By Basia Alicia Powell
I never thought for a minute that I would be waiting on Buckingham Palace to issue a statement to “deny allegations of racism”. How ironical? That is like asking me to deny that I did not give birth to my children. If the late great poet laureate, Dr Louise Bennett- Coverley was alive, she would call this, “Colonization in reverse”. Finally, one of the oldest and arguably the most racist institutions in the world is being called out for racism by their on Prince and his wife. I guess it is time for the monarchy to talk race.
If you were glued to your “teles” (as the English calls televisions) as I was on Sunday night, when the Queen of talk shows, Oprah Winfrey delivered the interview of her lifetime, you must understand how shocked I am at the details shared by Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Harry in particular lit a match that can potentially blow up the already tarnished legacy of his father, Prince Charles and the British Monarchy. It is reasonable to say that Prince Charles is still recovering from his dismal track record of being an allegedly cold-hearted and unfaithful husband to the late Princess Diana. Not to mention, the airing of latest season of The Crown, on Netflix, did not help Charles repair his image, as we were once again reminded of how his infidelity and obsession with his married lover , now wife, Camilla Parker Bowles, essentially ruined destroyed his marriage and consequently Diana’s life.
While watching this interview, I took the opportunity to look at the thread of Twitter comments regarding Meghan’s interview. I watched first hand how racially divided and polarized the feedback was. And while many people, including me, felt empathy and horror while she recounted the trauma of what some saw as her “fairytale”, others were callous about her shocking revelations of her experiences with racism and thoughts of suicide, that almost matched that of Princess Diana’s experience with the royal family. So to hear and see people ask the question, “What did she expect? Why should she expect to experience racism? Has racism been normalized? While Diana did not experience racism, she also experienced the assault of the royal family and the “firm”. More importantly, Meghan married a man who clearly loves her and like any woman in love with her man, she felt his love was enough to handle the challenges that would come their way. What is clear is he did right by his wife and protected her by stepping aside.
I generally don’t wait around to hear what Buckingham Palace has to say, but this one deserves some popcorn. It really does not send the right message anymore. Particularly when their lifestyles are funded by British tax payers and revenue from tourists like us, who visit Buckingham Palace frequently, from abroad. Many of the tax payers are of the same color skin tones as the royals, and darker. It has been almost 48 hours of silence since the interview with Meghan and Harry aired, and there has been dead silence from the British royal family and the firm. You may recall, in anticipation of this interview, the firm launched an offensive assault on Meghan Markle and tried to label her as a” bully”. That attack on her character, did not stick, and after hearing her side of the story, that ranged from racism to suicide, the palace’s silence has been loud. As a fan of the series, “The Crown”, I am secretly hoping that the writers and Executive Producers are taking notes and they would also consider adding Harry to their payroll for greater accuracy.
The Real Question Is, “Who Asked The Question About The Color Of Archie’s Skin
Were you shocked to find out that Meghan Markle experienced racism? I am not shocked that she did, but I am shocked that it was so blatant. The questions surrounding the color of her unborn baby skin and their refusal to give him the title of “Prince” left me with my mouth open. And clearly it had the same impact on Oprah Winfrey. It just goes to show how deep the scars of racism are, particularly in that institution. It is clear that the firm despised the half of Meghan that is black. Her “blackness” was her flaw. The fact that it made her more appealing to the media, was a “double whopper”, as it brought back the memories of Princess Diana. What was indeed startling to me was the fact that Charles (who I will not longer refer to him as prince) can cut off his son and grandson and refuse to give him the title of prince because of his black heritage. This interview set the record straight on MEGXIT, however we all all waiting on the answer to the name of the member or members of the royal family, that had a panic over the color of their baby.
I remember flying to London in 2018, to cover the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. It was an experience like no other. I had the honor of interviewing Robin Roberts and Gayle King and many others. We were all so excited. My cousins and I dressed up in our fascinators on the day of the wedding and as we did our media coverage outside Windsor Castle. I remember speaking to CBS’s Gayle King and she said to me during our interview, ” This was indeed a fairytale, as Prince Harry is marrying a black American divorcee.” Charles walked Meghan down the isle and later, her mother after the nuptials. We were all standing outside the chapel waiting for that perfect shot in the royal carriage. A black American woman had just married a British prince for the first time in history. Fast forward to 2021, this same woman got on television and recounted the trauma of her experience as the first black member of the royal. In return she she is being villainized by the racist royals, members of the media and their followers.
Prince Harry truly deserves the title of prince. He showed us that he is indeed Diana’s son. Many other princes would have chosen royalty over their brides, if faced with the ultimatum of a disinheritance. Harry is a real one. As for his father Charles, we we already know who Charles is. The British tabloids told that story over and over. His silence and that of other royal family on the matter is loud and telling. The British parliament, needs to demand an explanation from “the firm” on these allegations. No one should get away with the abuse of women and girls. One think that remains clear after that interview with Oprah is, no matter who becomes King of England, whether it be Charles or William, racism will continue to rear its ugly head in Great Britain.
Later on today, we will be releasing an “Ask Basia” video podcast on this issue, and by extension the challenges faced by women of color. This is with rreal talk, with real women . I can’t wait to hear from you guys. You feel me?
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