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The royal baby gets people talking about race

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 02:33s - Published < > Embed
The royal baby gets people talking about race

The royal baby gets people talking about race

Prince Harry's wedding to Meghan Markle, an American actress of African-American heritage, was a historic moment for Britain's royal family.

Some say the imminent birth of their baby is even more significant.

Mia Womersley reports

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The royal baby gets people talking about race

Prince Harry's wedding to Meghan Markle, an American actress of African-American heritage, was a historic moment for Britain's royal family.

Some say the imminent birth of their baby is even more significant.

Due in the coming weeks, the baby will be seventh-in-line to the throne.

And, it's thought, the first person of mixed race in such a senior position in the history of British royalty.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) ROYAL COMMENTATOR, CLAUDIA JOSEPH, SAYING: "Whether it's a girl or a boy it will be the first Afro-American baby to be born into the royal family." With a black mother and white father, Meghan's ethnicity has featured in discussions about her relationship with Queen Elizabeth's grandson.

When he first announced they were dating, Harry issued a rare rebuke to the press - condemning the racial undertones of articles.

One commentator had written how Meghan would bring "rich and exotic DNA" to the Windsors.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) PRESIDENT OF ESSENCE COMMUNICATIONS, INC.

MICHELLE EBANKS, SAYING: "I think that every time we can break a barrier and be, as black people, somewhere were we're not expected to be that is to be celebrated.

Because we should not be in a box." (SOUNDBITE) (English) ROBERT JOBSON, AUTHOR 'PRINCE CHARLES AT 70: OUR FUTURE KING', SAYING: "You know I was at the wedding reporting for American television and there were little black girls dressed up as princesses in their princesses dresses with their little tiaras.

Now, even though they would have been excited to be at a royal wedding or talk about a princess I don't think that those little girls would have ever dreamed that they could be part of this story." Others are less sure that the royal baby indicates any improvements in racial equality.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR IN SOCIOLOGY AT BIRMINGHAM UNIVERSITY, DR. KEHINDE ANDREWS, SAYING: "Unfortunately because racism is so bad and so historic and so entrenched we tend to look at things, any things.

So any symbol that could possibly be good we tend to over celebrate: Barack Obama becoming president, the film Black Panther got people excited.

But I think when we sit back and actively analyze what's happened and what's changed we realize that this is nothing, means nothing at all." Some journalists have found themselves accused of racism on social media by Meghan's supporters.

Often for reporting critical comments made by her family.

A Times of London journalist wrote in February that some American networks gave the impression that Britain's press was racist and sexist.

Saying that "anything less than unqualified adulation comes under a barrage of abuse on social media." Meghan herself has said she avoids newspapers and Twitter.

But when asked about the focus on her ethnicity when her engagement was announced, she said: (SOUNDBITE) (English) DUCHESS OF SUSSEX, MEGHAN MARKLE, SAYING: "Of course it's disheartening... You know, at the end of the day I'm really just proud of who I am and where I come from."




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