We learned a lot about what happens behind the closed doors of Buckingham Palace from Oprah Winfrey’s interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, but maybe the most astonishing revelation was that Meghan Markle felt like she “just didn’t want to be alive anymore” during her former life as a royal. The over the top racism and sexism she experienced, both within the Royal Family and from British tabloids, had eroded her mental health so severely that she didn’t want to be left alone out of fear that she might self harm.
It was an admission that felt familiar to so many Black women. Even those of us who have never had royal digs or TV money—or have never experienced suicidal ideation—intimately know how misogynoir taxes you, wearing you down physically, spiritually, and psychologically.
It is, of course, no surprise that the British crown has a race problem. This is an empire that amassed its wealth through centuries of ruthless and rapacious theft and colonization, primarily of nations full of brown folks, a centuries-old enterprise founded on the idea of divinely ordained wealth, power, and boundless expansion. You cannot tease apart the startling whiteness of the royal family from their regality.