Duchess Kate’s stylist attended a party with a racist theme in 2007


EE British Academy Film Awards (Baftas)

Duchess Kate’s makeshift stylist, Natasha Archer, has been on maternity leave for months. In Archer’s absence, Kate hired Virginia “Ginnie” Chadwyck-Healey, who is much more qualified to be a stylist – Ginnie actually knows about fashion, and has worked for British Vogue in the past. I give Ginnie credit for Kate’s better style in 2019. But Ginnie has a past, apparently. Ginnie and many of William and Kate’s posh friends once attended a party where the theme was “Indian.” Yes, the theme of their posh aristocratic party was to dress up in styles which mocked more than a billion people for having brown skin and dressing in non-Western clothes. Get it? It’s because of racism and white privilege. You can see the offensive photos here.

The Duchess of Cambridge’s new personal stylist attended an Indian-themed fancy dress party with several friends in blackface, MailOnline can reveal. Virginia ‘Ginnie’ Chadwyck-Healey, 36, formerly the retail editor for British Vogue, was seen partying with several members of the Royal inner circle, alongside revellers in brown face-paint.

Her husband Oliver Chadwyck-Healey, who attended Eton and became part of William’s inner circle at St Andrew’s University, was pictured with his face painted brown. Oliver Baker, Prince George’s godfather, and Ed Gribbon, who shared a house with the Cambridges during their university days, both attended. Also present were Verity Roache, daughter of Coronation Street legend Bill Roache, and Mark Griffith-Jones, now a director of Sotheby’s. Photographs from the event show them all wearing Indian costume, with a number smeared in dark face-paint.

One man had interpreted the theme more widely, and arrived wearing a tea towel on his head to resemble traditional Arab dress.

Neither Kate nor Prince William are believed to have been there. Ms Chadwyck-Healey is one of the Dutchess’ university friends from their time at St Andrews, where both read History of Art. The party, which took place in 2007, catered for about 100 friends and contemporaries.

[From The Daily Mail]

It took place in 2007, two years after William and Kate and their friends graduated from St. Andrews. If Will and Kate weren’t there, so be it and I’m glad they weren’t. But it does speak volumes about Will & Kate that their friends were throwing these kinds of parties post-college, when they were fully adults. There’s always a lot of talk (on social media) about what Will and Kate should be blamed for with their various associations – I’m still of the opinion that “Kate is racist because she wears Gucci” isn’t really a strong argument. But if you want to make the argument that Will and Kate have close associations with small-minded racists for years and that speaks volumes about them, I think this story is pretty good evidence of that.

William Catherine The Passage

Photos courtesy of WENN, Avalon Red.

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145 Responses to “Duchess Kate’s stylist attended a party with a racist theme in 2007”

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  1. Rachel says:

    This story is a kinda big duh for me. The entire structure of any monarchy is exclusionary AT BEST (and let’s face it – they never operate at their best) and racist/colonialist as a matter of course. It’s so past time for them all TO GO.

    • Eleonor says:

      This.
      Seriously I don’t get why they still have the monarchy.

      • E says:

        Neither do I, they are a symbol of oppression, racism and equality- and yet we still financially support them.

      • Ira says:

        The rest of the world don’t get why American people let Donald Trump elected as their president.

      • 90sgirl says:

        Only a portion of the The American people elected Trump.

        Hillary got over 4 million more votes than Trump from the American voters.
        The people’s vote was not for Trump.

        Sadly the way The Electoral College is set up, it unfairly gives more credence certain States electing a president than the People’s vote.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        @Ira, Donald Trump has elected POTUS due to our Electoral College System which weighs heavy in the favor of smaller states. With regards to the popular vote, Hillary Clinton received way more votes than Donald J. Chump. The answer to your next comment is “Yes”. I am extremely upset with the Electoral College System and want to rid of the ridiculous-archaic-stupid thing ASAP and will pay good money to watch it burn.

      • Megan says:

        The electoral college screwed us, but republicans screwed us first by making trump their nominee.

      • AryasMum says:

        The electoral college screwed us twice – Trump, and with an assist from the Supreme Court, Dubya.

      • Mrs.Krabapple says:

        We have Trump because there are enough racist @-holes in the USA that he won the electoral college, if not the popular vote. I’m American, and I’ll be the first to admit that, and that Trump (and his racist supporters) is a black mark on our country. That doesn’t explain why the Brits still have monarchy. Or maybe it does.

      • Tina says:

        Changing a system of government is HARD. We can’t even manage to get out of the European Union. We actually did get rid of the monarchy, in the 1600s, and brought it back a generation later. We’re not particularly revolutionary in the UK. We prefer incremental change. The royals don’t really impact on people’s lives here. It will be hard for you to get rid of your electoral college. It would be harder for us to get rid of the monarchy, and we have many, many more pressing things to do.

      • ernie says:

        Ira- Derailing a topic that’s critical of something in the UK by referencing a non sequitur critical of the US. Classic.

      • Emby says:

        @IRA
        Changing the topic doesn’t make supporting a monarchy any less stupid.

    • Elisa says:

      +10000000

  2. Jay says:

    Agreed. Did any of us think they weren’t racist tho?

    • Jay says:

      What I meant by my comment was that kind of wealth and isolation and being in predominantly white spaces does create racist attitudes

    • Ader says:

      This! William and Kate, in particular, have always pinged my alarm on that front. Always. While Charles and Harry probably need a “tune up,” William has always struck me as the most problematic. It’s just a gut feeling born of experience.

      And yes, I know that Harry wore a terrible costume when younger. It was awful. But I truly feel he has learned since then.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Remember the painting they chose to hang in their private living room at KP? All the paintings in the Royal Collection and they chose that one. Right there smack in the pictures of the visit with Barack and Michelle Obama.

      • Kylie says:

        I think people need to be real here. Charles committed a microaggression to a WOC in person last year. He is need of more than just a “tune up”.

      • Eliza says:

        Harry used racist terms while in the army. Honestly the whole family is problematic.

      • Ader says:

        @Nota: Sure do!

        @Kylie: I hear what you’re saying. It’s just my gut instinct that when the microaggression was pointed out to Charles, he likely sought out books and articles and read up on the topic, engaged in some self-reflection, etc. We’re all going to make microaggression slip ups now and again. They key is recognizing it, and making steps to correct it. Charles strikes me as the type of person willing to put in the work.

        @Eliza: Yes, Harry did use racist terms while in the army. And like I said, I think he has learned since then. We all have the capacity to change.

        The majority of white people are still learning that racism isn’t just individual acts of meanness. I’m willing to give some leeway to folks who seem to be trying. I’m NOT willing to give the benefit of the doubt to people who still hide behind “white fragility” (after having it pointed out to them) or refuse to learn.

        https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/a-sociologist-examines-the-white-fragility-that-prevents-white-americans-from-confronting-racism

      • Kylie says:

        @Ader
        I think you are giving Charles far to much credit. Not everyone makes racist microaggressions from time to time, and those that do don’t get a pass just because people want to believe that a person maybe did something to learn why what they did was wrong.

      • Kebbie says:

        They’ve all been problematic in the past, but I think Charles and Harry have shown a capacity for empathy and compassion that William hasn’t. They seem open to progressive ideas and evolving in a way William doesn’t. That’s just my impression, and I could be 100% wrong.

      • Ader says:

        @Kebbie — This is where I’m at, too, after reading a few books on the family. I’d love for William to prove me wrong, but he’s yet to do so.

        @Kylie — I have always lived in very white spaces and have never met a white person who didn’t make microaggressions (including my own husband, on occasion). I am in search of that magical place where folks don’t do that! :-) My mental health would benefit greatly! :-) But yeah, that’s just been my experience.

      • MrsBump says:

        @Kebbie
        Only last year, Prince Charles told a young Asian-British woman Anita Sethi that she didn’t look like she came from Manchester, UK.
        She wrote an opinion piece in the Guardian about it.

        So sadly, i think you might be wrong about him being evolved and progressive.

      • pleaseicu says:

        Harry’s been problematic way after the nazi costume. The racist nickname for a fellow soldier while he was serving. I believe he’s the one a couple years ago who, thinking he was giving a compliment, told a comedian he didn’t talk like a black chap. Charles let something similarly racist slip just last year to a young woman he met. I imagine the whole family is racist and problematic. Some in the royal family can just hide their problematic POVs better for longer periods of time. But every now and then every one of them lets something slip.

      • Serpentinefire says:

        Harry is in a unique position now he has a front row seat to all the racist shit his wife has been receiving from the UK press and also his biracial child is about to be born. He is about to experience some hard truths and it’s going to be one hell of a gut punch.

      • Ader says:

        Yes, Serpentinefire. Agreed.

        I’m interested to see how they navigate the racism issue moving forward. Will they keep quiet or address it head on and deal with the inevitable “white fragility” backlash? We shall see…

      • letmesjustsay says:

        I don’t think they will address it because they are funded and work for the class system. Their job is do to photo op and to use Meghan do be seen as modern. The monarchy control all their finances and even where they live. so they will never publicly go against their own privilege. racism or not

      • Momoftwo says:

        So only Harry can evolve and grow up, but no one else can? No one else can grow and develop into a better person?

      • Ader says:

        @Momoftwo: That is not what I said and you know it. In fact, I even said that I hope William proves me wrong. Being purposefully obtuse when it comes to this topic is problematic.

      • Momoftwo says:

        Ader, you wrote about you instinct and gut in regards to PC and PH w/o any facts supporting that, like @Kylie said not everyone makes racist microaggressions from time to time, and those that do don’t get a pass just because people want to believe that a person maybe did something to learn why what they did was wrong. And I’m not obtuse, just can’t understand why Harry is automatically grown, redeemed, but other people can’t

      • Ader says:

        @Momoftwo:

        1) You are misrepresenting what I am saying. You should ask yourself why. If I said what you said I did, then that would mean I don’t even think my own husband can grow. He can and has.

        2) Yes. It is my opinion, based on observations, that Harry and Charles currently understand racism better than William and seem to have better temperaments to learn. We all have opinions, that is mine.

        3) Science is on my side. Researchers and social scientists have proven that we see and experience life through racialized lenses. So yes, everyone is probably a bit more racist than they realize and nearly every person on this planet has likely done something that has had a negative racial impact. Those are just the hard facts. Refusing to believe the bigoted base of our socialization is on par with refusing to believe in the overwhelming body of science that proves climate change.

        4) People who can’t wrap their heads around point three are usually indulging in “white fragility.” It’s an easy thing to get over once you understand what’s happening. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07638ZFN1/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

      • BrickyardUte says:

        Thank you for also leaving space for those where have made huge mistakes and since learned from them. I threw my now husband a cowboy and Indians party in college. I am now much better educated and ashamed to have used a culture as a theme and would own and apologize for it as many times as needed. But it does not define who I am now nor the advocacy work I participate in.
        My point? We need to allow people room for growth and education and come over to the good side.

      • Ader says:

        Hey Brick,

        In my opinion, it is important to keep the window open.

        It’s great that you do advocacy work, but please also keep in mind (and this is just a general observation) that implicit bias racism is about more than just actions.

        We’re raised in a society that is fundamentally bigoted, and as such, we develop opinions about things and people we don’t even realize. As a black woman, I find the double standards to be the most frustrating. And yet, most white folks will insist that they don’t hold double standards. For example, black women are routinely categorized as “difficult” or “uppity” or “conceited” for acting the same exact way as white women; but the people engaging in the double standard usually refuse to acknowledge it. It’s maddening.

        A racist woman I most recently encountered was a Peace Corps alum who presented as the most liberal of liberals. But she spent a lifetime swallowing and regurgitating racist stereotypes. As such, being around her was a nightmare, because without fail, every time we got together, something racist would fly out of her mouth. When I tried to talk to her about it, she freaked out and fell into a “white fragility” spiral. We no longer speak.

        I share this story because I think many, many white folks still believe that “racism” is about conscious actions — and it is way more than that.

        Other really problematic things to say when someone confronts you about an action or statement having a racial impact (again, this is just general talk…not speaking to you specifically :-) ):
        1) Everyone has problems.
        2) What do you do!? (Any white person, who says this to a black person, who confronts them about racism has a LOT to learn. A LOT!)
        3) But I treat everyone the same!!

    • BayTampaBay says:

      I am not an expert on the subject and not qualified to give an opinion BUT, of all of this Royal bunch, QEII seems the least racist to me.

    • Mrs.Krabapple says:

      I agree. Phillip is probably the worst of them all, and I have read that Elizabeth deferred to him in raising the kids. So they grew up groomed to be racist too. And with Diana dying when William and Harry were still minors, whatever influence she had would have been overshadowed in the years that followed (and that’s giving her the benefit of the doubt that she would have raised the kids differently). I think they just learned to hide it while in public.

  3. Margareth says:

    And don’t forget James Middleton who is selling Nazi boxes.

    • WTW says:

      Or Prince Harry who dressed up as a Nazi and used the term “p*ki.” Anyway, the British Royal Family are colonizers and imperialists; what do we expect? Also, Princess Di had some sort of black golliwog doll and wanted her kids to play with the doll as well but was told she could not. She lamented the fact that Wills and Harry couldn’t play with a racist doll. All of this makes me side-eye Meghan Markle. I root for her but wonder how she reconciles all of this with her personal values. That said, Meghan has discussed being a feminist much more than she has anti-racism, though she has written about growing up biracial, too. Is it possible that Prince Harry and the rest have changed? I guess, but I doubt in some sort of radical way because who’s really holding them accountable? Besides, Meghan, what POCs do they really know?

      • Margareth says:

        Why do you drag Meghan in this mess?

      • Monicack says:

        Fair is fair. Meghan can be a part of this conversation because she married Harry.

      • Nic919 says:

        Harry actually apologized for the costume. James Middleton has yet to say anything about the Nazi marshmallows and instead uses the Daily Mail to close comments and bury the story.
        And blaming Meghan for racist actions done by Harry or her dead mother in law is utter garbage. You do not blame the biracial person for a white person’s own actions, in this case well over a decade ago. If non white people have to refrain from associating with all white people who have done or said racist things they basically cannot associate with any white people at all.

      • Jegede says:

        @WTW –

        I never knew about the golliwog.😶😶 Damn!😕

      • Monicack says:

        Blame Meghan? No one is blaming her but it’s silly to exclude her from the broader conversation.

      • Megan says:

        It’s gross that Di had a golliwog doll and even grosser that she wanted her kids to play with it. SMDH

      • Princessk says:

        Geez, so Diana is a racist because she owned a golliwog. Loads of people used to own golliwogs but are not racist. I am old enough to remember seeing golliwogs sold in toy shops. Thankfully people now realise that they have no place in a modern enlightened society but people didn’t really understand. Do understand that people learn and evolve and we are all products of our environment and Princess Diana who had a very sheltered upper class upbringing was much more aware towards the end of her life.

        I remember a joke Diana made about Brixton which involved stereotyping but would l label her a racist, certainly not.

    • notasugarhere says:

      Amazing how Carole got that story scrubbed from the internet, eh?

  4. Valiantly Varnished says:

    I’m not shocked and I’m not surprised. These British aristocrats and socialites circles are steeped in xenophobia and racism and always have been.

  5. Mrs. Peel says:

    And Harry dressed up as a Nazi in 2005 – but the press always digs up the dirt on Kate and Meghan.

    • LORENA says:

      Exactly.

    • Div says:

      Yeah, I love Harry but come on. The man dressed up in a Nazi costume and used racial slurs at one point in his life, even though I think he’s ashamed and a different person. Frankly, I think that’s worse than Kate and Will had a friend who attended a party with a racist theme and some of the 100 people at that party wore brownface. One’s a direct offense, the other is knowing someone who was complicit.

      And I’m going to get slammed for this, but I feel like people forget that norms were way different even 12 years ago. When I was in undergrad, I knew of at least two “Cowboy and Indian” parties and one “Cinco de Mayo” party where some people wore racist costumes. At the time, I was one of the few people who though the parties were f*cked up—but back then most people did not. It’s not an excuse, but context does matter when judging this sort of messy, awful sh*t.

      • Nic919 says:

        William was at the party with Harry and dressed inappropriately himself. He doesn’t get a pass here either.

      • Lady D says:

        Funny how everyone wants to forget William was there dressed as an African warrior.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        People are forgetting at that party William dressed up as an African tribesman I believe. The press have the photos from the party of both of them but only published the ones off Harry. Not sure if pressure was applied by the palace to protect William but apparently William thought it was hilarious, not just at the costume that he picked out for Harry but at the fact that he got ripped in the press for it. William has bragged about influencing Harry and how he finds it funny when his brother has gotten into trouble for things that William goaded him into.

        The whole family is problematic, some worse than others.

      • Monicack says:

        Digital and Lady
        Not true. William went as a gorilla. This from the very reporter who broke the story and had the photos. It’s in his published book.

      • notasugarhere says:

        No, William did not go as a gorilla. Nor did he go as a lion, which is what the press reported. He went as a Zulu, which was the costume he asked for according to the shopkeeper.

    • Jegede says:

      @Div –

      He used racial slurs and said right to the face of Black British comedian Stephen Amos: “You don’t talk like a black chap.”

      Amos was like, WTF Harry? 🙁 How am I supposed to sound?🙄

      The ignorance is ingrained in all of them.

    • notasugarhere says:

      William picked out Harry’s costume and went to the same party dressed as a Zulu, according to the person working in the costume shop.

      • BabaBlacksheep3 says:

        Oh god, stop. I found absolutely nothing that supports that. And even if that was true (and that’s a big “if”), Will didn’t hold a gun to Harry’s head. He chose to wear the costume, the blame should be his and his alive. Will wasn’t there when Harry called a fellow soldier a racist slur or when he told that guy he was funny “for a black guy”. But go off on how everything is Will’s fault. There’s a saying in Fandom that seems perfect here, “Your fav is problematic”

      • Lolly says:

        Right? I think it’s fair to say that the whole royal family can be problematic. One is not better than the other.

      • Ader says:

        Yes. This was in several books I’ve read…And they never sued for defamation, so…

        Baba, it’s true.

      • notasugarhere says:

        William is a lousy older brother in many ways, from leading the way with experimenting at ClubH (Highgrove) and goading his younger brother to do something stupid. Being a younger sibling, I’ve experienced that type of older sibling pressure myself.

        Yes, Ader. The photo of William in that costume shows up sometimes online, in the darker recesses of the royal fandom. Several articles with interviews from the shopkeeper also disappeared, but one or two can still be found online. Harry appears to have grown and learned, especially from his time in the military. Meanwhile William and Kate are still hanging racist paintings on the walls of their residence.

      • Monicack says:

        Oh please. William went as a gorilla not a Zulu. At this point you are just choosing to misrepresent the truth.

      • Megan says:

        Let’s not forget Prince Philip and his lifetime of racist crap.

      • notasugarhere says:

        No, you’re choosing to pretend it didn’t happen. He went as a Zulu, but it was reported as a lion costume by the press. Other friends of William’s also went dressed as Zulus in blackface, while William wore black tights. The shopkeeper went on record stating that’s the costume he asked for. There’s even a photo of him in the outfit, which resurfaces every so often on the bleaker royal forums.

      • letmesjustsay says:

        He went as a zulu, his brother as a nazi
        THEY ARE ALL RACIST.
        i don’t know why you are trying to prove one was less then the other. The fact that they were at that type of party tell you all that you need to know about them.

  6. Carobell says:

    The concept of monarchy is that God made them better than the common people, any wonder they look down on them? That their similarly privileged and titled friends feel the same way? That they can feel safe to mock and pretend to be like those they know they are so elevated from?
    It’s disgusting.

  7. MissyS. says:

    I think we all should know by now that many of those people are racist and prejudice. They don’t see people of color as human, but rather as entertainment.

  8. Div says:

    I can’t believe, as a Black woman, I’m going to do this and semi defend one of these idiots but the stylist’s husband doesn’t look like he’s wearing brownface. He looks like he has the typical orange Jersey Shore Paris Hilton spray tan that was common in the mid 00s, and his chest matches his face. Some of the people are clearly in brownface, but he is not.

    There’s no excuse for the racist, dumb party but I’m not really surprised that the posh circle threw a party like that, especially in 2007.

  9. Lisa says:

    Not shocked.

  10. line says:

    I did not consider them racist but like that people who has profoundly ignorant. They live in a white privilege bubble and it is very rare that one of them is interested in other cultural, consequently they think everything is funny which explains this kind of evening.

    • Monicack says:

      Google racism.

      • line says:

        I make this difference because, having attended private high-school, I have known this type of people who organize this type of party and think it’s fun to paint theirs face in black to disguise as Diana Ross or Michael Jackson. They were not racist (whose meaning did not have a deep hate towards the blacks, Arabs or Indians).

        It’s just deeply stupid and ignorant people who have a stereotypical view of other cultures or religions. If you call them racist directly, then Harry with his Nazi uniform is an antisemitic, xenophobic and racist person.

      • Ader says:

        “think it’s fun to paint theirs face in black to disguise as Diana Ross or Michael Jackson. ”

        That. Is. Racist.

      • Kylie says:

        @line
        What you described is racism. A person doesn’t have to have deep hatred to be racist. Not all racists run around in white hoods or use racial slurs.

    • tag says:

      that /is/ racism

    • Bella DuPont says:

      Is there a distinction between ignorance and racism? (Or rather, isn’t there?)

    • Emby says:

      The definition of racism is that you see other races as less than your own. If it’s no big deal to mock them, you are racist. Nazi/KKK-racist? Sure, no, but it’s still racist.
      People need to own that.

  11. Angiedown says:

    I saw the pictures and Ginnie herself was not in blackface. Some other guests did show up in blackface which is abhorrent.

    This doesn’t surprise me that many of these aristocrats still have this fantasy of Britain’s colonial days. This is one of the many reasons why I hate the commonwealth because I think it’s another attempt by Britain to still hold some influence over it’s former colonies.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      I think with the Windrush scandal the British destroyed any influence they had over former colonies.

  12. Princessk says:

    While l do think that putting on ‘black face’ is very insensitive l do think that the whole fancy dress thing goes much deeper and says something about the upper class/ upper class psyche. Most of them are quite repressed and this goes back generations. The only way that they can ‘let off steam’, ‘let their hair down ‘ or let it all hang out ‘ is to get drunk or adopt a different persona or both.

    Fancy dress shops are quite common in well heeled neighbourhoods in the UK. Having to get drunk or dress up and pretending to be someone else before you can have a good time is rather sad IMO. The outfits can appear racist or sexist or tasteless but l think being able to lose their inhibitions and act juvenile is more at the forefront for these toffs than really wanting to go out of their way to offend people.

    • Monicack says:

      This is a sad excuse for microaggressive racism. It’s like saying the drunken boss who pinches your bottom at the company Christmas party is not a sexist, misogynistic pig.

    • Emby says:

      Oh it’s just racism for the sake of blowing off steam, so it’s okay.

      You can’t see it but you’re getting the biggest wtf look from me right now.

  13. Flipkit says:

    Sure we should judge people by the company they keep which would mean the entire British royal family are all guilty because they all move around in the same circles.

    William had his 21st birthday party with the theme ‘Out of Africa’. And correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t this the same party that Harry also wore the Nazi uniform or was it for another fancy dress party?

    • notasugarhere says:

      Where William picked out Harry’s costume, and dressed as a Zulu and the press covered it up and said it was a lion costume. Too bad the shopkeeper came out and admitted the costume William wanted to rent and that he goaded Harry into wearing that other costume.

      • MrsBump says:

        i’m confused by this line of reasoning.
        So the press says that William is having an affair, so that MUST be true
        The press says that william went dressed as lion, that is obviously a cover up.

      • Giranim says:

        Here we go with the same tired excuse of how William supposedly forced Harry to dress as a Nazi! How about we allow grown men to accept responsibility for their own bad actions and not try to deflect responsibility.

      • Bella DuPont says:

        @ Giranim

        If the sequence of events was that William picked out the costume before Harry then wore it, are we not allowed to point that out?

        @Mrs Bump:
        The press has not said William cheated (not the UK press anyway). They’ve only hinted at it. People have merely added 2 + 2 because William cheating has apparently been an open secret for very many years and quite frankly, doesn’t seem particularly out of character.

      • notasugarhere says:

        According to the shopkeeper at the rental shop in several published interviews. William goaded Harry into wearing the costume, and younger brother Harry did that in one of his stupider moves. William requested a Zulu costume, then made his own when the shopkeeper said they didn’t have them. There is at least one photo of William in that outfit running around online, complete with black tights. Others of his friends also went as Zulus complete with tights and blackface.

      • Monicack says:

        Harry made his own decision. Read the actual reporter’s book instead of tumblr. The gymnastics is hilarious.

  14. SK says:

    I don’t think that dressing up as another culture is automatically racist. Having lived in a number of other cultures, I know it’s not. There are ways to do it with respect and honour – mostly when invited to do so with the participation of those within/from the culture.

    But COME ON! You are the wealthy, white elite of the UK and you think brown face and stereotypes of Indian culture are a good idea??? 🤦🏼‍♀️ Geeeeeeez.

    Mind you, I suspect this is highly embarrassing to a lot of these people now. I do think it is a lot better known now that this kind of thing is not okay than it was in 2007. I can recall being invited to “Cowboys and Indians” and “Mexican” themed parties in the very early aughts (in Australia). No one wore face paint of any kind at any of those but people definitely wore moustaches at the Mexican party and unfortunately there were faux Native American headdresses at the other (I went as a cowgirl).

    Conversations about cultural appropriation really started to heat up in the years after that and I remember being horrified in retrospect. I don’t think anyone was trying to disrespect those cultures – more like joyously homaging them in a lame way; but the fact is that it turned out that it was never actually okay. I’ve not been invited to a party with a theme like that since about 2005. I hope they’ve disappeared for good.

    And in the case of the elite of a country that colonised large swathes of the world and whose families and country directly benefited from the exploitation of other countries and races, dressing up as those people and using brown face is really moronic and disrespectful.

    • notasugarhere says:

      William and Kate also went to a “cowboy and indian” party. William dressed as a cowboy. Kate dressed in a low-cut satin slip and faux “indian” headdress.

      Edited because I cross posted with Totalhonesty, who mentioned this and included the link.

      • Monicack says:

        Low-cut too? Oh nos!

      • Some chick says:

        @Monica

        “Sexy Indian in feather headdress” is extra offensive.

        The feather headdress is a religious icon. Also, it is clearly punching down. Making a stripper costume from someone’s spiritual culture isn’t ok.

    • A says:

      Your last paragraph hits the nail on why this makes me particularly angry.

      I’m not saying it would be better if anyone else threw a party like this. But I think that, in the context of this being the British upper-crust, with the history that they have of colonialism and imperialism, the fact that they thought this type of thing was ok, in 2007, is fcking appalling.

      These people have probably come in contact with Indians who live in the UK, on more than one occasion. And they still thought this was okay, that this was funny, that it was harmless, just a laugh, yeah?

      How many of these clowns do you want to bet support Brexit and the Tories? Probably more than just a few, if you ask me.

      • Nic919 says:

        Kate was dressed not as an Indian but a caricature of an indigenous Canadian. And considering that it was her in-laws are direct ancestors t those who first imposed the reservation system in Canada as well as the genocide that killed so many, it’s even more ignorant to be so insensitive about it.

  15. Tourmaline says:

    Speaking of Kate’s new stylist is Natasha Archer her old stylist/personal assistant coming back? I know she had a baby with her husband (Cambridges’ favorite photog, Chris Jackson) but wasn’t sure if she was just on leave or coming back.

  16. Totalhonesty says:

    I remember Kate dressed up as an Indian for one of William’s military parties. William dressed as a cowboy. I will try to find a photo, but I do believed they buried it. If I find it, I will add the link. So, she was fine going there. Definitely says a lot about her.

    • Nives says:

      And they will be next King and Queen Consort. Mess.

    • Deedee says:

      Kate wearing feathers and a silky nightgown? Putting a sexy spin on a racist theme?

    • Brandy Alexander says:

      Honestly though, that is not an Indian head piece. That is a flapper headband. And a silk gown doesn’t scream “Indian” either. And the link doesn’t say what the theme of the party was, so I guess I just need more proof.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Yes, it is an “Indian” costume. They were attending a Cowboys and Indians party.

      • windyriver says:

        The man Kate’s talking to is wearing a black cowboy hat. Just below his chin is another cowboy hat, red, hanging on the back of the other woman in this picture. So no, Kate’s not wearing a flapper headband.

  17. Dee says:

    These people look like such total assholes, and the facepaint is disgustingly offensive.
    That said, Indian clothes are the MOST gorgeous — is there anything wrong with having a party where everyone wears gorgeous saris and bindis etc? Serious question.

  18. guest says:

    So since this came to light is Kate no longer going to use her service?

  19. AprilMay says:

    Well seeing as there’s pics of the two of them dressed up at a cowboys and Indians party (and not as cowboys) wouldn’t be to much of a stretch that if they’d been there they’d be in blackface too.

  20. Wilma says:

    I never get how the Daily Mail doesn’t explode from their own hypocrisy. I think this is pretty typical for European society. And still is.

  21. Casey02 says:

    Daily Fail News…York sisters-in-law attend a Baby Shower…Wait, we heard for weeks that Brits don’t do baby showers…This is why the rest of the world thinks the Brits are CRAZY! Why not just say they dislike Meghan!

    • Tina says:

      Daily Mail does not equal all Brits, yadda yadda rinse repeat. Don’t you get tired of repeating the same crap?

      • Casey20 says:

        Tina you can rinse and repeat as much as you like but regardless of what you may think what is happening to Meghan is a reflection on the British people.

      • Tina says:

        Do you think that the fact that your president calls a candidate for the presidency “Pocohontas” is a “reflection on” the American people? What about the racism that is routinely straight out said on Fox News (Santa Claus and Jesus “are white”)? If you accept that, I will accept that the British media’s treatment of Meghan is a “reflection on” the British people.

      • Himmiefan says:

        The Dim does not represent all Brits; just a small minority. Meghan’s actually quite popular in the UK.

      • Casey02 says:

        Tina, approximately 30% of the American population believes every single word and lie from Trump….millions of Americans. I’m not going to pretend that Americans don’t agree with him. My point is that you continue to say Brits love Meghan. It’s dishonest and really it’s takes away from your ability to have a honest conversation. I intentionally paint with a broad brush because there are several Brits that post here who blame everyone for the hate against Meghan but refuse to acknowledge the hate of their own countrymen. I acknowledge and vehemently disagree with Trump and his Supporters. I will be the first person at my voting precinct to vote against him…. can you admit the hate that millions in your country feel toward Meghan because she is American, Actress, Divorce or a WOC???

      • Tina says:

        Some people in the UK hate Meghan. Not millions. Some people in the US support Trump. I would not say that either group is necessarily a “reflection on” its country, but you do you.

      • Snowflake says:

        @tina, how would we know any better than to think they’re racist? We don’t live there . used to think it would be neat to go the UK. But all the racist comments on the Daily Mail have me thinking twice about it. My husband is mixed. But we do live in the US so maybe it is not as bad. But just like Trump makes us look bad, so do comments made on sites like DM make you guys look bad.

      • Tina says:

        @snowflake, please don’t get me wrong: the UK is racist, and the US is racist. They’re just racist in very different ways. I will put it this way: I am sure that your husband will find it easier to get a taxi in the UK than the US, and he is a lot less likely to be shot by the police. But if he likes soccer, and goes to a game in the UK, I can’t promise that people in the crowd won’t verbally abuse black players, and even him. I don’t think that they will. But, to our shame, it’s more likely that this will happen at a premier league soccer game than an NFL or MLB game.

        But in terms of Daily Mail commenters: they are not representative of our country. They are the dregs of our country. They are the Breitbart of our country. If you come here, I fervently believe that we would welcome you, despite Brexit. I cannot speak for the whole country, but I do believe that you will find a country at least as welcoming as that which you left behind.

  22. Casey02 says:

    Kate irks me but I can’t call her a racist because of something her stylist did 12 years ago….did Kate know her 12 years ago??

    • Nic919 says:

      It’s not fair to blame her for the actions of her stylist, but photos of her with feathers in her hair pretending to be “Indian” certainly is something she should be called out for.

    • Katie says:

      Did they go to uni together?

  23. Mego says:

    A few years ago I visited my Aunt and while there took me to meet her friend who is from the States and spends the Summer in my province in Canada. The first thing this woman did was ask me a question related to my area of expertise that was blatantly anti Semitic in tone. I was floored. On the drive home I pointed it out to my aunt and she brushed it off. It was entirely acceptable to my aunt that she possessed this attitude and I was profoundly troubled by it. Many years have passed and I don’t spend time with my aunt anymore. That incident was one reason why we are not close. I just can’t with racists and those who tolerate them and don’t care if they’re kin.

  24. S says:

    First,let me to thank everybody in this site for educating me about racism,in many posts,not just this one. But,if I never read all your comment,I wouldn’t consider all this racist. In most european countries we are almost entirely white nations. We just don’t have enough knowlege about POC struggles,so costuming like this for US is pretty common.I deeply apologise for anyone offended,just trying to explain situation.

    • Tina says:

      S, it’s important for all of us to learn, and to continue learning about these issues. There isn’t any excuse for racist behaviour, but we also have to realise that the issues are not going to be exactly the same in all countries. (I remember well an op-Ed in the New York Times a couple of months ago that said that British feminists needed to learn from “indigenous Britons.” Not sure who they were talking about, the Picts?) But we can’t make excuses for our own or others’ behaviour, we just have to keep listening and learning, and doing better going forward.

  25. bonobochick says:

    LOL at all the whataboutism to deflect from the actual article and who is associated with it.

  26. Katie says:

    Someone upthread mentioned Harry saying “p*ki”…was he an adult at the time and what context – was it directly to someone’s face or to one of his buddies ?

  27. A says:

    This is just bog-standard upper class aristocratic racism, the kind that’s been laughed off and joked about and never discussed in deeper detail, because for all of their education (the kinds that some of us plebs could never dream about having access to), these people have never really learned the implications that this sort of racism has had on people, especially immigrants.

    And the sad part is that this are the same crowd from which the UK gets so much of its political movers and shakers. People like David Cameron, George Osborne, Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg–all of these people have similar backgrounds to Kate’s stylist. I would even wager that they aren’t that far removed from the crowd who attended this party. And on the surface of it, it’s really easy to argue that these people meant no harm, that they were just young and stupid, that it was 2007 so it was long before any of us had any sort of real awareness of racism.

    But then you think about how it’s very likely that some of these folks who attended this party could very well be in charge of setting policies that affect the very people who they’re making fun of, and then suddenly it doesn’t strike you as harmless, but incredibly, atrociously distasteful.

  28. Carolind says:

    Don’t just condemn the RF for being racist, a lot of ordinary people in Britain are too. My mother-in-law was terrible and what do you think the reason why some British people want out of the EU? The immigration policy. I also worked with military people and the vast majority supported UKip. Also a lot is ignorance. Some people don’t know what terms should not be used. I am not talking about the obvious/ghastly ones here. To contributors from the US though, I would say please put your own backyard in order before going on about the UK in this respect. A country which put Trump into office is really in no position to condemn any other. I don’t think you exactly know how you are being viewed by the rest of the world.

    • Princessk says:

      Well said!

      • Casey02 says:

        The US is the worlds powerhouse. It will survive Trump…will the UK survive Brexit? Besides the point is about the horrible racism and bullying toward the DoS from the Brits.

      • Tina says:

        I wouldn’t be so confident that the US will survive Trump. He’s likely to be re-elected next year and will do a lot more damage to your democratic institutions in that time. And the article is actually about a party that Kate’s stylist attended in 2007, nothing to do with Meghan at all.

  29. Kc says:

    Sorry princessk, but that’s ridiculous. If you use racist language you are racist. Duh.

  30. Amy Tennant says:

    Me reading the headline, “Sure, whatever. I bet this is something alarmist and misl–”
    Me looking at the pictures. “Oh my GOD.”