Although I have never been one to #fangirl over any Royal activities, the latest royal wedding definitely had me wrapped in the hype, almost matching the hysteria of the rest of the world. We all already know why Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s wedding was different, it shattered a glass ceiling of sorts in the world of English royalty- Meghan is the first biracial Princess! In fact, she is really the first widely known non-white person this close to the throne. Of course this is significant in more ways than one, it is showing an “openness” on behalf of the royals to be accepting of a woman who is different from them for so many reasons. She is not only a woman of color, she has been divorced, AND she is an American actress. In a world set on deep-set tradition, Meghan’s presence made for media scrutiny and world judgment like no other.
While the wedding was absolutely beautiful and I am so glad that I got to witness such a grand event, I can’t help but question how monumental it truly was in the scope of the world. Many people are acting like Prince Harry marrying a half black woman was the cure for British racism, but it wasn’t. One of the larger, and much more deeply ingrained issues within British racism, and racism all over the world is colorism. If Meghan was darker-skinned, would she have been accepted by the royal family or the rest of the world so quickly? Would Prince Harry be interested in her at all? It is very easy to be happy for this progress-which I still believe it is, when it is a very fair skinned biracial woman in this position.
I do not write this to say that I think the royals are racist because Prince Harry didn’t marry a dark-skinned woman, I write it to question the world’s acceptance to interracial marriage in general. In my opinion, nothing about Meghan and Prince Harry is truly shocking. She is beautiful, successful, and could be considered white-passing to many. While her skin color does not discount her “blackness” in any way, she has undoubtedly had a different experience as a woman of color in America, and now Britain than many others with darker skin have had. Colorism is still a major issue that women of darker skin face every day, and I believe this aspect of racism has been minimized when considering Meghan’s acceptance into the royal family. Meghan Markle has been put on the world’s stage, and is handling the immense pressure with absolute grace and class. As a woman of color I am thrilled for her and Prince Harry, but their marriage in no way can be looked at as the standard for the world’s acceptance of all interracial marriages.