Dear Royal Fetus: Advice to the first child of Harry and Meg
You’re not even here yet and people are already projecting a certain significance onto you because your mother is biracial
To: The royal offspring of Harry and Megs, currently baking in utero
Re: Your future existence
You are entering the world in strange, conflicting times. Your home country is embroiled in a national debate over xenophobia and Britishness and doesn’t seem to want to be a part of Europe, even as it drags its heels when it comes to actually leaving it. That part is weird and unpleasant, and your family’s official stance on the matter is that they won’t share their opinions publicly. On the other hand, one of your homeland’s most charming cultural exports, The Doctor, is finally being played by a woman! And she’s quite good!
Here’s some advice for your life as a royal subjected to the one-drop rule, from a multiethnic, sometimes-practicing Sephardic Jew who is a descendant of both the enslaved and the people who did the enslaving:
Being a symbol
You’re not even here yet and people are already projecting a certain significance onto you because your mother is a biracial, previously divorced American with a black mother. She, like you, is descended from enslaved people. That’s pretty cool, I suppose, in an abstract, big-picture historical sense, and people are going to have a lot to say about it.
Some of it will just be straight-up mean, and some of it will be well-intentioned but nonetheless idiotic. The world loves to fetishize mixed-race babies as the future saviors of the universe. It is bunk. Do not believe it. Don’t worry about saving the world with your dual identities; that’s not your burden to carry.
You have the great fortune of being a royal but without having to worry about one day ascending to the throne. Your cousins have that bit handled, which means you are officially expected to be The Fun One. This will make more sense post-puberty. Be like your father and have a great time in Vegas. Feel free to harbor crushes on beloved black American celebrities. Just don’t ever dress up like a Nazi.
Given that members of the royal family seem to live for freakin’ ever, the likelihood that your racist relatives will still be around when you’re born is pretty high. To that end, steer clear of Princess Michael of Kent, who swans about in blackamoor brooches and owns a pair of black sheep she named Venus and Serena. Or, you know, feel free to douse her in spit-up. It’s really up to you.
If anyone (let’s be real; it’ll probably be your great-grandfather, Prince Philip) makes snide remarks about you being a “quadroon,” you have my permission to deck them.
Once you’re old enough to read about your relatives, you might start to have questions about your place in the world and the people to whom you’re related by blood or marriage. Your aunt Samantha is turning herself into the Roger Clinton of the Markles, and you are under no obligation to entertain her craziness. However, if you’re feeling alone, I suggest reading the words of Panama Jackson, one-half of the Very Smart Brothas. He’s got some really insightful things to say about being related to people who are addicted to white supremacy.
Your family’s taste in strangely retrograde children’s wear
Because you’re already famous, even though you haven’t even fully developed lungs yet, you can expect to be photographed. A lot. And because your Great-Grandma Liz is wedded to tradition, all the royal children, including you, tend to be clad in clothes that easily date to the middle of the 20th century, which means there will be a bunch of pictures of you in Peter Pan collars and loafers or floofy dresses. They are not particularly stylish, but these looks, with their strict adherence to traditional gender roles, are seen as classic.
In the event that you’re anything other than cisgender, as you get older, that’s probably going to suck, but it will make for a very good screenplay someday. Ask your mum. She’s got contacts in Hollywood.
It would please both the American and British tabloids if you developed some friendships with other famous people. No pressure, but my suggestion would be Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. Her parents attended your parents’ wedding, and your moms are good friends. Added bonus: You can commiserate over your experiences as the biracial children of very rich, very famous people.
However, do not challenge Alexis to a tennis match. You will lose. On the other hand, your father isn’t half bad at polo, so maybe try that.
Sir and Rumi Carter are two other good options. Despite the fact that their mother is sometimes called “Queen Bey,” you do not have to curtsy to her. Curtsy anyway — it’s fine, and you’ll be celebrated as brilliantly subversive if you do.