For Meghan Markle’s first event with her soon-to-be family, Princess Michael of Kent greeted her by wearing a racist, blackamoor brooch. The style choice was particularly tone deaf due to Markle being bi-racial.
The brooch, a blackamoor-style figurine, features a black face wearing a gold headdress and jewel-encrusted robe. Blackamoor jewelry is considered to be racially-insensitive due to its depiction of exoticized black figures and romanticized images of slavery.
Commonly referred to as "Princess Pushy" due to her aloof behavior, Princess Michael is known for crossing the line and has been accused of racism previously. In 2004, she reportedly told a group of African-Americans at a New York City restaurant to "go back to the colonies."
Months later she tried to write off her behavior by calling African-Americans "adorable" and saying that she pretended to be half-caste.
"I even pretended years ago to be an African, a half-caste African, but because of my light eye color I did not get away with it, but I dyed my hair black," she said in an attempt to justify her actions.
She went on to say, "I had this adventure [in Africa] with these absolutely adorable, special people and to call me racist: It's a knife through the heart because I really love these people."
For reference, "half-caste" is a way of someone saying they are a mixed race. This, however, is also inappropriate as "caste" insinuates that you are pure, meaning "half-caste" is "half-pure" or "half-breed." It is also important to note that most dictionaries flag or label this term as derogatory and offensive.
Princess Michael has since apologized, saying she is both "sorry" and "distressed" over the situation and that she meant no harm or ill will toward Markle. She also announced that the backlash she's received has motivated her to no longer wear the brooch.
Hopefully, Princess Michael will dress more appropriately for future royal events and be more aware of racially-sensitive topics.