Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will be spending Christmas in the US this year. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are currently taking a break from royal duties and will spend the holidays with Meghan’s mother and their son Archie Harrison.
While her difficult relationship with her father, Thomas Markle, has been widely reported on in the media, Meghan did open up about a special and ‘rule-breaking’ Christmas gift she once received from him.
In a post on her lifestyle blog, The Tig, which she shut down when she started dating Prince Harry, Meghan wrote: ‘When I was about seven, I had been fawning over a boxed set of Barbie dolls.
‘It was called The Heart Family and included a mom doll, a dad doll, and two children. This perfect nuclear family was only sold in sets of white dolls or black dolls.
‘I don’t remember coveting one over the other, I just wanted one.’
According to The Mirror, Meghan – whose mother is African American and whose father is caucasian – came home from school upset one day after being asked to tick a box on an exam paper stating whether she was white, black, Hispanic or Asian. Unsure of what to do, she left the box blank.
She continued: ‘It made the green of his eyes pop and his brow was weighted at the thought of his daughter being prey to ignorance.
‘And in one of those parenting moments that no guidebook could ever prep you for, my dad said words which will stay with me forever. “Draw your own box.”‘
Meghan then went on to describe how her father had ‘broken the rules’ to ensure that she got the Barbies she wanted, and that the family of dolls represented her own.
‘On Christmas morning, swathed in glitter-flecked wrapping paper, there I found my Heart Family: a black mom doll, a white dad doll, and a child in each colour,’ she wrote.
‘My dad had taken the sets apart and customised my family. I picture him standing there in Toys R Us, moms glaring at him for taking the toys apart, perhaps an employee saying, “Excuse me sir, you can’t do that” — as my dad carefully separated the boxed sets to make one that echoed my reality.
‘One that showed me that I should (and could) make my own box.’
Harry and Meghan have reportedly already got Archie’s first Christmas present – a personalised Santa sack emblazoned with his name and ‘Baby’s First Christmas’, sent by luxury gift brand Harrow & Green.
Wishing the Sussex family a very merry Christmas!