Princess Michael of Kent—wife of Prince Michael of Kent, Queen Elizabeth II's first cousin, sparked controversy earlier this week when she was spotted wearing an offensive blackamoor brooch while attending the Queen's Christmas luncheon.
Following the controversy, the princess issued an apology claiming that the brooch was a gift and she would never wear it again. Her spokesperson told TMZ that she is "very sorry and distressed" for wearing the offensive brooch and didn't think it would cause any problems as she had worn it several times before without any backlash.
Blackamoor jewelry portrays black figurines, often in positions of servitude that fetishize slavery, making this art style dated and racially insensitive. For this reason, the Internet was quick to point out how inappropriate Princess Michael of Kent's brooch would be in any situation, but especially while attending a luncheon with biracial royal-to-be Meghan Markle.
ah, the Princess who wears *racist jewelry* to lunch with Meghan Markle. RACIST. JEWELRY. https://t.co/pUEqDarkqN— Anne Helen Petersen (@annehelen) December 21, 2017
Has no one noticed the Blackmoore pin that Princess Michael of Kent is wearing? Really? #MeghanMarkle offically meets the family and is greeted by THIS? #racism #BritishRoyals pic.twitter.com/o0BiaxdR9n— girl_ninja???????? ????? (@girl_ninja) December 21, 2017
Apparently wearing slavery inspired brooches is the ultimate royal holiday tradition in the colonies where Princess Michael of Kent is so keen in the telling black people to go back to. Cant believe she wore this for the Queen’s lunch first time meeting #MeghanMarkle. #racism????? pic.twitter.com/IfQZdO8YEI— Style Me Royal (@Style_Me_Royal) December 21, 2017
It's unclear whether the princess intentionally wore the brooch to make a racist statement, though her spokesperson claims she did not. Still, it is difficult to overlook her choice of accessory for the luncheon due to her preexisting history of racial insensitivity. According to an article by the New York Post, the princess reportedly told a group of black customers at a restaurant in New York City's West Village to "go back to the colonies" after complaining that they were too noisy.
Months later, the princess denied making any kind of racial slur or remark at the restaurant. "I even pretended years ago to be an African, a half-caste African, but because of my light eyes I did not get away with it, but I dyed my hair black," the princess said in an ITV interview in a poor attempt at defending herself. "I had this adventure with these absolutely adorable, special people and to call me racist: it's a knife through the heart because I really love these people," she added.
As of now, no official statement on the subject has been released from either Kensington Palace or Buckingham Palace.
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.