Plenty of people are unhappy with a member of the Royal Family, and no, it's not the bride-to-be.
Princess Michael of Kent (wife of Prince Michael of Kent, Queen Elizabeth II's first cousin) arrived at the Queen's Christmas luncheon on Wednesday wearing a blackamoor brooch on her coat, reports Harper's Bazaar. Blackamoor decorative tropes, which can sometimes be found on jewelry, fetishize images and depictions of slavery.
UPDATE: In a statement made to the Daily Mail and People, a spokesperson for Princess Michael of Kent said, "The brooch was a gift and has been worn many times before. Princess Michael is very sorry and distressed that it has caused offence."
Approximately 50 members of the Royal Family were in attendance for the annual luncheon — the first one attended by Meghan Markle, who will wed Prince Harry in May. Guests included Prince William and Kate Middleton, and Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice, notes Harper's Bazaar.
But the only member to make a mark was Princess Michael of Kent.
Twitter users were having none of it, with people accusing Princess Michael of Kent of everything from rudeness to racism.
Apparently wearing slavery inspired brooches is the ultimate royal holiday tradition in the colonies where Princess Michael of Kent is so keen in the telling black people to go back to. Cant believe she wore this for the Queen's lunch first time meeting #MeghanMarkle. #racism?🤔 pic.twitter.com/IfQZdO8YEI— Style Me Royal (@Style_Me_Royal) December 21, 2017
Has no one noticed the Blackmoore pin that Princess Michael of Kent is wearing? Really? #MeghanMarkle offically meets the family and is greeted by THIS? #racism#BritishRoyalspic.twitter.com/o0BiaxdR9n— girl_ninja🙅🏾 🎄❄ (@girl_ninja) December 21, 2017
Ummm Princess Michael of Kent is rude AF https://t.co/difdfbZ8q5— Monica Murphy (@MsMonicaMurphy) December 21, 2017
The blackamoor motif is an artistic response to the European encounters with the Moors, who are "dark-skinned Muslims from North Africa and the Middle East who came to occupy various parts of Europe during the Middle Ages," according to New York University.
The issue with these pieces of art, especially used in the form of decoration, is how these pieces often depict "positions of servitude" and "personify fantasies of racial conquest," New York University notes.
Dolce & Gabbana faced backlash after featuring blackamoor designs in their 2013 Spring collection.
"I travelled on African buses....I wanted experiences from Cape Town to right up in northern Mozambique. I had this adventure with these absolutely adorable, special people...Princess Michael of Kent
This isn't the first time Princess Michael of Kent was accused of racial insensitivity, either.
In 2004, the Princess allegedly told a group of black customers at a restaurant in New York City to "go back to the colonies," after growing fed up with their noise level, The Telegraph reported. It would not be until months later, during an interview with ITV1, that the Princess would say she never made those statements, according to The Guardian.
"I even pretended years ago to be an African, a half-caste African, but because of my light eyes I did not get away with it, but I dyed my hair black," Princess Michael of Kent said at the time.
"I travelled on African buses ... I wanted experiences from Cape Town to right up in northern Mozambique. I had this adventure with these absolutely adorable, special people and to call me racist: it's a knife through the heart because I really love these people," she continued.
Last year, Prince Harry issued a statement after an onslaught of racist and sexist remarks were made towards Markle (whose mother, Doria Radlan, is African-American) when their relationship became public.
The pair even addressed the issue in their first interview as an engaged couple, with Markle noting, "Of course it's disheartening. 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 you know 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."
Perhaps those statements need to be distributed to all the members of the Royal Family one more time.
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