Chanel Ambrose was swept up by the sea of excitement around Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding. The 33-year-old loved how much Meghan tapped into her culture and heritage for the event: from the choir, the preacher, to her mum, with her natural hair, standing by her side.
She hoped the wedding and what it would symbolise might lead to a greater acceptance of black women across all sectors of society.
Instead, as far as Ambrose is concerned, Meghan has faced a torrent of abuse from the media and apparent hostility from the royal family. “And every time she’s scrutinised, it unfortunately trickles down to all of us,” she says.
In the run-up to Oprah Winfrey’s highly anticipated interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, commentators have noted a demographic divide emerging between those who are critical of Meghan and the many young people – often black women – who have leapt to her defence on social media, seeing in her treatment evidence of how deeply entrenched racism is in every corner of British society.
Ambrose, an influencer and founder of the UK’s first black talent influencer agency Camel London Creatives, said it had been “uncomfortable” for black women to watch the media coverage of Meghan. “Particularly her pregnancy and people getting annoyed at her … I feel that Meghan did handle it well initially, in terms of holding her head up and keep on moving. But there does come a point when you have a bus of people picking at your every…