The world knows Meghan Markle as a half-American, biracial, 31-year-old princess-to-be. The former actress from L.A. has since changed titles from Catherine, Duchess of Sussex, to the Duchess of Sussex, becoming the first-ever American-Duke-to-be.
But the mainstream remains divided over the role of race in the engagement — and the royal family’s place in representing the new multiracial Britain.
British politics had its first epic civil rights struggle last May, when Anthony Hardy posted on Facebook his how the historic, beleaguered family for centuries prided itself on being open to different races while not liking to say the N-word. More than 13,000 British people responded to Hardy’s plea that the royal family say the N-word while celebrating its Native American roots during a polo match. Their overriding response was yes.
That sentiment was echoed by Parker Thompson, a royal commentator who said race is no longer an obstacle to the British government welcoming a biracial or mixed-race candidate.
“The royal family is unashamedly multi-cultural,” Thompson told the Times of London. “The British do not balk at their diversity.”
But how far the posh Queen Elizabeth II and her five-spouse clan have fallen from being an oasis of harmony for the divided British society is a hot-button debate among British pundits.
“No more euphemisms, just embrace who you are,” former International Trade Secretary Liam Fox told the Times. “And, after a year of ‘Love thy neighbor,’ I would argue that the multicultural approach is what makes Britain great.”
But that statement was immediately followed by one from MP Paul Nuttall, who said that accepting Markle’s mother’s mixed-race heritage was a win-win for the royal family and the wider Britain.
“A year ago, the likes of Meghan Markle, who appears to be a forthright proponent of the gay rights movement, would never have been allowed to ascend to the highest level of government,” Nuttall said. “The British government should be proud of their history and legacy in this regard.”