Royals | Celebrity

Princess Michael of Kent Responds To Racist Blackamoor Brooch Controversy

CNN / TMZ

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were the most talked about celebrities in 2017.

The reason for this is not because the Queen's dashing 33-year-old grandson, Prince Harry, finally got engaged, but more about who he got engaged to.

Meghan's biracial ethnicity has received mixed reviews from around the world, in which some believe that someone mixed race should not be a member of the royal family, and others who believe that the addition of this soon-to-be royal would be a positive change for the British monarchy.

For the most part, Meghan has been getting along with the royals, and even attended the exclusive Queen's annual Christmas lunch on Dec. 20.

The Princess Michael of Kent, who is married to the Queen's cousin, caused quite the public uproar after she was seen wearing a "Blackamoor" brooch on the lapel of her jacket on her way to the lunch.

Blackamoor are a genre of figurines originating from the 16th century Venice that have been heavily criticized for being racist. The jewelry depicts images of servants and slaves of African descent.

If this was commonly known, why did the Princess Michael of Kent wear the brooch in front of her new biracial neighbor?

The Princess quickly responded to the controversy.

“The brooch was a gift and has been worn many times before,” a representative for Princess Michael told PEOPLE in a statement. “Princess Michael is very sorry and distressed that it has caused offense.”

This isn't the first time Princess Michael has found herself in the middle of a controversy. In 2004, she allegedly told a group of black patrons at a restaurant to "go back to the colonies" for being too loud.

In response to that controversy, she defended herself by mentioning a trip she took to Africa.

"I even pretended years ago to be an African, a half-caste African, but because of my light eyes I did not get away with it, but I dyed my hair black," the 72-year-old royal said. "I traveled on African buses. I wanted to be a writer. I wanted experiences from Cape Town to right up in northern Mozambique. I had this adventure with these absolutely adorable, special people and to call me racist: it's a knife through the heart because I really love these people."

While Meghan has spoken about the racism she's faced in the past, she said she refuses to let it define her.

"You make a choice: continue living your life feeling muddled in this abyss of self-misunderstanding, or you find your identity independent of it," she wrote in an essay for ELLE UK. "You draw your own box."

What do you think about Princess Michael's apology?

Moojan has been a writer at Shared for a year. When she's not on the lookout for viral content, she's looking at cute animal photos. Reach her at moojan@shared.com.