Princess Michael of Kent 'very sorry' for wearing 'racist' brooch

Princess Michael of Kent Credit: PA

Princess Michael of Kent has apologised for wearing a brooch which has been deemed by some to be racist.

The Queen's first cousin was photographed wearing the piece of jewellery, which is reported to be a blackamoor brooch, as she arrived for a Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace.

Blackamoor figures are sculptures or other depictions of "exoticised" figures, usually African males but sometimes other non-European people, which were used in European art from around 1500 to 1800.

Often the figures are depicted as servants, and are now often considered to have racist connotations due to their association with colonialism and slavery.

The lunch was also attended by Meghan Markle, the fiancee of Prince Harry, who is mixed-race with a white father and an African-American mother.

Princess Michael was heavily criticised online for wearing "racist jewellery".

Simon Astaire, a spokesperson for Princess Michael, apologised on behalf of the royal for any "offence" the brooch had caused.

"The brooch was a gift and has been worn many times before," Mr Astaire said.

"Princess Michael is very sorry and distressed that it has caused offence."

It is understood the 72-year-old will not wear the brooch in the future.