British Royal Family

What is Duchess Meghan's heritage? Everything she's said about her biracial background

The Duchess of Sussex identified as a ''woman of colour'' on the first day of the Africa royal tour.

By Alex Lilly
When Prince Harry married Meghan Markle in May 2018, it marked the beginning of a new and modernised royal family.
The redheaded royal's new bride was not only beautiful, but had a university education, a successful career as an actress and worked with various humanitarian organisations.
But even before they were married, Meghan was the target of abuse due to her racial background.
Back in 2016, Harry and Meghan's relationship was outed via a rare statement from Kensington Palace on behalf of Harry himself, declaring that Meghan had been ''subject to a wave of abuse and harassment.''
''Some of this has been very public – the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments.'' an extract from the statement read.
Duchess Meghan had not made any comment regarding her race since marrying into the royal family- until now that is.
Duchess Meghan dances during her and Prince Harry's visit to a Justice Desk initiative in Nyanga township, South Africa. (Image: Getty Images)
During their first engagement of their Africa royal tour in South Africa, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan visited a Justice Desk initiative in Nyanga township, Cape Town.
It was there that the Duchess of Sussex, spoke to the young women of the community and referenced her heritage in a deeply moving speech.
"On one personal note, may I just say that while I'm here with my husband as a member of the Royal Family, I want you to know from me I am here with you as a mother, as a wife, as a woman, as a woman of colour and as your sister," she told the crowd.
Before she became a royal, Meghan penned a powerful essay in ELLE magazine in 2015 about her biracial heritage and how it came to affect her childhood and career.
"Being biracial paints a blurred line that is equal parts staggering and illuminating," she admitted in the article.
Meghan also revealed that she was asked "what" she was or where her parents Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland were from, almost on a daily basis.
"While I could say Pennsylvania and Ohio, and continue this proverbial two-step, I instead give them what they're after: 'My dad is Caucasian and my mom is African American. I'm half black and half white,'" she wrote.
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The former Suits star also recounted the time when she was back home in Los Angeles during a college break, when she heard her mother Doria get called the 'N' word.
"My skin rushed with heat as I looked to my mom. Her eyes welling with hateful tears, I could only breathe out a whisper of words, so hushed they were barely audible: 'It's OK, Mommy,'" Meghan wrote in her essay.
"I was trying to temper the rage-filled air permeating our small silver Volvo. Los Angeles had been plagued with the racially charged Rodney King and Reginald Denny cases just years before, when riots had flooded our streets, filling the sky with ash that flaked down like apocalyptic snow; I shared my mom's heartache, but I wanted us to be safe. We drove home in deafening silence, her chocolate knuckles pale from gripping the wheel so tightly."
In her ELLE essay, Meghan recalls hearing her mother get called the 'N' word. (Image: Getty Images)
Even though she still faces racial backlash as a working member of the royal family, Duchess Meghan continues to rise above the bullied and trolls.
"While my mixed heritage may have created a grey area surrounding my self-identification, keeping me with a foot on both sides of the fence, I have come to embrace that," Meghan wrote in her essay.
"To say who I am, to share where I'm from, to voice my pride in being a strong, confident mixed-race woman."