The Royal Wedding between HRH Prince Henry of Wales and Ms Meghan Markle will be this Saturday May 19, 2018 at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. This will be a first in the British Royal Family. She will be the first American to marry into the British Royal Family. She is also divorced but she isn’t the first member of the Royal Family to marry someone that has been divorced. Meghan will also be the first member of the Royal Family who will be of mixed race. Meghan is half white and half African American. However, she is not the first member of the British Royal Family of African ancestry. A little more on that later. Personally I am very happy that she will be accepted into the the Royal Family for the days of racism are over.
Here is some background information on Meghan Markle.
Rachel Meghan Markle was born August 4 1981 (ironically the same birthdate as Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon [4 August 1900 – 30 March 2002]) in Los Angeles, California. Her mother, Doria Loyce Ragland, a social worker and yoga instructor, lives in View Park–Windsor Hills, California. Her father, Thomas Markle Sr., who lives in Rosarito, Mexico, is a Daytime Emmy Award-winning retired lighting director, whose profession resulted in his young daughter often visiting the set of Married…with Children. Markle’s parents divorced when she was six years old. She has two older paternal half-siblings, Thomas Markle Jr. and Samantha Grant.
Describing her ancestry, Markle said: “My dad is Caucasian and my mom is African American. I’m half black and half white. … I have come to embrace [this and] say who I am, to share where I’m from, to voice my pride in being a strong, confident, mixed-race woman.” Her mother is descended from Africans enslaved in Georgia, and her father from Dutch, English, and Irish settlers.
It also appears that Meghan and Prince Harry have common ancestry. Among her father’s ancestors are Captain Christopher Hussey, King Robert I of Scotland, Sir Philip Wentworth and his wife, Mary Clifford, a descendant of King Edward III of England.
After graduating from Northwestern University with a degree in theatre and international studies in 2003, she played small roles in several American television series. From 2011 to 2018, she portrayed Rachel Zane on the legal drama series Suits. Markle’s film credits include Remember Me and Horrible Bosses.
Markle began a relationship with actor and producer Trevor Engelson in 2004. They married in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, on September 10, 2011, and divorced in August 2013.
Beginning in June 2016, Markle has been in a relationship with Prince Harry, met on a blind date that a mutual friend set up. The press began to report the relationship in October 2016. On November 8, 2016, the British royal family’s communications secretary released an official statement that addressed a “wave of abuse and harassment” directed toward Markle. The statement described sexism, racism and defamatory stories directed at her, including an unspecified “smear on the front page of a national newspaper”. During a September 2017 interview with Vanity Fair, Markle spoke in public for the first time about her love for Prince Harry.
Later that month, they made their first public appearances together at an official royal engagement at the Invictus Games in Toronto.
Markle’s engagement to Prince Harry was announced on November 27, 2017. By then, she had met Queen Elizabeth II, Harry’s paternal grandmother, several times. The ring Harry gave Markle consists of a large central diamond from Botswana, with two smaller diamonds from the jewellery collection of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales. Following the engagement, Markle announced she would retire from acting.
As I said earlier, Meghan may be the first member of the Royal Family of direct mixed race, she is not the first member of the Royal Family to have African ancestry, that distinction goes to Her Serene Highness Princess (Sophia) Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, wife of King George III of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, King of Hanover.
HSH Princess Sophia Charlotte was born on May 19, 1744. (May 19 is also the date of the wedding) She was the youngest daughter of Duke Karl-Ludwig-Friedrich of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1708–1752; known as “Prince of Mirow”) and of his wife Princess Elisabeth-Albertine of Saxe-Hildburghausen (1713–1761). Mecklenburg-Strelitz was a small north-German duchy in the Holy Roman Empire.
According to Mario de Valdes y Cocom, Charlotte may have had African ancestry, via descent from Margarita de Castro e Souza, a 15th-century Portuguese noblewoman, who traced her ancestry to King Afonso III of Portugal (1210–1279) and one of his mistresses, Madragana (c. 1230–?).
In a 2009 episode of the PBS TV series, Frontline, Valdes speculated that Scottish painter Allan Ramsay emphasized the Queen’s alleged “mulatto” appearance in his portrait of her to support the anti-slave trade movement, and noted that Baron Stockmar had described the Queen as having a “mulatto face” in his autobiography and that other contemporary sources made similar observations.
Critics of Valdes’s theory point out that Margarita’s and Madragana’s distant perch in the queen’s family tree – nine and 15 generations removed, respectively – makes any African ancestry that they bequeathed to Charlotte negligible and even doubt whether Madragana was black. In addition, Charlotte shared descent from Alfonso and Madragana with a large proportion of Europe’s royalty and nobility.
The House of Windsor has never denied Queen Charlotte’s claimed African ancestry. David Buck, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson, was quoted by the Boston Globe as saying “This has been rumoured for years and years. It is a matter of history.
incidently, Prince Harry is descended twice from Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, via her two sons, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Prince Adolphus, Duke of Cambridge. She is his 6x Great-Grandmother from the former Duke of Kent and a 5x Great-Grandmother from his descent from the former Duke of Cambridge.
Tomorrow, or maybe a day or two later, I will discuss the possible future title for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.