Now that the hoopla over the Royal Wedding has simmered down, it’s time to question why - with all the party planners, all the experts at royal protocol, and all the santimony over how old rules were being boldly ejected in favor of a newer more inclusive era - Doria Ragland, the black mother of the Duchess of Sussex was allowed to sit alone throughout the church ceremony. If Prince Charles could walk his future daughter-in-law down the aisle in a show of familial warmth, why wouldn’t he insist that Doria be seated next to him and his wife during the ceremony? And where was Meghan when these plans were made? For an assertive woman who refused to say the word “obey” in her marriage vows, why wouldn’t she demand that her mother, who represented her only relative at this event, be treated like a member of the newly joined family instead of being seated alone like an outcast.
In reading about Ms. Ragland, I see that she tends to be a loner without many friends which explains why she didn’t arrive with another person with whom to share this amazing event. All the more reason for the Windsors to have welcomed her into their seating chart. So much credit has been given for the Black Gospel Choir, the Black pastor, the Black wedding guests - why no mention of the black mother, seated off in a corner, tearing up as her daughter married a prince of England.
Channel 2’s coverage was done mainly by Gayle King, a prominent black anchor-woman who offered many gossipy asides, including reference to the size of Pippa Middleton’s bottom. Not a single reprimand from her about this startling oversight for all the world to see. Not a word from anyone in the press on this subject. While we continue to self-congratulate for moving forward in this new age of multi-racial harmony, the solitary figure of Doria Ragland, dressed and coiffed expertly, certainly looked like a familiar and powerful remnant of the age of Upstairs/Downstairs.
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