Meghan Markle is not the first biracial member of the British
royal family, which traces its lineage to at least two queens of
African origin, according to a royal expert.
“All of the British royals have African blood,” said Lady Colin
Campbell, a Jamaica-born socialite who has written numerous
books on the Windsors, including “People of Color and the
Royals,” published in 2019.
One Black royal was Queen Charlotte, who is the focus of the
Netflix series “Bridgerton,” Campbell told The Post. Born in
1774, Sophia Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was a direct
descendant of Margarita de Castro Souza, a Portuguese noblewoman
who traced her line to Madragana Ben Aloandro, the North African
mistress of Portugal’s King Afonso III in the 13th century.
Historian Mario de Valdes y Cocom has said the depiction of
Charlotte in royal paintings emphasizes her African features.
In addition to Charlotte, who was married to King George III,
Campbell and other historians point to Philippa of Hainault, the
wife and adviser to King Edward III. Philippa was of North
African Moorish ancestry, born in northern France in 1314.
“When you take this history into consideration, accusing the
royal family of racism is preposterous,” said Campbell, alluding
to Markle’s recent interview with Oprah Winfrey in which she
claimed that she was subjected to poor treatment because of her
race and had suicidal thoughts. Markle also said one member of
the royal family expressed concerns about her baby’s skin color
before the birth of her son, Archie, in May, 2019.
According to Campbell, there was “constant intermarriage” among
both British and European royals who have “proportionally a
large percentage of African blood,” she said. And there was
little in the way of racial prejudice until the latter part of
the 17th century, when Britain’s West Indian colonies
increasingly relied on slave labor for the cultivation of sugar
“When sugar started to become more important than gold to the
British community, slaves who worked the fields were
dehumanized,” she said.
It has been debated whether Princess Diana’s family, the
Spencers, were among the slave-owning gentry. An 18th-century
portrait of ancestor John Spencer depicts him and his son, also
named John — the future first Earl Spencer — with a Black man
named Caesar Shaw crouching near a dog. Shaw has been described
by historians alternately as a slave or a servant. Many Spencers
are listed in a database of historic British slaveholders though
it’s unclear how closely related they are to Diana’s line.
Campbell, who has appeared on British celebrity reality shows
and wrote one of the first biographies of Princess Diana in 1992
(“Diana in Private”), has also written “Meghan and Harry: The
Real Story.” She is no fan of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
She called Markle’s recent interview with Winfrey “the cynical
ploy on behalf of a greedy woman.”
“I think Meghan Markle is … a very destructive and divisive
operator who is reckless about the damage she does as long as
she achieves her objectives, which are fame and fortune,” said