One question comes to mind as Prince Harry announced his engagement to Meghan Markle. Could this convivial engagement herald the end of upending global white supremacy? While the idea of a biracial American Princess might seem awkward, the eventual arrival of Princess-to-be Meghan Markle has provided an alternative narrative of the British monarchical household. Think about it, this might not be possible thirty years ago or say ten years ago. And no one could ever guess this about a century ago. Meghan was born to a white father and a black mother. All the women who had married into the British royal household were purely white and aristocratic. Imagining Meghan as an African queen might have been a Shakespearean re-imagination of Queen of Katwe in the British court.
In the past few decades, the women who have married into the British royal family have all aligned with a highly specific, highly conventional type. Princess Diana, for example, wasn’t only beautiful, white, and blonde, but also a titled aristocrat from a family lineage older than the Windsors, and a virgin. With a highly colonial past and deep history of subjugation, Meghan and Harry 2018 was almost impossible.
The social media reaction to this romantic knot is understandable. The trans-Atlantic slave trade and colonialism created the idea of a single African race. While there are a number princesses who are black and married to royal African families, marrying a prince of British royal household in 2017 is totally unconventional. The conception of black womanhood that scholars frequently cite — mammy, Jezebel or sapphire — is antithetical to the idea of a princess, a cosseted woman whose prince comes to sweep her off her feet and solve all of her troubles, was endlessly discussed before her wedding to Prince Charles. Yet, we could just forget about the race and focus on the love.