Search icon


09th Mar 2021

Black Lives Matter founder calls for boycott of Royal Family

Danny Jones

Opal Tometi was speaking after allegations of racism within the Royal Family

The fallout from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s eye-opening sit down with Oprah Winfrey has been permeating throughout the nation and the world since airing in the US and UK.

In truth, from the previews and clips that had already been released prior to the interview being aired on this side of the Atlantic,  it was already clear that the subject of race was going to be a major issue – as if such sinister undertones hadn’t been highlighted before.

The bombshell

In case you somehow hadn’t caught wind already, the most telling part of the interview came when Meghan revealed that concerns had been raised by senior members within the Royal Family over their son, Archie, and “how dark his skin might be when he was born”.

The shocking revelation (though, admittedly, less of a surprise to some) was met with a literal jaw-drop from Oprah, followed by a long pause and then a simple “what?”, capturing the disbelief of so many watching.

After joining the conversation, Prince Harry verified that these conversations had taken place and reiterated that neither of the couple will reveal from whom these comments came. Furthermore, it became apparent that both Harry and Meghan had suffered with their mental health and that the Palace failed to provide the proper support needed.

The pair did go on to stress the distinction between the family and the ‘institution’, or ‘firm’, as Oprah chose to call it. Harry and Meghan both remarked that “the perception and the reality [of the Royal Family] are two very different things”.

BLM’s response

In an interview with TMZ, co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement, Opal Tometi, has called for an outright boycott of the Royal Family. She stated that the comments made, no matter who the specific individual may be, “show the Royal Family places virtually no value on black lives” and that people should “turn their backs on the Royals like at least one of them did to little Archie”.

It’s a horrible thing to imagine that any member, senior, periphery or otherwise, would find the colour of someone’s skin of any cause for discussion, let alone an innocent young child’s.

On the other hand, as Harry himself said, the relationship between the Royals and the British press is “symbiotic”, so when we see such a warped portrayal of Meghan and her family in contrast to the Windsors, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that these kinds of prejudices still reside.

Opal reminded readers that “Meghan’s experience is what all too often happens with Black people … they try to go through the proper channels to resolve problems, but then it turns out the issue is with the institution itself.” Turns out, while he may not have been affected as directly as his wife, Harry himself can bear witness to that.

What comes next?

There have been calls to #AbolishTheMonarchy flooding across social media since the CBS interview aired and people around the world are beginning to question the fairytale image of the Royal Family. An image, let’s not forget, that Meghan herself said she, along with most American’s, once believed.

Moreover, many are starting to wonder what the hell we are paying for? For an archaic institution to perpetuate latent, outdated and deeply problematic world views? That’s not what modern Britain is about – or at least it shouldn’t be.

As Harry alluded to during the interview itself, having the first person of colour become part of the Royal Family should have been remembered as a point of progress. Instead, all it seems to have done is remind us of how much work is still to be done.