It ’s official, we got one in the Royal Family. On November 27th, 2017 The Prince of Wales officially announced his engagement to American actress Meghan Markle.
Markle is best known for her role as Rachel Zane in the USA series Suits.
Friends and family have described the couple as “an instant match” and a “love at first sight story.”
Prince Harry proposed to Meghan as they were attempting to roast a chicken at their Kensington Palace Cottage.
Markle describes it as “an amazing surprise.” Prince Harry said she rushed to accept before he could even finish the proposal.
As an American Divorcee, American actress, and most significantly a biracial woman, Markle brings some much-needed diversity into the Royal family.
As soon as the engagement was announced, the world rejoiced. Interestingly, a louder chorus came from Black women in a harmonized fashion.
The Royal engagement made up the top 5 trending topics on Twitter. Hashtags like #blackgirlmagic, #blackprincess, and #securethebaggirl began to dominate Twitter, in particular, “black twitter.”
— charly baltimore. ✨ (@_blacknirvana) November 27, 2017
— Torri Yates-Orr (@TorriYatesOrr) November 27, 2017
Me, scamming my way into this Royal Wedding pic.twitter.com/5Y9SDpzOUV
— Ira Madison III (@ira) November 27, 2017
British Lady church hats vs. Black Lady church hats 2018.
— Miz Jenkins (@TheChangeU12C) November 27, 2017
For many, Markle’s engagement is exciting beyond there being a royal wedding. It breaks historic stereotypes and social norms for a woman of color to become royal.
Markle is a biracial Black woman who has both embraced and struggled with her background.
In a touching essay for Elle Magazine Markle describes always being asked: “what are you?”
She said she watched her Black mother being asked if she was a nanny and saw her mother being repeatedly called the N-word over a parking spot.
In one of the most poignant and defining moments Markle describes being mandated to take a census in schools, forced with choosing between Black or White, Markle opted out.
“You could only choose one, but that would be to choose one parent over the other — and one half of myself over the other,” she wrote.
When her teacher suggested she choose white ‘because that’s how you look, Meghan,” the future television actress put her pen down in “confusion,” she wrote.
“I couldn’t bring myself to do that, to picture the pit-in-her-belly sadness my mother would feel if she were to find out,” she continued. “So, I didn’t tick a box. I left my identity blank — a question mark, an absolute incomplete — much like how I felt.”
Later in life, Markle would grow into a “strong, confident mixed-race woman,” she said.
Historically, the British Monarchy has been an institution that is entirely white. It has also been instrumental and a leader in colonization, slavery, and almost all forms of racial oppression.
In the words of Yashar Ali “This engagement is really quite extraordinary….a divorced American woman who is the child of a black mother and white father is marrying the future King of England’s second son. This would have been unthinkable 20 years ago…perhaps even 10 years ago.”
Meghan Markle’s engagement represents so much for so many.
Managing editor of The Root Danielle Belton describes the engagement as a fairy tale attainable for all women, especially those of color.