I am a mom of two awesome children who teach me more than I ever thought possible. I love writing, exercise, movies, and LGBT advocacy.
Just Let Them Be Happy
Who Cares About Meghan Markle's Background?
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are getting married, and I'm thrilled for them.
Of course, I have zero investment in their relationship, but it's hard enough to be in a relationship nowadays, so any time a couple seems happy and in love, how can you not root for them?
What I don't understand is the near-consistent emphasis on Meghan Markle's race and former marital status.
Yes, the Royal Family has in the past rather frowned upon their men marrying women who have been divorced, but that changed a long time ago. That was particularly evident when Prince Charles married Camilla, who'd long endured a lambasting because of her role as "the other woman" when Charles' and Diana's marriage blew up. The fact that Meghan Markle is a divorced woman marrying Prince Harry should not even cause us to bat an eye, and yet, there have been several articles wanting us to care that she used to be married.
For the love of God, it's the 21st century. Roughly half of all marriages end in divorce anyhow, so if she's gotten divorced and is marrying Prince Harry, who cares? There is no denying that she and the prince seem very happy and very much in love, so let's let them be happy and enjoy their time without needing to comment about Meghan Markle's past.
To an extent, I also don't understand why it needs to be brought up that Markle is biracial. Again, it's the 21st century. I realize that in royal circles, the fact of Markle's racial ancestry might have caused a few raised eyebrows in the past, but she celebrates her heritage, as she should. I do understand that if there's a racist undertone to any event that has occurred, that should be brought to task, if for no other reason that we need to know and do better. If it involves the Royals, of which Markle is now a part, then yes, the offender should be brought to task, but that does not mean that Markle's background is the reason why the offense occurred.
Case in point: People magazine reported that Princess Michael of Kent wore a blackamoor brooch at a Christmas lunch and attempted to make a connection to the brooch's racist background and the fact that it was worn during the Royal Family Christmas event where Meghan Markle would be formally introduced to the family.
"Princess Michael of Kent sparked fury when she showed up to the Queen’s Christmas lunch wearing a racially tinged blackamoor brooch — on the day Meghan Markle, who is biracial, was formally introduced to the royal family by Prince Harry," the magazine reported.
At this point, the world knows that Markle is biracial. Saying that the blackamoor brooch is "racially tinged" is enough to show that perhaps Princess Michael of Kent needs further education about what would be considered appropriate wear in the 21st century. No implications that Princess Michael of Kent was deliberately trying to slight Meghan Markle in some way were necessary. Just the knowledge that this princess lacks the good grace to avoid wearing a controversial piece of jewelry is enough information that even members of the Royal Family need education about what is and is not appropriate behavior in the 21st century.
As an aside, a blackamoor brooch is, according to Sky News, a depiction of "an African or non-European male, as a servant. They have a complex history as they were once considered to be a tribute to the people they represented."
Princess Michael of Kent's decision to wear this appalls me, regardless of whether or not Meghan Markle was attending the same event. If she chose to wear it because of Ms. Markle's heritage, she needs a lesson in manners and class. Racist behavior disgusts me, regardless of what social status one might hold, and it should disgust more people than it does.
I understand that as the May 19 wedding date approaches there will be an increasing amount of buzz about pretty much everything to do with Ms. Markle. She's a stunning woman who has captured the heart of a man who's always gotten a lot of media attention - as much for his behavior as he has for his romances. She's going to be a very public figure for the rest of her life, and while she is biracial and she is a divorced woman, isn't the fact that she's also spent a number of years trying to make the world a better place worthy of attention?
She's worked with the UN, World Vision and One Young World. These are the things that should be celebrated rather than looking at ways to stir controversy by mentioning that she's marrying into the Royal Family as a divorced, biracial woman at every opportunity.
She's trying to make the world a better place.
She's a beautiful, stunning woman with a great smile.
She's proud of her heritage, and she should be - that's never in question. That's something that should be celebrated.
What I take exception to is the media mentioning her heritage as though it should be cause for controversy.
Why can't we say, "Meghan and Harry are getting married. Let's be happy for them, because she seems like a great girl?"