Princess Michael of Kent, 72, took part in the event by wearing a ‘blackamoor’ brooch for which she received criticism. This choice of bad taste was even worse considering that Meghan Markle, Prince Harry’s fiancée who is half-white and half-black , was a guest at the same lunch.
The event marks the first time that Markle, who will become Princess of Wales after her marriage to Prince Harry in May, has met with several members of the enlarged royal family , according to People.
In a statement to People and the Daily Mail , a spokeswoman for Princess Michael explained that the brooch was a gift she had worn « many times before, without controversy. »
« The princess is very sorry and distressed that it caused offense » reads a statement.
The symbolism worn by Princess Michael is a European art style known as « blackamoor », a style that dates back to the sixteenth century. It represents the bodies and faces of dark-skinned people in North Africa and the Middle East, according to New York University .
This art style is now considered dated, offensive and a fetishization of black people, which often involves romancing slavery.