Omid Scobie devoted a chapter in Endgame to the Windsors’ tricky relationship with any conversations or activism involving race or racism. He details his attempts to get Buckingham Palace to say something (anything) about Black Lives Matter in 2020 and how even straight reporting on the Windsors’ racial blindspots are enough to get reporters blacklisted. He points out how difficult it must have been for the Duchess of Sussex to try to step into those all-white spaces, much less try to work within those spaces and thrive. Throughout the book, Scobie mentions (but does not overemphasize the point) that the queen consort is very anti-woke, very closed-minded in how she understands the modern world. That includes Camilla’s very own blackamoor art.
Racial bias in the palace: I, too, have experienced and witnessed some of that ignorance and bias. Like the time a seasoned aide who—commenting on my clear English accent—told me, “I never expected you to speak the way you do.” Or the staff member who casually called a less developed part of London we were visiting on a royal engagement “the ghetto.” Or the senior courtier who hollered, “Oh my God. What a legend!” when they heard that a photographer had commented that Meghan should “be more Black and wear some African garb . . . let her Afro out” at an engagement linked to Nelson Mandela.
Camilla’s reaction to her friend Jeremy Clarkson’s vile screed against Meghan: “…Their continued silence is deafening and, perhaps more tellingly, exposes some of the institution’s noxious ways and means… Camilla, the Queen Consort, was hobnobbing with [Clarkson] at a Christmas party in central London. The pair consider each other dear friends, and, despite public pressure on Camilla to condemn his column and sexually violent language, she remained quiet on the issue. She wouldn’t, I was told by a Palace source, “be wading into any culture wars.”
Camilla’s blackamoor art: Take a peek into Camilla’s Ray Mill House in Wiltshire, and you can’t miss the giant blackamoor statue in the entrance hall—a four-foot muscular Black man holding a lightbulb and lampshade high into the sky. A Palace source says it has been removed “in recent years.” It was a similar tale for blackamoor sconces hanging on the walls at Clarence House. When the Google Arts & Culture platform gave the world a look inside Charles’s London residence in 2018, eagle-eyed netizens spotted the offending items and officials quickly took them down (both the photos and from the residence).
[From Omid Scobie’s Endgame]
Camilla would not “be wading into any culture wars”… regarding her dear friend’s despicable rant (printed in a major tabloid) about wanting to strip Meghan and parade her through the streets. That’s not a culture war, it’s human decency to say “wow, that is not okay.” It’s not part of any culture war to say that Black women shouldn’t be denigrated and subjected to such violently racist rhetoric. As for Camilla’s blackamoor art and the art which was exhibited at Clarence House… yeah, Camilla is basically the Windsors’ in-house MAGA lunatic.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.
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