Monday 27 November 2017 started out as just a regular day. I had breakfast, got myself to work, mused over how the Queen should be replaced by a democratically elected head of state – you know, the usual. Sat at my desk at around 10am, my phone lit up with news from the good lord himself. I’m not entirely certain what it said word for word but I think it was along the lines of “Meghan Markle done secured the bag.”
The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince Harry to Ms. Meghan Markle. pic.twitter.com/zdaHR4mcY6
— Clarence House (@ClarenceHouse) November 27, 2017
Confirmed by the Clarence House, the couple were secretly engaged earlier this month and will be married next spring. With the nearing prospect of a black woman joining a whole British Royal Family, the literal embodiment of Imperialism and Empire, Black Twitter erupted.
When your girl texts you about the salad she made for dinner but you can see Jollof rice in your future. pic.twitter.com/kCV37Z2Wze
— The Baby Maker (@iamsupervillain) December 9, 2015
We have infiltrated the Royal Family. This is not a drill. Plan Empire Strikes Black is a a go. I repeat, this is not a drill. Please put on your Sunday best & prepare for the National Cookout. #RoyalEngagement.
— Scully (@isthatscully) November 27, 2017
Meghan’s family showing the Royal family how to Candy>>> pic.twitter.com/sEXaUxZL3a
— MK (@SuperFlyMK) November 27, 2017
Tomorrow’s Daily Mail headline: Prince Harry to marry grime influenced actress Meghan Markle.
— Mr Red (@chairmann_) November 27, 2017
However, as if like clockwork, you have the misguided few who believe that this now means that Britain is post-racial, racism has finished, and that it’s now time for a self-congratulatory pat on the back.
Delighted to see this. This #RoyalEngagement illustrates just how far we have come as a nation when celebrating true love, regardless of race or previous marital history. A great step forward. #harryandmeghan https://t.co/9c0JvpeFPr
— James McVey (@TheVampsJames) November 27, 2017
As succinctly put by Nicole Crentsil, sorry to disappoint – but Britain is still racist, James.
Patiently waiting for the first person to use “how can England be racist, we have a black princess” as an excuse to silence people who call out racism in England pic.twitter.com/IjyTFuj5bW
— Tanya Compas (@TanyaCompas) November 27, 2017
This union does not erase the heinous acts committed in the name of the Empire, nor the consequences that are still being felt by the territories with histories steeped in colonisation: the stripping of their resources, cultures, and people. This union does not erase this country’s unique brand of alienating its black and brown people through pretending it’s all in our heads, breeding stupidity from goats like Russell Howard. This union doesn’t erase the fact that we all know that Meghan’s proximity to whiteness as a light skinned black woman no doubt makes her more palatable. This union doesn’t erase the barely veiled, and completely unsurprising, contempt for Markle that can be found in the comment sections of the Daily Mail’s coverage.
As a black woman, I am overwhelmingly aware of all of that. As a politically engaged black woman living in a country that would rather not claim me, in a country where people who look like me have an uphill struggle to be seen or heard, I’m never allowed to forget it. Therefore, to be privy to news that marks joy or happiness for another black woman – while serving up a delicious pitcher of white tears from those who cannot stand the idea of the status quota being upset in such a fashion – is really quite something.
For those questioning our celebration – no, we haven’t turned into royalists, and no, we haven’t forgotten this country’s history – we don’t need reminders. We’re just choosing to find joy where we can. Sometimes just let black women breathe and laugh without continuously reminding us how much we have going against us because, I promise, we already know.
So let’s celebrate this infiltration and get ready to see Meghan’s mother grace our TV screens in all her dreadlocked glory, safe in the knowledge that somewhere in the UK, there are Cecilias, Biancas, and Rosalinds who won’t be able to sleep tonight.
Meghan Markle may have just won the Game of Thrones.