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Who will he take after?

(68 Posts)
geekesse Mon 08-Mar-21 10:00:04

I’ve been musing on the Sussex/Oprah thing. I have no patience with the whole caboodle, but it did make me think about conversations in my family around an expected baby. “Will he have his Mum’s blue-grey eyes, or his Dad’s hazel eyes?”, “I wonder if he’ll have red hair like his grandad?”, “Will he inherit his Dad’s big feet?” and so on. I can imagine a quite neutral conversation about skin colour in that kind of context. Or it could be quite noxious “I hope he doesn’t look mixed race” or “I don’t want a black grandchild”. Without some additional context, it’s hard to judge whether family conversations of this kind were racist or not. What do others think?

Pantglas2 Mon 08-Mar-21 13:32:00

Oprah has apparently made clear that the racist comment was not made by Harry’s grandparents so Prince Philip is owed an apology by all those who jumped the gun......I’ll wait!

Peasblossom Mon 08-Mar-21 13:33:10

We speculated about all kinds of family traits they might have.

And one of the most treasured moments is that few seconds immediately after they are born when you see what you have made. And suddenly there is my great aunt Eva, to the life, staring up at me!

3nanny6 Mon 08-Mar-21 13:44:05

I speculated what my much wanted first daughter would be like and she certainly did not disappoint me. My parents and then a long stream of friends coming to the hospital to see the new arrival seemed to have no thoughts about her status she was just a new baby and they all wanted a look in.

GagaJo Mon 08-Mar-21 13:46:32

Nope 3nanny6, I think Archie is gorgeous. And he looks like he might have red hair. From someone who has spent her whole life dying her hair red, I think that could be lovely. Especially given that Harry was seen as such a hunk, pre marriage.

I can say, in complete honesty, that my daughter and I NEVER discussed my GS's possible skin tone. We wanted a girl and there WAS discussion about that, but once our little prince was born, we completely forgot wanting a girl in the delight of the perfect little boy.

LauraNorder Mon 08-Mar-21 13:52:10

I don’t think we can say ‘wtf difference does skin colour make’.
Of course we love our mixed race grandchildren, not because of their skin colour nor in spite of it. We love them because they are our flesh and blood and because they are lovable.
We can’t say we don’t see the colour of their skin, of course we do, I see the beautiful rich brown skin, lustrous brown hair and almond shaped deep brown eyes of one granddaughter and the pale, rosy cheeked skin, long curly blonde hair and bright blue eyes of another.
I also see the easy passage my fair skinned granddaughter gets compared to her darker skinned cousin simply based on skin colour.
Until we stop saying ‘skin colour doesn’t matter’ and ‘we don’t see colour’. we can’t have the open conversations that will give us a better understanding.
When we say ‘Black Lives Matter’ and white people say ‘all lives matter’ it shows a deep lack of understanding. The point is black lives don’t matter less.
We do need to discuss skin colour, it’s important to many, to some in the wrong way.
I sincerely hope that whatever was discussed in the royal family was along the lines of either greater understanding of prejudice that the baby might encounter or to prepare H,M and their child for the gutter press
and nasty social media trolling that they may encounter.
We can’t claim the royal family acted in a racist manner when we don’t know the context.
If it was found to be a racist remark then that person needs to be named and dealt with appropriately.
It is cruel to throw in this ‘grenade’ and let them all be blown up.

3nanny6 Mon 08-Mar-21 14:08:58

Hi Gagajo you are right Archie is gorgeous. It is a shame that we never get to see photographs of him the only ones being when he was about 9 months old or something like that.
My second child was so fair skinned as we say when we have a mixed race child in fact she was as fair skinned as Archie. My daughter did not take on any form of colour until she reached about 2 years old the small amount of hair was fairish blonde in fact one of my best friends joked to me that I had an affair as she was so pale in looks.
So by the time she was two with hair growing which was soft and spiralling into curls and her skin just a tiny bit golden you could see just a hint of perhaps soft dusky beauty.
To have some discussion is necessary I think as GD1 is just like me and looks British and resembles me in many ways. GD2 is at least three shades darker (same fathers) and once they started school children would ask why is your sister brown, just a fact of life but these things should be spoken about.
is at least 3 shades darker

3nanny6 Mon 08-Mar-21 14:15:05

Correction not sure where that last bit is at least 3 shades darker has appeared again at the end it is already in my post.

GagaJo Mon 08-Mar-21 14:22:13

Someone recently said my DGS looked like me! With his very varied heritage and mix of his mum and dad (that I CAN see) I have no idea how the poor boy ended up resembling me (not that he does, I think it was meant as flattery).

Laura, skin colour doesn't, or shouldn't, matter at all in a family. Love there should be unconditional. Of course, once outside the front door, it is completely different. I have recently been teaching William Blake's poem, The Little Black Boy. Once thought of as an abolitionist poem, it is now VERY sad how accepting even a forward thinking man, such as Blake was (OR how he had to pander to his audience). But that is the desperately sad conversation parents/families have to have, and keep having, for children who are not white.

Hithere Mon 08-Mar-21 14:26:30

I have biracial children (Indian- caucasian European) and I am fuming.

Yes, it is very racist. Unacceptable

My husband's family wished my kids would look like me. I made it stop on its tracks

BlueBelle Mon 08-Mar-21 14:29:58

Well you weren’t there and you have no idea who said what or what was implied or what anyone meant and you cannot and shouldn’t guess geekesse
You also have no idea of what affects one person or another
You could tell one person they are fat they could roar with laughter and say I know I ve always been a big bouncy girl you could tell the next person the same and they could be really angry really annoyed and ready to punch you You could tell a third person the same and they could hide in the bedroom and never want to come out because of shame
This gossip and guess work is pointless and says more about yourself than anyone else
I don’t agree 3granny6 yes it’s important to discuss if the children ask, it is NOT necessary to talk about to an expectant mother and before you jump on me I too have mixed race children

Lucca Mon 08-Mar-21 14:30:39

“ When we say ‘Black Lives Matter’ and white people say ‘all lives matter’ it shows a deep lack of understanding. The point is black lives don’t matter less.”

I really wish more people understood this.
Good post Laura,

Smileless2012 Mon 08-Mar-21 14:33:30

If it was said then when? M claims this was said while she was pregnant with Archie and H claims it was said before they were married.

NellG Mon 08-Mar-21 14:41:28

Are people's racist ideas and prejudiced views going to change if we don't talk about it? If so, how?

If a conversation about skin colour is along the lines of "this child, who we all love, is going to be treated differently by some people because those people are racist and prejudiced, how can we support you and the child with this? What can we do that will help?" Is that racist? Or inappropriate? because ignoring it isn't going to improve of change anyone's experience.

NellG Mon 08-Mar-21 14:42:17


Deedaa Mon 08-Mar-21 14:51:02

One of my GSs is noticeably darker than the other two because his mother is eastern european and he has inherited lovely golden skin and dark brown eyes. I suppose he looks different from his very blonde cousin but really, who cares?

Lyndylou Mon 08-Mar-21 14:54:05

My GS is mixed-race and of course we had discussions about what he would look like and who he would take after. There were discussions about whether his name would be traditional English or Afghan and whether that would affect his future. As a small child we discussed with him the different skin tones of people in his class and yesterday we discussed how he needs to shave off a growing moustache before going back to school and he is just 13, but that is also from his Afghan heritage. It is not racist, it is practical and he is beautiful and always has been and will be a heartbreaker when he gets a bit older.

BlueBelle Mon 08-Mar-21 14:54:16

Unfortunately although you know it doesn’t matter, don’t many people do think it matters and if you think that doesn’t happen you are wrong deedaa

Lucca Mon 08-Mar-21 14:57:12

T’other one has gone

3nanny6 Mon 08-Mar-21 15:01:45

Bluebelle ; No I am not about to jump on you for saying anything. I had the conversation with my daughter when she became pregnant and it was my daughter that started the conversation.
The reason the conversation started is because my daughters
partner is from a Pakistani background, and quite rightly she was talking about how her child would look. It was quite a light hearted conversation as my daughter pointed out to me saying "mum as long as my baby does not look full African I don't care." Obviously I pointed out to her to remember her own heritage as by saying that she was disrespecting herself.
Sometimes when talking to my own children if anything about colour comes up I say to them yes I know our household has got the league of nations in it can any of you get me a Chinese GC they know I am joking and my GC are loved by me so much I would not care if they were pink blue or yellow.

Peasblossom Mon 08-Mar-21 15:12:26

Why wouldn’t you chat together and say I wonder who theyre going to take after?

Or when they’re born say Oh just like....

Last year, at a funeral, my family met that of a long lost cousin. Almost the first thing we remarked on was that our eldest sons looked just the same, just like their great grandfather.

Consciously avoiding doing that with my second son, who looks like my husband’s family, would be- well racist, wouldn’t it?

Don’t mention he looks like his grandfather because ??????

LauraNorder Mon 08-Mar-21 15:17:48

Deeda and BlueBelle, I understand what you’re saying when you say ‘who cares’, because we love them and nothing else should matter.
My point is that the people with the dark skin care. They care because they are the ones who are treated differently, the ones who suffer prejudice and no matter how much we love them and tell them their skin colour doesn’t matter, it does to them.

Summerlove Mon 08-Mar-21 15:18:22


Surely all this was implicit in most peoples delight at their engagement - that by marrying someone who was from a mixed heritage and possibly having a child whose looks made that clear, the Royal Family would be a symbol of the mixed culture of so many in this country.

The accusations of racism only seemed to appear after the decision to standback from the Royal Family

That’s...not even close to being true.

3nanny6 Mon 08-Mar-21 15:27:41

Summerlove agree with your post

The line "possibly having a child whose looks made that clear"
is an awful thing to say and I find that somewhat racist.
That is printed in Monicas post

Missfoodlove Mon 08-Mar-21 15:54:10

The RF and the public have held Harry dear in our hearts and were thrilled he had found “the one”
I do not believe race was ever an issue.
It’s convenient now things are not exactly as Meghan wished.

Meghan and Harry are behaving like petulant teenagers and are on a destructive path.
It will not have a happy ending.

Regarding the colour of a mixed race child, we discussed how our GC may look, how is that not normal?
Would they have daddy’s height, mummy’s curls and would they be dark like daddy or look like mummy who is fair and freckled?

BBbevan Mon 08-Mar-21 16:11:54

My GDs are mixed race. One has pale skin and light brown hair. The other had darker skin and very black hair. Their other grandparents favour the second one as she is ‘ more Asian ‘. Their words. To us they are just our beloved GDs