British royal family displays racist undertones: Should it surprise Indians?

10 March, 2021 | newsx bureau

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Meghan Markle in an exclusive interview with Oprah Winfrey has accused the British Royal Family of pushing her to the verge of suicide. Should it surprise us after 200 years of British rule?

Meghan Markle, the wife of Prince Harry has accused the British Royal Family of pushing her to the verge of suicide in an exclusive interview with Oprah Winfrey. The 39-year-old, whose mother is black and father is white commented that she had been naïve before she had married into the family in 2018, although she had been experiencing suicidal thoughts and considering self-harm. She had been pleading for help but with no response.

Her son Archie, who is aged one, she said has been denied the title of Prince because there has been a consensus within the Royal Family of how dark his skin colour might be and that “there had been conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born”. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Markle commented that “They didn’t want him to be a prince” which was aired on CBS on 7th March 2021. 

However, she declined who might have aired these concerns as well did Harry. He added that his family had cut him off financially and that his father, Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, refused to take his phone calls and had let him down. Nonetheless, Buckingham Palace has yet to release its comment on the interview which had aired early in the morning on Britain.

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Neither Markle nor Harry accused Queen Elizabeth directly, although she has always felt that the Royal Family has been uncaring towards her. She has accused Kate, the wife of Prince William, of making her cry before their wedding. The Royal Family including Prince Charles has been openly critiqued by Markle. She commented that her voice has been silenced by “the Firm”  headed by Queen Elizabeth with her predicament paid no heed at all. “I just didn’t want to be alive anymore. And that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought. And I remember how he [Harry] just cradled me,” Meghan said, wiping away tears.

Their announcement in January 2020 that they intend to step down from their royal roles had put the Royal Family into crisis. It was confirmed by the Buckingham Palace that this split would be permanent as Harry and Markle would be beginning an independent life in the  United States. Harry stated that he stepped down from royal duties because there was a lack of understanding and was worried that he did not want history to repeat itself, referring to his mother’s death in 1997. “I feel really let down and my family literally cut me off financially.” The treatment by the Royal Family depicts how an outdated British institution has lashed out against a modern woman which has undertones of racism. 

Meghan told Winfrey that the people within the Royal Institution has failed to protect her against malicious claims but lied to protect other people and said, “It was only once we were married and everything started to really worsen that I came to understand that not only was I not being protected but that they were willing to lie to protect other members of the family”. She even denied that she had made Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge cry but pointed out that the reverse happened. When asked if she made a cry, she commented, ” “The reverse happened. A few days before the wedding [Kate] was upset about something, pertaining to, yes, the issue was correct, about the flower girl dresses, and it made me cry. And it really hurt my feelings.”

The 200 years that the British Empire ruled India, its policies echoed racism. The prevalent belief was non-interference in the customs of the Indian society, although without moral education the natives would retain rebelliousness and savageness. However, even if the British renounced non-interference displayed their image as benevolent and compassionate towards the Indians, their stratagem projected another. But, it should not surprise us at all.

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