Crossing the royal 'color line'

Regarding “A fairy tale romance?: The groundwork for this royal wedding was laid generations ago” (Dec. 9), Horacio Sierra ignores a most relevant fact. The marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is not the first time that the British royal family has crossed the ludicrously artificial “color line.”

In November 1916, Queen Victoria’s grandson George Battenburg (2nd Marquess of Milford Haven) married Countess Nadejda Mickhailovna de Torby (daughter of Russian Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich Romanov). The countess was a direct descendant of the great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin. In turn, Mr. Pushkin was a great grandson of the remarkable Ibrahim Petrovich Gannibal who was born in West Africa (probably Mali), was purchased in the slave markets of the Ottoman Empire and given to Peter the Great.

Tsar Peter, perceiving the boy’s intelligence, sent him to France for a military education. On returning to Russia, he rose through the ranks becoming a prominent imperial courtier, provincial governor and eventually General-in-Chief (the third most senior Army rank). He had 11 children, most of whom became members of the Russian nobility.

John Russell, Sparks

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