LONDON — Queen Elizabeth II’s cousin has apologized for wearing jewelry that some observers on social media found offensive as she went to a lunch also attended by Meghan Markle, Prince Harry’s fiancée.
Some social media observers suggested it was a racist slight to Markle, whose mother is African-American.
A spokesman for Princess Michael of Kent said late Friday that she is “very sorry and distressed” that a brooch featuring the head of a black man caused offense.
The princess, who entered the royal family when she married Prince Michael of Kent, wore the brooch to a Christmas lunch hosted by the queen earlier this week that Markle attended.
Social media users slammed the princess for wearing the broach, calling it “highly offensive” and an “appalling show of disrespect” towards Markle.
ah, the Princess who wears *racist jewelry* to lunch with Meghan Markle. RACIST. JEWELRY. https://t.co/pUEqDarkqN
— Anne Helen Petersen (@annehelen) December 21, 2017
The princess, who has been seen wearing the brooch on multiple occasions in the past, has also previously been accused of racism.
According to The Guardian, the princess in 2004 told African American diners in a New York restaurant to “go back to the colonies” during an argument, although she claimed that her remarks were misinterpreted.
The princess was born in Germany in 1945. Her Father, Baron Günther Hubertus von Reibnitz, was a long-standing member of the Nazi party and the SS Calvary Corps, though he was dismissed from both organizations in 1944 for a series of transgressions and later effectively cleared by the Nuremberg Trials.
Markle and Harry plan to marry at Windsor Castle in May. There was no indication the brooch offended either Markle or Harry, who has also caused outrage in the past by dressing up as a Nazi.