10 European Kings, Queens and Noblemen Who Would Be Considered Black by the ‘One Drop’ Rule

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Philippa of Hainault

Philippa of Hainault  (June 24, 1314 – Aug. 15, 1369)

Queen Philippa was the wife of King Edward III and the daughter of the Count of Hainault; she was from an area that had once been ruled by the Moors. According to the website Englishmonarchs.co.uk, prior to marrying Edward III of England, Edward II sent someone to meet the woman who he wished for his son to marry. When the man returned, he noted the following: “Her eyes are dark. Her nose is fairly smooth and even, save that is somewhat broad at the tip and flattened, yet it is no snub nose. Her nostrils are also broad, her mouth fairly wide. Her lips somewhat full and especially the lower lip…all her limbs are well set and unmaimed, and nought is amiss so far as a man may see. Moreover, she is brown of skin all over, and much like her father, and in all things she is pleasant enough, as it seems to us.”

No contemporary images of Philippa exist; but the ones that are now propagated show a very standard, delicate featured, Caucasoid woman, absolutely nothing like the woman, the little “brown” girl described above.

Canterbury Cathedral Edward Woodstock  tomb

Edward, the Black Prince (June 15, 1330 – June 8, 1376)

Born to Queen Philippa and King Edward III, Edward of Woodstock was “the Black Prince” in more ways than one. While many presume he is known as the Black Prince due to the fact he wore black armor, he could also have been  because his mother, Philippa of Hainault, was a descendant of the Moors.

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