One of the most commented posts on this blog is What's the deal with Princess Angela of Liechtenstein? Two years later, I still have yet to answer that question for myself, therefore I've come to the conclusion that Princess Angela marrying into the Liechtenstein family is a non-issue. Reading the comments, there are people who do think otherwise, so I'm revisiting the topic.
Currently the only black princess in a reigning European house, Princess Angela is married to Prince Maximillian of Liechtenstein; the second son of the reigning Prince Hans-Adam II. To give you an idea of just how small Liechsteinstein is, with an area of 160 sq. km/61.8 sq miles. it is the fourth smallest state in Europe, after Vatican City, Monaco, and San Marino. To put Liechsteinstein's size into some context, Monaco is about the size of central park in New York City. Liechsteinstein is only a bit larger than Manhattan. While Liechsteinstein and New York City may be comparable in size they are hardly comparable in their position on the world stage.
People wonder why they haven't heard more about Princess Angela? Some see it as racial, and some, like me, had no clue about her until I was emailed with a request to write an article. Lest anyone read something into this, there are lots of minor royals who I'm not aware of, including her. However, always up to a challenge I immediately dived in and started trying to write a royal profile about her. But I found that other than a Wikipedia article, and a discussion board debating whether she's black enough, there was little about her personally. The information that was out there consisted of complaints about why no one had heard more about her. Which I found rather interesting and thus inspired my original article.
My first reaction to these comments is: So? Princess Angela has married into a minor royal family who is not on the world stage like the British royal family. But yet there are people who choose to ignore that they're a private family, Liechtenstein is a global pin-prick, or that they're a low-key couple. No, that can't be it - The media can't get over that a prince would have chosen a commoner black woman, people are uncomfortable with interracial relationships, and that to see it as anything less than racial, is 'naive'. Perhaps, but has it ever occured to anyone that she is not interesting enough to warrant more coverage? She could be a perfectly wonderful person but once you get past the color of her skin and who she is married to, what else is there to say? She's already broken the non-existent glass-ceiling for royal diversity, what else do you want?
Now having said that, I still think problem lies in who she has married and the family she married into. Despite her husband's position as the second son, he is not even remotely comparable to Prince Harry. I guarantee that if a black woman were to marry/date Prince William or Prince Harry, it would definately get media coverage and become a race issue. The intense focus would make it racist. Because then it's not about her as a person, it's about her skin color. Of course, in this PC age, we can't come right out and say that but it would be the elephant in the room. Now who would be complaining?
Again, if you're not satisfied with the coverage she's getting, go out, track her down and get an interview, write a book, make a movie, hold a parade, or continue on the path of least resistance and continue complaining.
© Marilyn Braun 2010
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