When Prince Harry married Meghan Markle, people loved talking about how bizarre it was for a royal to marry an actor. But the media also spoke quite a lot about the Suits alum’s mixed-race background (her mother is Black and her father white) and complicated relationship with her dad. Even before the now-Duchess of Sussex met Prince Harry in 2016, she wrote an article for ELLE about finding her voice as a biracial woman. And now that she’s married to Prince Harry, Markle has influenced him and his views on racism — through Archie’s eyes.
On this day, two years ago: 27th of November 2017, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced the news of their engagement, later becoming Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex! They have since celebrated their wedding anniversary and welcomed their son, Archie, into the world ❤️ • Photo © PA / Alexi Lubomirski / Chris Allerton © SussexRoyal
A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal) on Nov 27, 2019 at 7:26am PST
“You know, when you go into a shop with your children and you only see white dolls, do you even think: ‘That’s weird, there is not a black doll there?’ And I use that as just one example of where we as white people don’t always have the awareness of what it must be like for someone else of a different colored skin, of a black skin, to be in the same situation as we are where the world that we know has been created by white people for white people,” the Duke of Sussex told Page Six over Zoom on Thursday.
Following our tradition of rotating the accounts we follow on a monthly basis, for the month of October we are celebrating “community.” • Over the last week on their official tour to Southern Africa, The Duke and Duchess have had a poignant reminder of the importance of community – the sense of support and togetherness that is felt from feeling like you are a part of something that respects difference but also celebrates shared values for the greater good. Please let us know the favourite organisation in your community – one you enjoy volunteering for, or that makes you proud to be a part of – one that supports you personally in your everyday life, and that defines what you feel community is all about. Based on your suggestions we will then choose our new accounts to follow for October. Thanks so much and thanks for being a part of the Sussex community! Photo ©️ High Commission
A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal) on Oct 1, 2019 at 9:23am PDT
Does his sentiment sound familiar? In Markle’s ELLE essay, she writes about what it was like walking into a store and only seeing white or Black dolls in matching, same-race family sets. “When I was about seven, I had been fawning over a boxed set of Barbie dolls,” she wrote. “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.” Markle’s father, she says, actually took apart the sets to customize one that was representative of her own family.
Clearly, Markle has been teaching her husband a thing or two about race, both by sharing examples of how growing up biracial affected her everyday life, and simply by nature of making Harry the father of a mixed-race child. After all, Archie is really the one doing the teaching here — and it sounds like both his parents are listening and learning.
Launch Gallery: These Black & Biracial Dolls Are Gorgeous — & Important
More from SheKnows
Best of SheKnows