5 Real Black Princesses Everyone Should Know About
Princesshood is not bound to a single color, and the first look of Disney’s latest Little Mermaid also seems to break this stereotype about princesses. However, it brings us to wonder how real Black princesses are rarely presented and often neglected in mainstream culture. While Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, is the only face that comes to people’s mind when talking about Black princesses, there also are other Black princesses who were either born into royalty or married into a royal family.
Here are the five real Black princesses whose lives are no less than fairytales. Each step of these Black royalties is history in itself and a befitting response to racial discrimination worldwide.
1 Sarah Culberson of Sierra Leone- a princess found.
The story of Sarah Culberson is so dramatic that Disney is going to make a whole movie about it! Sarah was born in April 1976. A White couple living in West Virginia, Jim and Judy Culberson, adopted her when she was one year old. Up until the age of 28 years, Culberson had no idea that she had roots in the royal family of the Mende tribe of Bumpe (Sierra Leone).
Sarah received unconditional love and care from the Culberson’s, but she always wanted to learn about her real identity. At the age of 21, she started looking for her biological mother and discovered that her mother had lost her life to cancer ten years ago. However, she had not yet learned about her father.
So, following a friend’s suggestion, Sarah hired a private investigator to find leads about her father. The investigator, who was apparently hired for $25, came up with a lead just three hours later and suggested Sarah send a letter to the address he gave her. Four days later, Sarah received a call from a woman, her biological father’s sister. That’s how she learned that she was a princess. She also spoke with her father on the phone and went to Bumpe in 2004. Bumpe celebrated her homecoming for days.
Sarah is not just one of the real Black princesses. She took on her responsibilities as a royal and launched Sierra Leone Rising, a non-profit organization that rebuilt high schools in Bumpe, helped supply clean drinking water, and installed solar-powered lights. Along with her brother, Hindo, she also launched Mask On Africa, a campaign to encourage mask usage during the COVID-19 outbreak.
2 Princess Elizabeth Bagaya of Toro was the first of the Black princesses in the English Bar
Princess Elizabeth Bagaya.
Princess of Tooro. Lawyer. Model. Actress. Former Ambassador of Uganda to the United States, Germany and Vatican.
Former minister of Foreign affairs. pic.twitter.com/wNfl5szEJN
— Ugandan History (@UgandanHistory) May 21, 2020
Princess Elizabeth Bagaya of Tooro is the first female lawyer from Uganda. She is the first-ever Black East African woman who was admitted into the English Bar. The Cambridge graduate was also the first ever Black model to be featured on the cover pages of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. She even became the foreign minister of Uganda and addressed the UN General Assembly as chairman of OAU (Organization of African Unity) in 1974.
Elizabeth Bagaya de Toro, 1960. (Ougandaise) pic.twitter.com/rdSlvgmV7n
— Rémy Baho (@RemyBaho) March 16, 2020
Elizabeth Bagaya – model, politician, and Ugandan lawyer – was born on 9 February 1936 in the Tooro Kingdom of Uganda. She received an invitation from Princess Margaret of the United Kingdom to model in a fashion show for charity. The invitation was actually to save her from the life-threatening dangers in her own country.
People at the fashion show loved her, and she became an instant hit. Bagaya has also appeared in several movies. She is best known for the character she played in Sheena: Queen of the Jungle (1984). She is the paternal aunt of the present King of Tooro, Rukidi IV.
3 Princess Keisha Omilana of Nigeria, the destined princess.
Keisha was born on 8 March 1986 in Inglewood, California. Keisha’s story took an interesting turn when she was trying to find a way to a model casting in New York. Lost, she was standing in front of a hotel when a handsome gentleman approached her. He politely asked for her number to take her out. Keisha initially refused to share her number but ended up going on a date with the man who was apparently the Prince of Arigbabuowo, the ruling house in Nigeria.
Two years into the relationship, prince Kunle’s mom met Keisha for the first time and called her “princess.” She at first thought this was a pet name, but it was quite a revelation knowing that the man she was dating was actually a prince. Keisha and Kunle got married and have two beautiful children. Keisha continued working even after her marriage, i.e., after becoming one of the Black princesses for real. The brands she has worked with, like Maybelline, L’Oreal, Pantene, Cover Girl, Revlon, etc., tell how successful of a model she has been so far.
4 Princess Esther Kamatari of Burundi was the first Black princess to enter the French fashion industry.
Princess Esther Kamatari of Burundi is a vivid personality who has been a writer and model. Esther was born on 30th November 1951 in Bujumbura, Burundi. Esther’s father, the then king, was murdered in 1964 when she was merely 13. She had to leave her royal lifestyle behind and fly to Paris following the assassination of the King of Burundi in 1972. People in Paris refused to believe Esther when she told them she was a princess, just because she was Black!
She decided to pursue a modeling career in Paris and ended up being the first Black fashion model in France. She says her being a princess and the openness of the fashion industry in the 1970s helped her become a successful, Black model in the French fashion industry. During her fashion career, she has worked with fashion giants like Pucci, Paco Rabanne, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Lanvin. Kamatari was chosen as the head of a monarchist political party that aimed to unite Burundi under a moderated monarchy. Today she’s almost 71 years old and lives in Paris.
5 Princess Angela of Liechtenstein- first of the black princesses to marry into a European royal family
— Tatler (@Tatlermagazine) June 12, 2020
Princess Angela is the first ever woman of African descent to marry into a reigning royal European family. She was born in 1985 to Javier Fransisco Brown and Silvia Maritza Burke in the Bocas del Toro Province of Panama. Angela Gisela Brown attended her high school in New York City before pursuing a career in the fashion industry. She studied fashion at Parsons School of Design and received Oscar de la Renta for her outstanding work.
Princess Angela of Liechtenstein is the first and only black princess in a reigning European monarchy. The first royal interracial marriage. Princess Sophie Charlotte was the first Black Queen of England. pic.twitter.com/5C98K6jQaY
— 𝗥emi (@aderemimoses) June 17, 2018
Angela reportedly met Prince Maximilian of Liechtenstein at a party in 1997, and they started dating each other. Three years later, in 2000, the couple got married in New York at the St. Vincent Ferrer Church. Princess Angela was also in the news during the wedding of prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Netizens noticed an uncanny resemblance between the wedding dress worn by the Duchess of Sussex to the one princess Angela wore at her wedding in 2000.
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