Explosive allegations by Meghan, Duchess of Sussex that she faced racist attitudes from both the palace and the U.K. press came as no surprise to many Black Britons.
Whether it’s the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on people of color or the lack of non-white faces at the top of media and politics, ethnic minorities in the U.K. say racist attitudes and structures of discrimination are pervasive — and all too often denied by society at large.
“This is a country that doesn’t want to have an honest conversation about race,” said historian David Olusoga, who presented the TV series “Black and British: A Forgotten History.”
In a TV interview with Oprah Winfrey, the former Meghan Markle said isolation and a lack of support from the royal household after her marriage to Prince Harry drove her to thoughts of suicide. She also said an unnamed member of the royal family expressed “concerns” to Harry about the color of her unborn child’s skin.
Tiwa Adebayo, a communications consultant and journalist, said the couple’s revelations in the interview bore out her worst fears.
“When Meghan joined the royal family, every person of color in the U.K. was worried,” she said. “This is an institution that is rooted in colonialism. It’s based on white supremacy. I mean, for me, it kind of seemed like ‘How could this possibly end well?’”