Meghan Markle's Relationship With Race Is Way More Complicated Than Dating A Royal

Photo: Courtesy of Peter Lindbergh/Vanity Fair.
Diehard fans of the USA series Suits have probably spent the past year rolling their eyes. Despite the fact that the show debuted its seventh season on 30th August, one of its leading characters has been thrust into the spotlight in a whole new way. Meghan Markle, who plays Rachel Zane, is dating Prince Harry. Yes, that Prince Harry. Their new relationship caused a media storm in the UK and has heightened her profile stateside as well. She is the cover girl for the October issue of Vanity Fair — with a headline across the front that reads “She’s Just Wild About Harry!” — but there's more to Markle than being the girlfriend of a royal or even the star of Suits.
Advertisement
While most of the original quotes in Vanity Fair’s cover story are focused on Markle’s man, author Sam Kashner did well to mention her background as a biracial woman from Los Angeles. Her unique identity has worked in her favour at some points in her life, and against her in others — like the racist language used to describe her in the press after her relationship with Harry became public. Her life is a testament to convoluted Western racial politics and frankly, her engagement with them is more interesting and complicated than her relationship with a prince.
Markle’s father is white and her mother is Black. According to an essay she penned for Elle in 2015, her father would buy her both Black and white dolls to create a “customized” representation of who she was. And even though she found herself particularly pained by a census that only offered “white, black, Hispanic, or Asian” as options to define herself in seventh grade, Vanity Fair notes that she has not “made an issue of being bi-racial.” As such, a very “light-skinned” Markle has been able to audition for white and Latina roles. And her unique beauty served her well in the audition for Suits.
But despite being able to pass for white — and doing so — Markle also hints at being woke. She remembers the riots in South Central L.A. sparked by the not-guilty verdict in the case against the officers who beat up Rodney King in 1991. According to Vanity Fair, this is where her “social awareness” started.
Advertisement
There are plenty of layers to peel back on a figure like Markle. And to be fair, part of the media frenzy surrounding Markle’s relationship has been about fitting all of these identity politics into a familiar princess love story narrative that has been reserved for white women: common woman + wealthy prince = perfect fantasy. (It’s worth noting that Kate Middleton is also from a middle-class background and didn’t have to endure the same kind of scrutiny that Markle has.)
But dating someone above most people’s class station is the only social and cultural boundary that Markle has crossed. The reason that people are fascinated with her love story with Prince Harry is because of her identity, not the other way around. Two people falling in love is a pretty simple principle. But there’s levels to race, and Markle is versed in several of them.
http://s2.r29static.com//bin/entry/4d9/340x408/1859184/image.png

PHOTO: KARWAI TANG/WIREIMAGE.
Nothing revs up the hormones like a successful sporting event. Case in point: Prince Harry and girlfriend, actress Meghan Markle, shared an adorable PDA moment during the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games.
Saturday evening, during an opportune, celebratory moment dear Harry planted a sweet kiss on Markle’s cheek, People reports. It wasn’t an attention-grabbing slob fest as we’ve seen in the past from those unafraid of the spotlight. It was a genuine moment. It also shattered the prudish stereotypes often placed onto royals. For a split second, Harry was just another Joe in a relationship sharing an adorable moment with his girlfriend.
ADVERTISEMENT
Advertisement
The most telling part? Markle’s mother Doria Ragland was also in attendance. The two lovebirds sat in a VIP box overlooking the event and ceremonies, which included performances by Bruce Springsteen and Kelly Clarkson.
In Royals Time, this courtship has escalated fairly quickly: last weekend the two...gasp!...held hands in public. This weekend Prince Harry and Markle are taking in public events as a couple and PDA-ing with mom and friends in a large Toronto stadium. Despite the couple opting to be seated away from the limelight, surely privacy wasn’t expected.
The week-long Invictus games honour wounded members of the armed services from various countries. The widely publicised event brought out a number of celebrities and political figures. In addition to the hand-holding and smooching Harry also shared a happy bromance moment with former US president Barack Obama. The two were captured grinning ear-to-ear in matching button-down shirts watching a wheelchair basketball game. Barry’s other BFF, Joe Biden was also in attendance.
Check out the video below for the sweet moment between Prince Harry and the Suits actress.