CHanel Ambrose was engulfed by the sea of excitement surrounding the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The 30-year-old loved how much Meghan drew on her culture and heritage for the event: from the choir, the preacher, to her mother, with her natural hair, standing by her side.
She hoped that the wedding and what it would symbolize would lead to greater acceptance of black women in all sectors of society.
Instead, when it comes to Ambrose, Meghan has faced a torrent of media abuse and apparent hostility from the royal family. “And every time they examine it, unfortunately it reaches all of us,” he says.
In the run up to Oprah Winfrey’s highly anticipated interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, commentators have noted a demographic divide emerging between those who criticize Meghan and the many young, often black women, who jumped on her. advocacy on social media, seeing evidence in his treatment of how deeply ingrained racism is in every corner of British society.
Ambrose, an influencer and founder of the UK’s first black talent influencing agency, Camel London Creatives, said it had been “uncomfortable” for black women to see media coverage of Meghan. “Particularly her pregnancy and the people who get upset with her… I feel like Meghan handled it well at first, in terms of keeping her head up and keeping moving. But there comes a time when you have a bus of people getting in the way of your every move and you applaud them. “
The relationship between members of the royal family appeared to sink to new depths on Wednesday when Buckingham Palace announced, in a highly unusual statement, that it would investigate allegations of intimidation against the Duchess of Sussex by former royal staff.
For Natasha Mulenga, writer and host of the A Soulful Storm podcast, the allegations appeared to directly influence the “angry and stalking black woman trope.” “He’s so lazy it’s almost comical,” he said.
Mulenga believes that the royal family has missed the opportunity to be seen as a reformed institution. “They really could have taken this opportunity to at least present a new leaf and show a new side.”
He rejected the argument that the media’s treatment of Meghan has nothing to do with her race. “I think a big part of the reason Meghan doesn’t like them is that she is not a weak-willed woman. I think she almost embodies the black woman they fear. The black woman who uses her own voice and the black woman who takes control of her own narrative ”.
All three women believe that the current controversy is further proof that the UK has not taken into account its history and the role it has played in worsening racial inequalities.
Kimberly McIntosh, author of the upcoming book Black Girl, No Magic, said: “I’m ashamed to admit it, but I’ll admit it. I got caught up in [the wedding] a bit. I didn’t follow the royal family, but I was reading all about this wedding. I’ve never been someone to believe that the royal family will ever be a progressive institution, but I felt something. Even if that’s not a very good thing to say, there was something poignant about it. ”
She added: “It’s just sad. It’s not new, but it speaks to the undercurrent of how the British media works and how they treat people of color. “
McIntosh looks forward to seeing the interview. “They are not willing to sit back and suffer in the general British masochistic way. They have said no. They made the decision to start over. They are having a conversation on their own terms about what they think they have experienced and I am ready to hear it. “
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism