Prince Harry’s relationship with American actress Meghan Markle has been his most public to date, so it’s no real surprise that the two are getting married next spring. But Markle is making history for being more than just the first American to enter the British royal family. She’s also the first Black woman to be engaged to a British royal.
That’s right. Markle, who was born in Los Angeles, has a white father and a Black mother and hence identifies as a mixed-race woman. That she is Black is something Markle has spoken about with pride.
The monarchy has never had a woman of color marry into the family—a designation that hasn’t been without speed bumps. Since the two started dating, Markle has been the target of racist comments in British tabloids, even causing Prince Harry to respond.
Regardless, that won’t stop Black Twitter from being excited about the engagement news. Markle represents visibility for women of color everywhere, including Black women living in the U.S.
the monarchy is a relic of colonialism that—
GO PRINCESS! BLACK PRINCESS! BLACK PRINCESS! BLACK PRINCESS! https://t.co/iOf0cupqsM
— wikipedia brown (@eveewing) November 27, 2017
Me, last week: The monarchy is bad.
Me, today: *makes black power fist* THE MONARCHY IS BLACK
— Kashana (@kashanacauley) November 27, 2017
She’s friends with Serena, Serena is friends with all of Destinys Child. That wedding is about to be so black.
— Darrell (@duhraill) November 27, 2017
— Rii (@LifeRiiImagined) November 27, 2017
Some see Markle as a dream come true. She represents a fantasy many young Black girls have—becoming royalty—that’s often missing in mainstream media. That’s because Hollywood largely depicts princesses as white girls.
This is all so beautiful and I just thought about all the young girls who will grow up seeing a black princess and I- pic.twitter.com/7BgqlVj65j
— sigh (@firecrackerroot) November 27, 2017
We got us a Black princess ya'll. You really can't tell me a damn thing for the rest of the day because it won't matter. Shout out to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Their wedding will be my Super Bowl. pic.twitter.com/WmBnGm5AuZ
— GirlTyler (@sheistyler) November 27, 2017
Guys, a American Black Woman is bout to be a Princess.
No one can touch my joy today.
— eatwords drinkstars (@akamami) November 27, 2017
And while Markle would most likely have the title of Duchess of Sussex, and her rank would really be through marriage… who cares about the specifics? Black princess!
“well actually she’ll be a duchess beca—“
GO PRINCESS! BLACK PRINCESS!! pic.twitter.com/uh7GNvFulf
— wikipedia brown (@eveewing) November 27, 2017
IDC IDC I root for everyone black! Princess Meghan!! (I also don’t care about their line of succession— she my Princess)
— Rashona (@Rashona) November 27, 2017
White people are gonna make it clear soon that Meghan Markle is technically not a princess but will be a duchess…BUT WE DONT CARE SHE A BLACK PRINCESS!!!
— jimmy c hendrix jr (@jimmyhendrixjr) November 27, 2017
Seriously, it’s about damn time a woman of color held some power in the Western world.
England really about to have an black princess 👸🏾.
I know all the racist whites are shaking in their boots
— lucky (@luckytilldeathx) November 27, 2017
A black woman will be at the topmost echelon of white European culture.
Punchedface McNazi’s gonna have a heart attack.
— Tim Wright: Get Off My Lawn (@timswar) November 27, 2017
I wanna live in a world run by black women!#BlackPrincess
— Falcon Eldeweiss (@FalconElderweis) November 27, 2017
But amid all the hype, some Black people are pointing out that she’s extremely light-skinned. While it’s true that mixed-race people often face racism and colorism throughout their lives, Markle is white-passing to many onlookers, making some Black women question how big of a deal this really is. After all, where’s the representation for princesses with darker skin?
“we finally got ourselves a black princess y’all!!!” pic.twitter.com/uZMH2Q6Xwp
— nae (@naejasme) November 27, 2017
It’s both true that biracial kids can feel like they ain’t accepted… but it’s true too that sometimes the black community is so quick to be rooting a 100% for someone that isn’t even claiming black, paying us mind or doing anything for, associating with the community
— CUZ I’M BLACK BITCH !!!! (@yayasword) November 27, 2017
celebrate a black american woman becoming a princess
without praising the monarchy itself pic.twitter.com/AteXmhhsb9
— folu (@notfolu) November 27, 2017
On the other hand, mixed-race women face their own everyday struggles. And Markle does, in fact, identify as Black.
— Meghan Markle (@meghanmarkle) October 30, 2014
So while some of the criticism is warranted, her story shouldn’t be downplayed. Markle sees herself as a Black woman and a mixed race woman of color, too. For her to enter the royal family is still amazing for women of color everywhere.
Look, we get it. Meghan Markle is not just black, she’s biracial, and will not be a princess, but a duchess. Either way, her being biracial is outstanding in itself to be in the Royal Family with Prince Harry. Let the black girls have a moment. 👸🏽👸🏾👸🏿 pic.twitter.com/0RAaEijJYl
— Lea (@_MissLeandra) November 27, 2017