For a Black Girl in London, It’s the Summer of Meghan Markle

Ms. Markle is her new cause. In the weeks leading up to the wedding, she has pricked her ears to the media coverage, bristling at any criticism of Ms. Markle, including of her clothing.

“I started getting mad, like, ‘Why are you criticizing her over the smallest of things?’” she said. “I want to tell her, ‘Don’t let anyone distract you. Don’t let anyone distract you from doing what you’re doing.’”

She expects it to be a long and difficult journey, this marriage. “You have to give props to Prince Harry for choosing her,” Tshego said. “She is brave, to be the first person to step up, even though she knows people are going to be judging her. She is brave for doing that.”

For a Black Girl in London, It’s the Summer of Meghan Markle
For a Black Girl in London, It’s the Summer of Meghan Markle

Her mother, Carol, reckons she was about Tshego’s age when her grandmother, who worked as a maid for a white family in Johannesburg, came home for the weekend and gave her a castoff as a gift: An album of Diana Spencer’s 1981 wedding to Prince Charles. At the time, Carol knew only a few English words, but she paged through the album over and over for years.

“I thought, how would it be to be in another world?” she said.

The fascination stayed with her through Princess Diana’s childbirths, her divorce and her death. Last month, on the chilly day when the third child of Diana’s older son, Prince William, was born, Carol stood outside the hospital in the cold for hours, waiting to see the newborn in his mother’s arms.

On the morning of the wedding, Tshego will embark on her own relationship with the royal family.

She would like to tell Ms. Markle about steel-pan drumming, and Afro-beat dancing, and what it is like to be a new arrival in Britain. Not long after she her family moved to London, a child in her class sent her a message telling her to “go back where you came from.”

She never wants Ms. Markle to feel that way. Maybe, if she stands close enough to the carriage route on Saturday, she can convey that message.

“I know how it feels to leave countries, and leave all your friends behind,” she said. “I would give her my friendship. So that she’s not alone.”

Continue reading the main story

Similar Posts