Royal aide insists The Queen, family support Black Lives Matter
When BLM responded in the UK, it apparently became a “hot conversation topic” among the royal family
Queen Elizabeth II has remained mum about social issues and injustice in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last May.
Floyd, a Black man, died on Memorial Day in 2020 after former police officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, pinned his knee against Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes. Video of the fatal encounter went viral, fueling worldwide protests. When the Black Lives Matter movement responded in the UK, it became a “hot conversation topic” among the royal family, according to a senior palace aide.
Kenneth Olisa, the first Black lord-lieutenant of London, told Britain’s Channel 4 that Queen Elizabeth and other royals support BLM, NBC News reports.
“The question is what more can we do to bind society to remove these barriers. They [The royals] care passionately about making this one nation bound by the same values,” said Olisa in the interview which aired on Friday.
When asked whether the royal family supports BLM, Olisa said “The answer is easily yes.”
Olisa’s remarks come six months after Prince Charles was mocked on social media after being photographed with Black visitors and staff at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in London, theGRIO reported. The move came after Meghan Markle and Prince Harry sat down for an interview with Oprah in which they said racism is alive and well in the British royal family.
Even Oprah was shocked when the couple disclosed that a member from the royal family had questioned the color of their then-unborn son’s skin. Prince Harry confirmed it was not Queen Elizabeth or Prince Philip that had made the inquiry about Archie, who is now two years old.
As reported by theGrio, Harry and Meghan’s interview took a shocking turn when the allegations were revealed.
“We have in tandem the conversation of ‘He won’t be given security. He’s not going to be given a title,’” she said, “and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born.”
Even Winfrey, the consummate interviewer, could not hide her astonishment. “What?” she asked, stunned.
“There are several conversations,” Markle replied, “potentially and what that would mean or look like.”
Winfrey pressed the duchess to disclose who the conversations were with, but she wouldn’t. “I think that would be very damaging to them,” said Markle.
Prince William denied the royals were racist in a statement days after the interview.
Buckingham Palace denied Prince Charles’ visit to the clinic was to show him and the royal family in a more inclusive light but this is his first visit to the site since 2007, per TMZ.
Momodou Taal, host of The Malcolm Effect podcast, noted that the royal family seeks to “modernize” its image in response to Floyd’s death.
“They (the family) don’t represent modern Britain. They represent what Britain was at the height of colonization, and that image will forever be attached to them,” Taal told NBC News.
“It’s no surprise that the family has charges of racism against them. It’s the vestige of a brutal British empire that hasn’t truly ever acknowledged its role in perpetuating racism around the world,” Taal said. “As much damage control as they’re tried to do since, for me and many people, we still view the family in the lens that was leveled at them by Harry and Meghan.”
Author and activist Shola Mos-Shogbamimu is giving the side-eye to the queen’s alleged stance on BLM.
“If Queen supports Black Lives where’s her outrage re UK Institutional racism/injustice, racism against Meghan Markle, Royal Family legacy in slavery/colonialism etc?,” she wrote on Twitter. “Total silence from her during Black Lives Matter protests.”
This story contains additional reporting from theGRIO’s Dawn Onley and Blue Telusma
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