Ever since Meghan Markle dated Prince Harry in 2016, there have been questions about her nationality, considering she's not from a royal family or even from the U.K. Amid everything that has been said about the Duchess of Sussex, here's what to know about her controversial ethnicity.
Before being known as Prince Harry's wife, Meghan was famous for being an American actress. She's now described as an American member of the British royal family.
An American Star
The 41-year-old was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, but she described herself as "mixed ethnicity."
Her mom, Doria Ragland, is an African-American, while her dad, Thomas Markle, has German and Irish roots.
In an interview with Elle in 2015, the former Suits star talked about her heritage and how being biracial had affected her life.
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“Being biracial paints a blurred line that is equal parts staggering and illuminating. 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.
To say who I am, to share where I’m from, to voice my pride in being a strong, confident mixed-race woman."
Meghan also discussed her acting career and how being not too Black made her unable to land a role as a Black woman.
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“Being 'ethnically ambiguous', as I was pegged in the industry, meant I could audition for virtually any role. Morphing from Latina when I was dressed in red to African American when in mustard yellow; my closet filled with fashionable frocks to make me look as racially varied as an Eighties Benetton poster.
Sadly, it didn't matter: I wasn't black enough for the black roles, and I wasn't white enough for the white ones, leaving me somewhere in the middle as the ethnic chameleon who couldn't book a job.”
A Woman with Black and White Parents
Meanwhile, in the second episode of Archetypes podcast with Mariah Carey, titled The Duality of a Diva with Mariah Carey, the two talked about their upbringing as women with Black and White parents.
Meghan revealed that the duality of her ethnicity was "always acknowledged" until she dated Prince Harry in 2016.
"If there's any time in my life that it's been more focused on my race, it's only when I started dating my husband," she told Carey, via E! News. "Then I started to understand what it was like to be treated like a Black woman. Because up until then, I had been treated like a mixed woman. And things really shifted."
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The duchess had been candid about the racism she experienced as a senior working member of the royal family and how that greatly impacted their decision to step down from their roles in 2020.
Meghan continued that, just like Carey, having lighter skin "always left a gray area."
"And I think for us, it's very different because we're light-skinned," she said. "You're not treated as a Black woman. You're not treated as a white woman. You sort of fit in between."
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