Princess Michael of Kent's brooch was criticized as offensive, especially since she wore it to meet Prince Harry's fianceé, who is biracial
Princess Michael of Kent attends a Christmas lunch for the extended Royal Family at Buckingham Palace on December 20, 2017 in London, England.
| Credit: Mark Cuthbert/Getty Images

The Queen’s cousin Princess Michael of Kent has responded to criticism for wearing a brooch many found offensive to meet Meghan Markle, Prince Harry’s new fianceé.

“The brooch was a gift and has been worn many times before. Princess Michael is very sorry and distressed that it has caused offense,” a representative for Princess Michael told People.

The brooch choice garnered backlash for its “blackamoor” style, People Magazine reported. The style dates back to 16th century Venice, and has been criticized for what has been called racist imagery because it portrays exoticized images of servants and slaves of African descent.

Many also found the brooch to be offensive because she wore it while meeting Markle, who is biracial.

This isn’t the first time Princess Michael has found herself mired in controversy. Back in 2004, she was accused of racism after she reportedly told a group of African-Americans at a New York City restaurant to “go back to the colonies.”

Her response to the controversy was also found offensive.

“I even pretended years ago to be an African, a half-caste African, but because of my light eyes I did not get away with it, but I dyed my hair black,” People Magazine reported Princess Michael said at the time.