Some believe that her engagement to a prince somehow gives us non-White women hope. We are now suitable wives for British princes who can ascend the stairs of European royalty to be accepted into the world of British kings and queens. The injection of mixed American blood into a royal family that seems all too monochromatic is somehow supposed to make Black women feel better about themselves. And we should rejoice in that.
Don’t get me wrong, I am happy for the couple. She is beautiful. He is a Prince. They seem genuinely in love and a terrific match in principles and in their humanity. I even posted a couple of times on my Facebook page that I think it is wonderful that Harry has found his perfect match. But their union doesn’t really reach the sky heights for me that apparently, it’s supposed to.
Royal weddings always attract a huge degree of fascination. I remember when Prince Charles announced his engagement to Diana. She was considered to be an outsider. Their son Prince William married a woman people referred to as a “commoner.” Now Prince Harry has chosen as his bride an American divorcee who happens to have a Black mother and White father. So yes, I can see how that’s kind of a big deal.
And yeah, I get it, the whole fairy tale thing.
But come on….
Some Black women are treating the royal love match as some sort of measuring stick against which the achievements of Black women up until this point are graded. That somehow, we should be thankful that a “mixed-race” woman has snagged the prize of a real-life prince and we all should use this as a bellwether of hope to herald the dawn of a new beginning that as Black and non-White women we can now drag ourselves out of the doldrums and limitations of our lives to marry into British royalty. I mean the sky's the limit now!
Except no. I am not going to use their engagement as a marker for me as a Black woman to have “hope.” I am not going to tell a little girl to “look at her, she landed herself a Prince and so can you.” Black women make their own way. We always have, and we stand on the shoulders of the hard work of Black women who came before us. This is how we must continue. We need not measure ourselves and our successes and base our hopes and dreams on the event of a woman of color marrying into European royalty.
A “mixed-race” woman marrying a Prince of Windsor Castle is happening and it’s fascinating, but it does not “give me hope” for anything. What gives me hope are the women who have mentored me, the strong, beautiful women I have met in person, online, through Nappturality, my mother, my sisters, my friends.
I am happy for the newly engaged royal couple. Meghan Markle is her own woman. Her fiancée is a good man. They are in love. I wish them both a long and happy marriage.