Princess Michael Slammed for Wearing 'racist' Blackamoor Brooch at Christmas Lunch with Meghan Markle

A member of the royal family has drawn criticism for attending an event while wearing a traditional brooch in a style now considered to be "racist."

Princess Michael of Kent, the wife of the Queen's cousin Prince Michael, was pictured attending the royals' Christmas meal in London, a seasonal event for a wider group than is invited to Sandringham for the Christmas day celebrations.

She wore a brooch depicting a black person wearing shining golden robes and headgear. The accessory is made in a style referred to as "blackamoor," which is now considered offensive by many people.

Princess Michael Kent Brooch
Princess Michael of Kent attends a Christmas lunch for the extended Royal Family at Buckingham Palace on December 20, 2017 in London, England. The princess's choice of a "blackamoor" brooch has been called racist. Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

According to New York University, Blackamoors are "a trope in Italian decorative art especially common in pieces of furniture, but also appearing in paintings, jewelry, and textiles."

"The motif emerged as an artistic response to the European encounter with the Moors—dark-skinned Muslims from North Africa and the Middle East who came to occupy various parts of Europe during the Middle Ages," the NYU research said.

"Commonly fixed in positions of servitude—as footmen or waiters, for example—the figures personify fantasies of racial conquest."

Charlie Proctor, a royal commentator and editor of the Royal Central website, said on Twitter that the princess had become "a parody of herself."

Meanwhile, many Twitter users pointed out that the choice had the potential to be especially offensive because the meal marked the first introduction of Meghan Markle, Prince Harry's fiancee who is a mixed-race woman, to much of the wider royal family.

"Harry rather sweetly wore a token from their time conducting a long-distance relationship while his Aunt Princess Michael of Kent greeted Meghan Markle with 'racist' jewellery at Queen's Christmas lunch," one user wrote.

Newsweek has contacted the princess' representatives for comment but has not yet received a response.