Princess Michael of Kent apologized for wearing that racist brooch

As you might already know, Princess Michael of Kent, the wife of the Queen’s first cousin Prince Michael, came under fire last week for wearing a racist brooch to a Buckingham Palace lunch. That would have been bad enough; however, Meghan Markle was also attending the event. The American actress (and Prince Harry’s future wife) has spoken candidly about her experiences as a biracial woman, and the prejudices she’s faced as a result. Obviously, regardless of Markle’s presence, maybe just don’t wear jewelry that could offend people.

The brooch in question showed an African figure done in the blackamoor-style. Blackamoor-style, which dates back to the 18th century, is problematic because it exoticicizes the African American body. The jewelry is widely associated with colonialism and slavery. So when people saw Princess Michael wearing the brooch to the Buckingham Palace event, the response was overwhelmingly negative.

Some pointed out that this wasn’t the first time the royal has said/done something racist. In 2004, Princess Michael allegedly told a group of black customers at a NYC restaurant to “go back to the colonies.” She denied that comment, saying she “pretended years ago to be an African, a half-caste African” by dyeing her hair black. Which is a misguided and racist thing to do, but that’s a whole other story.

Obviously, people were NOT happy with the royal’s choice in jewelry.

Now, the Princess has issued a formal apology through her representatives.

"The brooch was a gift and had been worn many times before. Princess Michael is very sorry and distressed that it has caused offense."

At best, the choice in jewelry was in terribly poor taste; at worst, it was a calculated move of disrespect. We hope that Princess Michael truly understands the message her brooch sent, regardless of her intention.