Newlyweds Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have proven that they might be the most understanding couple in all the land. After wearing a racist brooch to the royal family’s Christmas luncheon, Princess Michael of Kent was still invited to the Royal Wedding.
This weekend, Princess Michael of Kent arrived for the wedding at Windsor Castle – no brooch in sight – ready to celebrate the couple’s big day. She walked up the steps of St. George’s Chapel wearing a head-to-toe pale pink ensemble in perfect theme with the spring nuptials. It seems as though the young couple was able to forgive the princess’ choice in jewellery. Also in attendance were two of Harry’s ex-girlfriends, so it’s safe to say that Princess Michael of Kent wasn’t the only unexpected guest.
As Queen Elizabeth II’s first cousin, she might not have made the best first impression. The Christmas luncheon was the first time Markle, who is biracial, met Prince Harry’s extended family. Fastened on Princess Michael of Kent’s jacket was a piece of blackamoor jewellery – ebony figures often depicted in a position of servitude, a style that fetishises images of slavery. While the style was popular in the Early Modern period, it is now considered racially insensitive.
After much scandal, a spokesperson for the princess issued an apology, saying that Princess Michael was “very sorry and distressed.” Not that it makes it any better, but according to the spokesperson, the brooch was a gift that the princess has worn “many times before, without controversy.” After the event, many speculated whether it was simply a thoughtless mistake or an intentional choice. Hopefully, she has since retired the piece of jewellery, relegating it to a gift that she keeps in the back of her closet. We’ve all been given gifts we never intend on wearing.