After Princess Michael of Kent wore an offensive blackamoor brooch to The Queen’s Christmas lunch, a spokesperson for the Royal has apologised.
Princess Michael, who is married to Her Majesty’s first cousin, said she’s “very sorry and distressed” over the furore that has been caused by her wearing the blackamoor piece.
The lunch, at which Marie Christine would have met Prince Harry’s fiancee, Meghan Markle, took place on Wednesday. It would have been the American actress’ first encounter with many members of the extended Royal Family after becoming engaged earlier this month and the appearance of such a brooch appears to be incredibly insensitive, if not outright racist.
Meghan is biracial, so the 72-year-old Royal can’t have made a good impression on her. Ms Markle has spoken out against racism in the past, and Prince Harry released a statement when their relationship became public, asking for people to respect her privacy and accusing some of racism towards her.
Blackamoor is a trope in Italian decorative art, gaudy in nature, which usually fetishises black people as subservient; it is thus considered racist and offensive to display such items. The brooch seen on the Princess’ coat was the bust of a black person with a gold crown and jacket bust, embellished with purple stones.
“The brooch was a gift and has been worn many times before,” the statement said.”Princess Michael is very sorry and distressed that it has caused offence.”
The brooch was apparently a gift, which Princess Michael has worn ‘many times before, without controversy,’ according to the site. The article also claims she vows to never wear it again.
This is not the first allegation Princess Michael of Kent has faced of racism; an unverified report claims she told a group of African-American diners in a New York restaurant to “go back to the colonies” in 2004. Marie Christine later denied the event, and went on to call black people ‘adorable’.
Baroness Marie Christine von Reibnitz married Prince Michael, the younger son of The Duke and Duchess of Kent, in 197 at Vienna’s town hall, as she was a divorcee.