As the Royal family mourned the death of Queen Elizabeth, we could not help but smile at Meghan Markle’s grace under pressure, which is why we had to shine a light on other Black royals, including current ones and those who have reigned throughout history.
Actor David Oyelowo is a prince in Nigeria. His grandfather was the king of Awe in the Oyo State. In an interview with NPR, Oyelowo said that he does not flaunt this title because royal families are, “a dime in a dozen,” in Nigeria.
Prince Joel Makonnen and Princess Ariana Austin Makonnen of Ethiopia
American-born Ariana Makonnen met her royal husband, Prince Joel, in a Washington, D.C. nightclub. Joel is the great-grandson of Ethiopia’s last emperor, Haile Selassie. The couple were married in 2017 and are founders of the media and entertainment company, Old World New World.
Countess Mary Von Habsburg of Austria
Count Ferdinand Leopold Joseph von Habsburg-Lothringen married Sudanese Mary Nyanut Ring Macha in 1999. The couple wed in Nairobi, Kenya, where all three of their children were born.
Princess Angela of Liechtenstein
Princess Angela of Liechtenstein was the first woman of African descent to marry into a European reigning royal family. She met her royal husband, Prince Maximilian of Liechtenstein at a private party in 1997 and they got married in New York in 2000.
Princess Esther of Burundi
France’s first Black model was Princess Esther of Burundi. She decided to step away from her royal life and move to France after her father,Prince Ignace Kamatari, was assassinated when she was only 13.
Emma Thynn was born into a wealthy family and married into royalty. Her father, Ladi Jadesimi, is a Nigerian oil tycoon. She became a marchioness after her father-in-law, the Marquess of Bath, died in 2020. Her husband is Ceawlin Henry Laszlo Thynn, 8th Marquess of Bath.
King Letsie III and Queen Masenate Mohato Seeiso of Lesotho
King Letsie III of Lesotho and Queen Masenate Mohato got married in 2000. Queen Masenate was the first commoner to marry the king of Lesotho. They have three children together: Princess Senate, Princess Maseeiso, and Prince Lerotholi.
Prince Kunle Omilana and Princess Keisha Omilana of Nigeria
California native and model, Keisha was lost on her way to a model call when she met her husband, Prince Kunle of Nigeria. He did not reveal his royal title until two years into their relationship. Prince Kunle decided not to take on the traditional lifestyle of being a prince in order to have a more modern marriage and family life.
Charlotte of Mecklenburg
Queen Charlotte was the first Black Queen of England in the late 1700s, married to King George III. Her ancestry has been traced back to being a direct descendant of a Black Portuguese royal line.
Princess Sikhanyiso of Swaziland
Princess Sikhanyiso of Swaziland is the oldest child of the last absolute monarch in Africa, King Mswati III. King Mswati has over 30 children from polygamous relationships. The Princess is Swaziland’s minister of communication technology and information. She is also a mother and music artist.
Queen Sylvia Nagginda of Buganda (Uganda)
Queen Sylvia Nagginda of Buganda is the wife of King Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II. The couple were married in 1999. The Queen is the first in Buganda to have her own Office where she helps with the kingdom’s development and Uganda’s government.
Alessandro de Medici
Alessandro de Medici was the first duke of Florence, Italy in the 16th century, making him the first Black head of state in the modern world. His mother was a Black servant and some historians believe his father was Pope Clement VII.
Lisa Raye McCoy
The actor Lisa Raye McCoy was named the Queen Mother of Ghana by King Yahweh, a man who claimed to be an imperial king, at a ceremony in Los Angeles in 2019. She did have a crowning ceremony, but there has been criticism of the legitimacy of the title. Lisa Raye was also the First Lady of Turk and Caicos in 2006 when she married Michael Misick, Premier of the Turks and Caicos. Maybe the royal life really is for Lisa!
When Meghan Markle married Prince Harry, the Queen named them Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The couple are no longer active members of the royal family so therefore they do not hold the titles. When they denounced their titles, they also were stripped of any security by the Royal Family whenever they go to the UK.
The Windsor kids
Archie and Lilibet Windsor do not have royal titles as of yet. Since the death of their great grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, there is a decision to be made by the new King Charles III and their parents if they will be granted the prince and princess titles. In the iconic interview with Meghan and Oprah, Meghan explained that the titles are important for her kids because their royal titles will grant them security anytime they enter the UK.