THE arrival of a new royal baby is always a historic moment.
But the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s first child — the first mixed race member of the immediate royal family — is a particularly significant moment for Britain.
Harry and Meghan’s union became a national symbol of the mixed race relationships in modern Britain[/caption]
The announcement of Prince Harry’s engagement to Meghan Markle, an American with a black mother and white father, helped to ignite conversations that need to happen in Britain about race.
Harry and Meghan’s union became a national symbol of the mixed race relationships which are now so commonplace in modern Britain.
According to the last census in 2011 more than two million people in Britain are, like Meghan and Harry, living as part of an inter-racial couple. And now their baby is symbolic of the growing number of dual-heritage children.
We need to be careful about how much pressure we put on a young child, but this birth is a hugely significant moment. Mixed race people are the fastest growing ethnic group in Britain.
Here is a child who has such an interesting ethnic makeup, whose great-grandmother is the Queen but also has ancestry which stretches back to US cotton slaves.
What a wonderful moment of healing for a painful past. And what a great thing it will be for a mixed race British child, or child of colour, to see a little royal who looks like them.
Nowadays we are having so many more conversations around race, diversity, inclusion and integration than when I was growing up in Walthamstow, North East London, the child of Ghanaian parents.
By the time the Duke and Duchess of Sussex reach their tenth wedding anniversary in 2028 there could be more people living in Britain of Caribbean heritage with a white parent or grandparent than those who do not.
The Royal Family are at the apex of British family life but until now they weren’t reflective of the make-up of modern Britain.
It is a credit to Princess Diana and Prince Charles as parents that both their boys married outside of their expected aristocratic circle. Both boys changed the game in one fell swoop.
William married middle-class Kate Middleton and Harry married someone of a different race. It is how the world should be.
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I spend a lot of time in America and, even though there is a huge amount of diversity, the country feels less integrated than in Britain.
Different ethnic groups feel far more segregated. This is something Britain can teach the rest of the world. Inter-racial relationships and mixed race children help break down barriers.
It is hard to see someone as “other” when they are a part of your family. And what higher profile family could there be than the royals?