Black Britons believe Meghan Markle's black roots are responsible for the negative portrayals of her in the tabloids.
Britain’s Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle and her husband Prince Harry have withdrawn from senior royal duties setting off shock waves in the British media.
The move comes amid stirrings from the royal couple over media intrusion in their personal lives and in particular negative coverage of the princess.
Markle became the first person of African descent to marry into the British royal family, and the couple’s son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, is the first descendant of a ruling British monarch to be of African descent.
Given the superlatives, many have questioned whether the media’s coverage of Meghan has something to do with her ethnic background.
In recent years, the British media has been accused of targeting several high-profile black celebrities with an arguably more critical slant than their white counterparts.
Examples include England and Manchester City footballer Raheem Sterling, who has been the subject of critical tabloid articles over his performance on the pitch, his spending habits, as well as his choice of snack.
After suffering racist abuse while playing for Manchester City against Chelsea, Sterling hit out at the media for fueling the phenomenon.
In a recent New York Times piece, writer Afua Hirsch described the ways in which coverage of Markle had similarly been racialised in the British media.
She pointed to headlines, which described the princess as “(almost) straight outta Compton” and another incident where a BBC presenter was sacked for comparing Markle’s son Alfie to a chimpanzee.
There was no shortage of people on social media who agreed with that theory.
One Twitter user named Nick wrote: “I'm not a royalist. I think they are an unaffordable luxury and outdated but I liked Megan. She has had nothing but abuse from the press because she is mixed race. They just couldn't accept her. I hope she and Harry have a happy life! #meganandharry”
Writer Philip Pullman wrote: “Of course Meghan Markle is attacked by the British press because she's black, and of course Prince Harry is right to defend her. What a foul country this is.”
Debates surrounding race have become increasingly frequent in the UK with many criticising the country’s reluctance to accept that racism was an issue in the country or to deal with its colonial legacy.
Singer Stormzy was most recently the focus of controversy for suggesting racism was still an issue in British society.
How Meghan is treated is how Black people are treated in the UK all the time. Shut up, take any treatment meted out to you, be grateful. It’s stupid using successful Black people as an indicator of how this not racist the UK is. Racism can intensify. See Stormzy, Sterling etc.— Uppity Failed Whoopi Goldberg 🇩🇲🇧🇧 (@thetwerkinggirl) January 9, 2020