The Royal Family is Getting a Sprinkle of #BlackGirlMagic
The little Black girl in me is excited about Meghan Markle becoming a princess*.
As a true 90’s baby, I grew up in the era of Disney Princesses. Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty all filled my head with romanticized stories of what it was like to sleep through life, be poisoned, or start with humble beginnings - all metaphors for real-life occurrences I suppose- and somehow be saved by a man and become a princess.
These princesses, though varied in narratives, all lacked the same thing - diversity.
Of course, there was Princess Jasmine, with whom I identified with the most, partially because of her brown skin, but mostly because of our shared name. Then there was Pocahontas, who’s face paired with the blue and purple colors of the wind covered my comforter as well as every other girl under the age of 12 in the 90’s. And although both were princesses of color, neither were me.
The representation just wasn't there.
In fact, it wasn’t until I was in college that I was able to gather my friends, with purses full of snacks and head to the movies to see a black girl become a princess in the Princess in The Frog. Still, I thought, “Princess Tiana? She’s an anomaly.”
Now don’t get me wrong, I know that being of African descent, I come from a long line of Kings and Queens and there have been and are plenty of Black princesses. However, never in my twenty-seven years - with the exception of Princess Tiana and the Brandy Cinderella - have I seen a mainstream push to highlight a black princess. Marrying into a royal family was more than a fairytale for little black girls, it was something we could be sure would never happen.
So, because of this, you could imagine my excitement when I heard that this Spring Meghan Markel will make history and become the first modern Black princess of the Royal Family. I say modern because while writing this I was informed of the mulatto Queen Charlotte, but we'll save that history lesson for another post.
Nevertheless, I am excited. Not only am I happy to see a princess who’s mother twists her hair at night the same way mine does, but I am happy to see a princess that didn’t need a prince to save her. Meghan, who is American and biracial, is a celebrated actress in her own right. She's most commonly known for her role Rachel Zane on the USA Network's "Suits."
* Because Meghan was not born into Royalty her official title may not be Princess Meghan but rather Her Royal Highness Dutchess Meghan of Sussex