Meghan Markle Told Mariah Carey What Caused Her To Be Treated As A "Black Woman"

The duo shared their experiences as mixed-race women on Markle’s new podcast Archetypes.

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There’s no better person to dismantle the “diva” label than Mariah Carey, which is why Meghan Markle chose to feature the Grammy-winning singer on the second episode of her new podcast Archetypes, entitled “The Duality of Diva.” But there was something else that the Duchess of Sussex needed to get off her chest. On the new episode, which premiered on Aug. 30, the duo shared their experiences of living as mixed-race women, with Markle confessing that one moment in her life “really shifted” how she was perceived.

Markle, who has a Black mother and white father, remarked that she was never treated as a “Black woman” until she married Prince Harry in 2017. “If there’s any time in my life that it’s been more focused on my race, it’s only once I started dating my husband,” she explained. “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.”

Markle went on to recollect when Halle Berry was asked about being treated as a biracial woman, which differed from what she and Carey have experienced due to their skin colors. “Her response was her saying, ‘Well, your experience through the world is how people view you.’ So she said because she was darker in color, she was being treated as a Black woman, not as a mixed woman,” Markle said. “And I think for us, it’s very different because we’re light-skinned. You’re not treated as a Black woman. You’re not treated as a white woman. You sort of fit in between.”

Carey agreed with Markle’s sentiment, telling her how she felt forced to choose one race to identify as when she was growing up. “I always thought it should be okay to say I’m mixed... but people want you to choose,” she recalled. “My father’s family is Black, so everybody was like, ‘her father is Venezuelan and Black’ because they didn’t know how to put me in that box. They want to put you in a box and categorize you.”

As Markle told Oprah Winfrey in March 2021, her treatment eventually turned into racism from the British media and some parts of Buckingham Palace. Specifically, concerns about their son Archie’s skin color from an unknown Royal Family member — and the Palace allegedly refusing to give Archie a royal title — is one reason why she and Prince Harry left their posts as senior working members of the Royal Family. “In the months when I was pregnant, we have in tandem the conversation of he won't be given security, he's not going to be given a title, and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he's born,” she revealed.

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Later in the bombshell interview special, Prince Harry brought up race while addressing how his family regarded his wife’s treatment from British media, hinting that the Royal Family did little to support her. “For the family, they very much have this mentality of, ‘This is just how it is, you can’t change it, we’ve all been through it,’” he said. “But what was different for me was the race element—it wasn’t just about her, it was about what she represents.”