Racist brooch that offended Meghan Markle banned by Christies auction house

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The style of "racist" brooch that offended Meghan Markle is no longer being sold by famous auction house Christie's.

Princess Michael of Kent was forced to apologise after she wore the jewellery to the Queen's Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace in 2017, notable for the presence of Meghan, who was then Prince Harry's fiancée.

The brooch appeared to depict the bust of a black person with an opulent gold crown, embellished with purple crystals.

Blackamoor jewellery, often inspired by works from early modern Venice, was once considered a tribute to "exotic" Africans. Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor had similar brooches.

But it is now considered insensitive, with connotations of colonialism.

Finding Freedom, which claims to be the "inside account" of Harry and Meghan's decision to walk away from the Firm, provided further details about the incident.

The biography's co-authors, Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, said Meghan considered the item "culturally offensive and racist".

They claim that Meghan wondered "if a message wasn't being sent in the pin of the torso of an African man wearing a gold turban and ornate clothing".

When photographs of the brooch emerged, it sparked a public row.

Princess Michael, who then lived close to the couple's Kensington Palace apartment, apologised at the time for her culturally insensitive attire but the "damage had been done", according to the book.

Royal aides also questioned the sincerity of her contrition, given her history of allegedly telling African American restaurant diners to "go back to the colonies".

After Meghan's upset was reported, a spokesman said: "Princess Michael is very sorry and distressed that it has caused offence."

According to Daily Mail sources, the world's leading auction house, Christie's, removed them from last month's sale of items belonging to the late Transatlantic society hostess Audrey Pleydell-Bouverie.

"It's shocking," the insider reportedly said.

"These figures are pieces of art and auction houses should not prohibit their sale due to a fear of a backlash from the woke brigade.

"Christie's refused point-blank to sell her Blackamoor items, of which there are four in this collection."

Of the Pleydell-Bouverie items, a Christie's spokesman told the Mail: "We can't comment on objects we're not selling."

Scobie said that the brooch incident was just one of many factors which led the Duchess of Sussex to conclude that her desire to inject some 'socially conscious modernity' into the Royal Family would never be accepted.

"There was snobbery, there was sexism and potentially racial ignorance at play," Scobie said.

"But there were also subtler tropes being thrown at Meghan. We saw the 'Duchess Difficult' narrative being born. That came out of the tropes we see attached time and again to women of colour — being called demanding, aggressive or too loud. That's something we can't ignore."

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