Did Princess Michael of Kent wear a brooch to purposely offend Meghan Markle? The wife of Prince Michael of Kent, the Queen’s first cousin, was photographed arriving at Buckingham Palace Wednesday wearing a brooch on her left shoulder. The jewelry, dubbed “blackamoor” jewelry is a bust of a black person adorned with a gold crown and colorful crystals.
Markle is biracial, her mother is Black and her father is white. The “Suits” actress was attending the Queen’s annual Christmas lunch for the first time. Given the intense backlash Markle and her fiance Prince Harry faced after taking their romance public, many believed the choice of jewelry was in poor taste.
Markle told BBC she was disheartened by the racist responses to her relationship with Harry. Adding, “You know it’s a shame that that is the climate in this world to focus that much on that or that that would be discriminatory in that sense, but I think…at the end of the day, I’m really just proud of who I am and where I come from, and we have never put any focus on that. We’ve just focused on who we are as a couple.”
Blackamoor is believed to have originated in the 16th century. The symbolism is up for debate, however. Some believe the images fetishize slaves of African descent. While other scholars argue that the blackamoor jewelry were actually representative of the Black Moors that ruled or lived in Europe.
Princess Michael’s representatives told TMZ that she’s “very sorry and distressed” she wore the brooch. They also said she has worn the brooch many times before without controversy. However moving forward she will discontinue wearing the brooch.