ON Monday night, watching Meghan and Harry drop bombshell after bombshell, my jaw hit the floor several times.
But one of the most astonishing remarks the Duchess of Sussex made was when she said a member of the Royal Family had questioned “how dark” the couple’s baby might be while she was pregnant with their son Archie.
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It is disgusting to think anyone said that, no matter who they are. What did the baby’s skin tone matter?
We, as a nation, deserve an explanation. We need to know our Royal Family is not racist.
The person responsible for that remark should come out and explain the context and apologise for causing offence.
It is such a big topic and we are talking about the Royal Family here — which rules over a multicultural nation and the Commonwealth.
This cannot be brushed under the carpet.
I think it is indefensible, but if it is not true, come out and defend yourself.
How are black people, or any ethnic minorities, supposed to view the royals if we think there is a racist in their midst?
FEELS LIKE COP OUT
Although it was one of the most shocking points in the Oprah interview, I also was not completely surprised.
My first thought was: “Here we go again.”
Sadly, what Meghan said about how she was treated is totally believable. Ask any black person and they will be able to relate.
If Meghan is telling you she suffered racism in the palace, then she did. It is as simple as that. Anyone who suggests otherwise is not black.
Sometimes an off-the-cuff comment can have racial undertones.
It is possible the person making this remark was not aware of how their words would make Meghan feel.
So own it. Apologise. And then learn from it. It’s simple.
The royals are not above apologising for their mistakes.
Prince Harry made his own when he was younger.
After he dressed as a Nazi for a fancy dress party as a 20-year-old, he said he was “very sorry if I caused offence or embarrassment to anyone. It was a poor choice of costume and I apologise”.
Four years later, after a recording of him calling an officer cadet “our little P*** friend” was unearthed, he again owned his mistake.
A spokesperson explained Harry had used the term “without any malice” as a nickname, and that he “fully understands how offensive this term can be and is extremely sorry for any offence his words might cause”.
The only way to heal and move forward is to come out and say sorry.
Finally, this evening, the Palace issued a statement. For me, it was very disappointing. I don’t see how the claims can be investigated privately when the subject is now in the public domain. They are a public family.
The response came two days after the interview aired in the USA, nearly 24 hours after it was broadcast here. I can forgive that, because maybe they were waiting to watch it in full. But, just last week, they were quick to issue a statement about bullying claims by Meghan and Harry’s former staff and they didn’t say those were going to be kept behind closed doors.
I just hope they put the same vigour into this as they seem to be doing with that.
As to recollections differing, it feels like a cop-out. I don’t see how there is confusion over a remark like that.
When Meghan joined the Royal Family it was a huge leap for representation. Here was a family that had only ever had white members and had reigned over the colonies.
With Meghan, black and mixed-race girls saw them- selves in her.
How devastating, then, to hear that a member of that same family was concerned about her baby’s skin colour.
Britain is not a racist country, but racism still exists.
As former chat show host Trisha Goddard said in the Sun, racism does not always have to be shouting insults in your face. It is in the micro-aggressions that ethnic minorities face every day.
In my job I style celebrities such as Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden and Kelly Brook for shoots in Fabulous magazine.
That involves going round high street shops and picking up clothes for them. Yes, I do look a bit odd with an armful of dresses and pairs of jeans, but I don’t expect to be followed by security guards who think I’m on the rob.
One once followed me round a well-known store for an hour. If I had been white, that would never have happened.
When I confronted him he said he had a black girlfriend, which incensed me even more.
Just by saying that — if it was even true — doesn’t mean he hadn’t racially profiled me.
On the Tube I have seen women eyeing me suspiciously and clutch their handbags.
I feel like saying: “Babe, I’m carrying a Burberry bag, it’s quadruple the price of yours.”
Like Harry said, until he walked in Meghan’s shoes he didn’t see these sort of micro-aggressions.
You learn to grow a thick skin and ignore it, but it should not be there at all.
We have made great strides in the UK. The Black Lives Matter movement made a lot of people want to educate themselves on racism.
When someone says they have been hurt by a racist remark, don’t stick your head in the sand. Listen.
Meghan was really brave to speak out. It is a big turning point in terms of how we discuss race, and that can only be a good thing.
The royals have an opportunity now to take the lead on that.
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