We love that Meghan Markle is joining the royal family for about a million reasons. Prince Harry’s future wife is an American, for starters, but she’s also the first person of color that we’ve seen in the monarchy in this lifetime. People were even wondering if Meghan will be the first black royal ever! But the answer to that, believe it or not, is no.
Sophie Charlotte was England’s first black queen.
Yes, that’s right, England has had a queen with African ancestry before! In the 1700s, Sophie Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz in Germany married King George III, and she became the first-ever person of color in the throne. Apparently, six bloodlines of the queen’s could be traced to Portuguese royalty Margarita de Castro y Sousa, who was of African descent, according to PBS. In portraits, her skin is lightened and her African features are played down by the artists of the time, but rest assured, she was certainly mixed-race.
Plenty of royal families today have more diversity.
Though we’re used to seeing the lily-white Mountbatten-Windsors, plenty of other royal families today have black family members. For example, Archduke Franz Ferdinand von Habsburg-Lothringen is married to an African-American lawyer from New York. “The importance of who your wife is is more about whom you have fallen in love with than how they fit into the aristocratic family,” he once said, according to NYT.
People are still thrilled to have a #BlackPrincess in England.
Technically, Meghan will probably be a duchess, not a princess, but #BlackPrincess has gained traction on Twitter all the same. People are excited to see more representation in the royal family, and we’re thrilled to see more diversity as well. “We made it in the White House…now the crown y’all!!!! #MeganMarkle #RoyalWedding2018 #PrinceHarry #BlackPrincess,” wrote one excited fan, while another agreed, writing “Harry put a RING on it. I’m HERE for the Black Princess!! You go Meghan!!!!!!!!!!!”