The Woman Who Could Be Queen:Meghan Markle Wouldn’t Be England’s First Black Queen
by TRN Staff,
It’s was one of he worst kept secrets ever concerning Britain’s royal family, but the best news for
American actress Meghan Markle. Prince Harry, grandson of Queen Elizabeth II, is now engaged to marry an American, divorced and Black woman.
The royal family announced the engagement on Monday with the heading, “HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCE HENRY OF WALES AND MS. MEGHAN MARKLE ARE ENGAGED TO BE MARRIED”. The announcement says the couple will marry in Spring of next year with more details to come.
Markle began her acting career in 2002 with a small role on a soap (“General Hospital”). From there she landed parts on shows like “CSI:NY”, “90210” and “Fringe”. Finally, in 2011 Markle landed a plum role on the USA hit show “Suits” playing up and coming lawyer Rachel Zane. There had been rumors that Markle was ready to ditch the show to go across the pond and be with her love Prince Harry.
The royal family is England’s passion. Every move they make garners headlines so the announcement that Markle is marrying into the royal family must have journalists in England working into a frenzy. Not only is Markle bi-racial, she’s also the first American to marry into the royal line in nearly a century. The last time was in 1936 when King Edward VIII married another man Wallis Simpson. The marriage was so controversial he was forced to give up the throne., so in comparison, Markle’s marriage is no where near as scandalous. Markle is only an American, who’s divorced and is Black—or biracial. All ground the royal family traveled before–even having a Black woman marry into the family.
The first woman of color to marry into the family was Princess Sophie Charlotte who actually became the first Black Queen of England back in 1744 when she was only 17 years old.
Charlotte reigned as Queen from the time of her marriage to King George III until her death in 1818. Though she was young, she was a quick study and had to be since she didn’t even speak English at the time of her wedding. But not everyone welcomed Charlotte with open arms. Some called her “ugly” because of her dark skin and her mother-in-law made adjusting to the British court difficult for Charlotte.
When her husband’s mental illness prevented him from ruling, Charlotte was named Regent. Her name stands in homage on the Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital which she started for expectant mothers. Charlotte also pushed for women to be educated and well versed in the arts. She was said to be friends with the parents of then eight year old Amadeus Mozart and the young prodigy even accompanied her as she sang. Mozart’s Opus 3 which consisted of six sonatas are dedicated to Queen Charlotte. The Queen’s popularity would wane just as her husband’s sanity. He was declared mentally unfit in 1811. Charlotte stayed by her husband’s side and continued her role as first lady, but the people no longer supported her and often staged demonstrations and loudly jeered their disapproval when she showed up in public. She lamented how disappointing it was to be treated this way by the people she spent her life serving.
This is the heritage and the challenge Markle will be walking into when she walks down the aisle next spring. It’s doubtful Markle will ever truly be Queen of England—her husband is fifth in line to sit the throne behind his brother William and his children.