Meghan Markle isn’t alone.
If you take a look at history, you’ll notice that Black princesses are severely underrepresented, and rarely mentioned, as staples in our culture. To the greater part of society, they’re myths that only exist in Disney movies – or if you’ve been following the tumultuous events between Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, and the British Royal Family only one face comes to mind. While Markle is certainly a part of history, she’s not the only Black princess that exists in real life. In fact, there are a handful of others who were either born into the princess lifestyle or adopted it upon marrying into families of higher status by way of their princes. While the life of a princess is by no means a cakewalk for anyone, these women are certainly redefining history just by occupying their respective roles. Check out these Black princesses serving as royals around the world:
Princess Keisha Omilana of Nigeria
California-born model and philanthropist Princess Keisha Omilana was trying to find her way to a model casting in New York City when she stumbled upon princesshood and her now husband, Prince Kunle Omilana of Nigeria, in 2004. Her husband's status as a prince was kept secret for the two years they dated until Keisha met his mother.
After marrying into the Omilana family, Princess Keisha Omilana maintained her independent life and successful modeling career working with the likes of L'Oreal, Maybelline, Revlon, Cover Girl, and most notably, Pantene in which she’s known as the first Black woman to be featured in three consecutive commercials. As of 2020, she resides in London with her prince husband and two children – Prince Adediran "Diran" King Omilana and Princess Adediora "Dior" Isabella Nicole Omilana.
Princess Ariana Austin Makonnen Ethiopia
Most famously known as the Washington D.C. fairy tale, educator and philanthropist Princess Ariana Austin Makonnen of Ethiopia met her husband Prince Joel Dawit Makonnen – the great-grandson of Emperor Haile Selassie I – in a nightclub back in 2005. It wasn’t until they dated for a few months that her husband came clean about his royal roots and shared his family history. The two maintained an on-again-off-again relationship of 10 years until they rekindled their love in 2014 with a wedding proposal. Princess Ariana then officially became a member of the Ethiopian Imperial Family, and has since lived life out with her husband in Los Angeles.
Princess Angela of Liechtenstein
Born Angela Gisela Brown, Princess Angela of Liechtenstein – wife of Prince Maximilian – is known as the first European princess of African origin to marry a member of a reigning European dynasty. She was originally born in Bocas del Toro, Panamá, though her parents primarily raised her in New York City. She graduated from the renowned Parsons School of Design and pursued a career as a fashion designer starting her own labelled brand called “A. Brown.” Her Highness even designed her own wedding gown, which is largely recognized for inspiring the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle’s dress for her 2018 wedding.
Princess Esther of Burundi
Princess Esther Kamatari of Burundi is recognized as France's first Black model and exiled princess who left her home country behind after her father and uncle’s assassinations. She spent the majority of her childhood as a royal princess in Burundi before fleeing to Paris to become a writer and model. Despite pushback from people who didn’t believe her to be an African princess, Esther’s HRH title is what helped her secure a career in the modeling world. She later tried her hand at politics announcing a run for president of her home country in 2004, however her name never reached the ballot.
Princess Senate Mary Seeiso of Lesotho
Princess Senate Mary Seeiso is the eldest child of King Letsie III and his wife, Queen Masenate Mohato Seeiso. The 20-year-old princess is the patron of the Coalition on the Rights of the Child – a non-governmental organization that works to implement the Convention on the Rights of the Child in Lesotho. Though current laws prevent women from succeeding to the Lesothan throne, there has been some support within the South African country to call for change. As of today, Princess Senate’s brother Prince Lerotholi Seeiso is set to become the new heir to the throne.