On June 22, 2020, Prince Charles made a speech in honor of Windrush Day, which celebrates “Caribbean immigrants contributing to the British economy after their 1948 arrival,” according to Page Six. The royal said, “the diversity of our society is its greatest strength and gives us so much to celebrate.” While some praised the speech, others questioned Charles for never addressing the racism his daughter-in-law, Meghan Markle, has experienced as a biracial woman.
One person tweeted, “These are just empty words. That’s rich coming from you. I don’t think you believe them. If you did you would not have sat silently by and let the Br. Media crucify Meghan you [sic] daughter in law and the only example of diversity in your family.” Someone else wrote, “Interesting that diversity is the strength of the nation & not of the royal family.” Another person posted, “What a hypocrite. People all over the world saw how Charles never stood up for Meghan and how he let William work with the press to torment her without saying a word.”
Others came to the heir apparent’s defense with one person writing, “It would have been very meaningful if his daughter-in-law Meghan was by his side…..oh yeah, she was run off to America.” Someone else posted a meme about trolls and wrote, “Meghan Markle fans who know nothing about what went on behind doors spreading hate to Harry’s father who funds him…”
It’s great for Prince Charles to support diversity, but where was he when Meghan needed an ally?
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have addressed racism against her
In November 2016, Prince Harry shared a statement via Kensington Palace about racism Meghan Markle faced. It read, in part: “His girlfriend, Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment. Some of this has been very public — the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments.”
In September 2019, the BBC apologized for sharing an image from a neo-Nazi group that described Prince Harry as a “race traitor” for his marriage to Meghan, according to The Guardian. The couple’s spokesperson said it “caused his family great distress.” Ultimately, the broadcasting company apologized “for failing to warn the Duke of Sussex,” but not for publishing it in the first place.
In June 2020, a 2012 PSA resurfaced with Meghan speaking out against racism. In the PSA she said, “I’m biracial, most people can’t tell what I’m mixed with and so much of my life has felt like being a fly on the wall. And so some of the slurs I’ve heard, the really offensive jokes or the names, it has just hit me in a really strong way.”
She remarked, “… I really hope that by the time I have children people are even more open minded to how things are changing and having a mixed world is what it’s all about.”
Prince Charles has been criticized for racially insensitive remarks in the past
In 2018, Prince Charles came under fire for a comment he made to a British journalist named Anita Sethi. According to The Guardian, he asked Sethi where she was from. When she said, “Manchester, UK,” he quipped, “Well, you don’t look like it!” Sethi believed he made that assumption based on her skin color.
In the piece she penned for The Guardian, Sethi wrote: “That the mooted next leader of an organisation that represents one-third of the people on the planet commented that I, a brown woman, did not look as if I was from a city in the UK is shocking.” The Independent reported on the same incident, sharing that Clarence House declined to comment.
Unfortunately, that very public incident wasn’t the first time Charles has said something deemed racially offensive. In 2009, NPR reported on an alleged incident that was much more private. It was reported that the heir to the throne used a racial slur while talking to a member of his polo club named Kolin Dhillon, who’s from Punjab.
Prince Charles allegedly referred to him as “Sooty,” which raised some eyebrows, but Dhillon himself seemingly wasn’t bothered by the remark, saying, “I enjoy being called Sooty by my friends who I am sure universally use the name as a term of affection with no offense meant or felt.”
Without context, the royal’s June 2020 speech had a wonderful message about inclusion, but, unfortunately, those remarks have been eclipsed by his silence about the racism his daughter-in-law has faced.
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