Princess Michael Apologizes for Wearing Controversial Brooch to Royal Lunch

Princess Michael of Kent is apologizing after wearing a racially insensitive brooch to a lunch hosted by the Queen that Meghan Markle also attended.

A spokesperson for the wife of the Queen's cousin told TMZ that Princess Michael is "very sorry and distressed" she wore her blackamoor brooch to the holiday event at Buckingam Palace on Wednesday, adding that it was a gift she's worn many times before, without controversy.

Another source connected to Kensington Palace told TMZ that Princess Michael was not trying to insult Meghan or any people of color, and that she's going to retire the brooch.

The princess was photographed arriving at the lunch in a car, where cameras captured the pin on her coat, which Harper's Bazaar reports to be a blackamoor brooch.

The brooch depicts a dark-skinned man wearing a turban and is a piece of blackamoor jewelry, which can be seen as a symbol of racial conquest.

The jewelry line is also reportedly known for depicting people of color in positions of servitude and the pieces are considered dated and racially insensitive, despite the possible argument that they appear to paint people of color as noblemen.

While controversial in and of itself, the pin's appearance at the lunch is even more notable because Markle is biracial. The actress has been open about her experiences as a biracial woman and how it has affected her throughout her life.

Princess Michael has faced controversies involving race before. In 2004, she reportedly told a group of black customers in a New York City restaurant to "go back to the colonies." She later denied making the remark, but her comments in doing so were racially charged themselves.

"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," she said in an ITV interview. She also discussed her trip to Africa, saying, "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."

The lunch hosted around 50 members of the royal family including Prince William, Kate Middleton and their children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, as well as Prince Charles, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice.


TMZ reports that Markle and Princess Michael did not sit at the same table at the lunch, although it is unknown if they exchanged words.