. And he was so looking forward to hating on the racist, right-wing-extremist Brits that she would surely bring out of the woodwork!

So now he is imploring the respectable media to come through for him.

Big Mike said...

Kaufman thinks we should talk about Markle's race.

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."

John Lynch said...

Talk about age would be more appropriate. Producing heirs is one of the jobs.

John Lynch said...

...Unless the point is to not produce heirs.

tolkein said...

As you can imagine, it's all over the news in the UK. The race thing, well, this is what the Beeb said earlier:
Stephen Bates, former Royal correspondent at the Guardian, told the BBC earlier that Ms Markle's mixed-race heritage is not an issue for the British public.

"It’s not entirely unknown that royals have married people of mixed race before. I think people in this country, certainly, are very comfortable with that these days," he said.

"Fifty years ago... it would have been an issue then, but today I would have thought people would take it as not only absolutely commonplace, but rather welcome that the royal family has moved into that generation as well."

Etienne said...

More interesting, was Queen Elizabeth's husband Phillip, who's sister and her family and unborn child were wiped out trying to reach London before the war. Hermann Göring attended the funeral.

Rumour has it, that Bin Salman will rule Britain, and Buckingham Palace will be torn down to build the grand mosque.

Harry and William are planning to move to Albuquerque, after the Queen conks out.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Ann, you haven't heard anything about her race? I've heard "mixed-race" more on this morning's NPR than I've heard it in the past month. And, yes, she is exactly as black as Obama, who was never described as "our first mixed-race President." Why not?

Ralph L,

She's also a divorcee, which used to be a no-no with the royals and the C of E.

Enh, divorce created the C of E. Though it's true enough that it was the King's divorce, not his consort's.

Fernandistien said...

Kaufman thinks we should talk about Markle's race.

Say it loud "I'm a mulatto and I'm proud!"

Unknown said...

Good! That family needs some new blood.

Mike said...

Race just doesn't matter so much to people actually living their lives in America as it does to people whose job is to write about living in America. I think the same dichotomy holds true for the people of the UK Cerberus their horrible progressive press critters.

dda6ga dda6ga said...

But, but, if we don't talk about her race how are we going to work the concept of evil white men into our narratives, out story, our op-eds, out long think pieces in the Nation TNR. We must, must talk about her race...

Mike said...

I have no idea how "Cerberus" got in my post or what it means. None.

Darrell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Darrell said...

Cerberus

Hell Hound. Three heads.

Your comment made sense.

Drago said...

Left Bank of the Charles: "She’ll be granted letters patent making her a princess in her own right, or President Trump should declare war."

We should declare war anyway, unless the brits give up their secret to really good fish and chips.

I'm only 37% kidding....or am I?

Crimso said...

Shouldn't it be a time for celebration when the controversial thing is that she's Catholic and not that she's black? Or, conversely, should the Catholics take this as a cue that they are officially an oppressed class in this, the Age of Grievance?

William said...

I've always looked upon the Royal family as kind of high end Kardashians. She's very good looking. That's the most important quality a royal can have.......Do they still have hemophilia?.....They used to take a lot of flack for being German and being Catholic was an absolute no-no. Tastes, prejudices, styles change.

John said...

Is she a US citizen now?

Will she give up being a citizen to become a subject?

John Henry

Bill said...

Best of luck to the couple. In the coming years, I hope they restrain themselves from Oprah-style sharing and virtue-signalling.

Michael said...

I'll give it five years until she realizes it is not what she thinks it is.

mockturtle said...

I have no idea how "Cerberus" got in my post or what it means. None.

I was just going to congratulate you on the choice!

Bad Lieutenant said...

Aw, man, fakes!

mockturtle said...

Tcrosse counters: Be fair. Di was dealt a bad hand, being hitched to Chuckie Cheese.

True, tcrosse, but playing the hand one is dealt with grace and dignity is not just a Royal thing but a British thing.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Drago said...
Left Bank of the Charles: "She’ll be granted letters patent making her a princess in her own right, or President Trump should declare war."

We should declare war anyway, unless the brits give up their secret to really good fish and chips.

I'm only 37% kidding....or am I?

11/27/17, 9:33 AM


Save the warfare for communists. Just go to the Royal Guard in Stamford, CT, they've got the hookup.

Closer in, A Salt & Battery has a couple of shops well reputed, but haven't been there yet.

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Big Mike said...

@Drago, the secret is two-fold: fresh fish (no water when you cut through the beer batter crust) and the right temperature on the cooking oil.

LarsPorsena said...

I thought the big hurdle would have been her previous marriage.

tcrosse said...

I thought the big hurdle would have been her previous marriage.

It didn't bother his (presumptive) Dad.

mockturtle said...

Big Mike says: @Drago, the secret is two-fold: fresh fish (no water when you cut through the beer batter crust) and the right temperature on the cooking oil.

My [British] husband believed fish & chips must be made with cod but I made it with halibut and it was better. He agreed. It's a firmer texture.

Assrat said...

>We should declare war anyway, unless the brits give up their secret to really good fish and chips.

Their navy is out of missiles so this would be a good time for it.

Char Char Binks said...

Rumor has it the Windsors (not their real name) already have Black blood through some Afro-Portuguese princess, or wherever. I'm sure they keep pretty accurate genealogical records, for those keeping score.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Fernandistien said...Kaufman thinks we should talk about Markle's race.

Say it loud "I'm a mulatto and I'm proud!"


Oof. That's rough even as criticism. Try: Wikipedia: Heterosis (hybrid vigor)

Related (from Wiki's article on "quadroon," under In Literature & Pop Culture): In Archer, an animated comedy series on FX created by Adam Reed, the main character, Archer, refers to mentioning the word "quadroon" to his co-worker, Lana, in the past, and her "freaking out". The term is also used by a female character in the show, Pam, when talking about Lana's daughter, who is of mixed race. Archer himself describes their daughter as potentially being an octoroon in the third episode of Season 7.

Archer: Quadroon

Jupiter said...

"But in removing racism from the Markle story, the palace also erased race"

You can't have one without the -

Uh-Ther!

mockturtle said...

Char Char Binks speculates: Rumor has it the Windsors (not their real name) already have Black blood through some Afro-Portuguese princess, or wherever. I'm sure they keep pretty accurate genealogical records, for those keeping score.

Could very well be so. Centuries ago race was not so delineated as it is now. Pushkin, for example, has back ancestry. Looking at old paintings of groups of people one can often see evidence of multiracial characteristics.

David Baker said...

Jet is reporting that his new title will be the Duke of Earl.

And her's Dixie of Peach.

The Godfather said...

Can anyone explain to me why HRH Catherine the Duchess of Cambridge (future-King William's wife) is still referred to by her maiden name of Kate Middleton? Shouldn't she be Kate Windsor or Kate Cambridge?

tcrosse said...

The Telegraph, a very Tory paper, is punctilious about the proper forms of address, and usually styles her as the Duchess of Cambridge. She has been knocked off the front pages lately by her prospective sis-in-law.

SweatBee said...

I don't know what he uses now, but William used to sign his name "William Wales." The royals can choose which of their available surnames to use, or they can choose not to use one at all.

Jon Burack said...

People seem more interested in the diamonds in her ring than her race. THis shows wisdom on their part and an understanding of what the royals are for. I divide my attention equally among both topics - which is why I knew nothing about the diamonds until my daughter in law quizzed me on them. She did not ask me a thing about race. My lucky day.

becauseIdbefired said...

In the list of ancestors, a King, a chopped off head, and a freed slave (Wikipedia).

Research compiled in 1997 by historians including Markle's great-uncle, Mike Markle,[66] revealed that her paternal great-great-great-grandmother was New Hampshire landowner Mary Hussey Smith (1823–1908),[67][68] a direct descendant of nobleman John Hussey, 1st Baron Hussey of Sleaford, who was beheaded in 1537 at the order of King Henry VIII.[69][70][71] Through Lord Hussey, Markle is a descendant of King John.[72][71] Markle is also a descendant of Captain Christopher Hussey, Esquire (d.1686) who was appointed in 1679 by King Charles II to govern the Royal Province of Hampton, New Hampshire. He was a Founding Father of Nantucket.[73][74][75]
Markle is a distant relation of Prince Harry. Their common ancestors are Elizabeth Bowes (1505–c.1572) and her husband, Richard Bowes, son of Sir Ralph Bowes of Streatlam Castle and High Sheriff of County Durham—ancestors of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother (née Bowes-Lyon).[76][77][78][79]
Markle's maternal great-great-great grandfather was a slave on Georgia plantations before being emancipated with the abolition of slavery in 1865.[80][81]