The soon-to-arrive royal baby isn't just a first for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. The new delivery will also bring the first mixed-race royal into the family (though history could have something to say about that, too). But don't worry about Meghan's ability to grapple with issues of identity. According to a piece that she once wrote for Elle, her own mom and dad set a great example as parents, which could be the perfect foundation for how she raises own kids.
Markle explained that her parents did as much as they could to make her feel special and not like she was some sort of outsider when it came to her mixed race. "My dad is Caucasian and my mom is African American. I'm half black and half white," she states.
She described wanting a Barbie family for Christmas one year, but was unable to find one that reflected her own nuclear family. It's a tough story, she says, because while talking about makeup, Pilates, green juice, and acting comes easy to her, addressing her parents is much harder.
"When I was about seven, I had been fawning over a boxed set of Barbie dolls. It was called The Heart Family and included a mom doll, a dad doll, and two children. This perfect nuclear family was only sold in sets of white dolls or black dolls. I don't remember coveting one over the other, I just wanted one," she said. "On Christmas morning, swathed in glitter-flecked wrapping paper, there I found my Heart Family: a black mom doll, a white dad doll, and a child in each color. My dad had taken the sets apart and customized my family."
Meghan went on to say that she dealt with being in some sort of limbo between Black and white and not fitting into any sort of box (literally — she refused to check Black or white on a census form in English class, choosing instead to leave the question blank), making it especially difficult to find roles as an actor. The royal baby probably won't face the exact same challenges, but knowing that Meghan's got a handle on it (her dad told her to "draw your own box") means that the wee babe will have a sympathetic ear no matter what they're is going through.
"While my mixed heritage may have created a gray area surrounding my self-identification, keeping me with a foot on both sides of the fence, I have come to embrace that," she added. Today she's not afraid "to say who I am, to share where I'm from, to voice my pride in being a strong, confident mixed-race woman."