BBC Radio dealt with a burning question Tuesday: Why is the British royal family so white?
The question was debated on BBC Talkback, a talk radio program aired on BBC Radio Ulster, a station in Northern Ireland.
— BBC Talkback (@BBCTalkback) July 26, 2016
The conversation was prompted by Facebook comments made by an employee of the British Council, a state-funded non-profit that promotes British culture abroad. The employee bashed three-year-old Prince George for possessing “white privilege” and a “cheeky grin.”
During the debate, Talkback host William Crawley asked how the U.K. could have a monarchy that wasn’t as brown as the U.K. itself. Although historically the country has been overwhelmingly white, recent waves of immigration mean about 15 percent of the U.K.’s population is now non-white.
“In modern Britain, we’re a very diverse society. The royals don’t look like us anymore,” said Crawley.
Guest Frank Shivers, a member of the Democratic Unionist Party, countered that it was ridiculous to attack the Royal Family for its racial make-up.
“I don’t have any black people in [my] family, does that make me a racist?” Shivers said.
“[But] your family isn’t publicly funded,” countered Crawley.
Graham Smith, the leader of a campaign to make the U.K. a republic, said the lack of diversity in the monarchy was an argument for having an elected president who could better embody the country’s racial mix.
Ironically, the discussion didn’t dwell on a major fact about the House of Windsor: While the royal family is white, they are not particularly British. A great deal of their ethnic ancestry is German, French, or drawn from the long-intermingled network of European royalty.
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