Harry and Meghan — Royalty and Race
Last night, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan sat down for an interview with Oprah. You remember Harry and Meghan, don’t you? Got married in a big ceremony. Fairy tale wedding. American actress snagged herself a prince.
Of course, the big scandal was that Meghan was half Black. Had her beautiful Black mother at the wedding. Had a Black priest officiating. Had a Black choir sing Black gospel to let the world know Black folks was up in the palace.
Things were quiet at first. Then the British press attacked, with stories that were no doubt fed to them by Meghan’s new family members, and by her estranged white father. Harry told Oprah that his own father, Prince Charles, stopped taking his calls. Meghan said she felt isolated, and that the pressure was so intense that she had suicidal thoughts while she was pregnant with their son Archie. She said there was no security for Archie, and then Meghan said there were concerns about Archie’s “skin tone.”
Bottom line? This is not a story about misfits who couldn’t make it in the royal family. No, this is a story about race. It’s a story about a woman who married the man of her dreams, only to learn that she’d still be judged by the color of their skin, and belittled by people who lived inside the very castles that she dreamed of.
Meghan’s story reminds me of a line from the book of Esther, when Esther’s Uncle Malachai tells her that a member of the palace court is plotting against Esther’s people. “Don’t think that because you’re in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape,” he says.
And Esther decides in that moment to stand up and be who she is. And apparently, Meghan did, too. So what’s the lesson for the rest of us? Don’t get some title and think you’re gonna forget where you come from. Because in the immortal words of famed rapper DMX, someone will remind you.
Photo: Prince Harry & Meghan while listening to Bishop Michael Curry’s church sermon. By Tone’o