While we may all be in agreement that on the giant scale of things, Britain isn’t inherently racist, it’s safe to say that when it comes to British Aristocracy, the preference for preservation of the ‘English Bloodline’ means people not considered the right skin colour or ‘bloodline’ make into this rich and exclusive world.
In an interview with The Evening Standard, Emma Viscountess Weymouth, the woman who will one day likely become the first mixed race Marchioness says her race was never an issue (having grown up in London), until she married Caewlin Viscount Weymouth-the son of Lord Bath, an aristocrat whose family own the Longleat attraction in Wilshire.
The Viscount’s mum was so displeased by her son’s choice of bride that Ceawlin banned her from the couple’s wedding after she made some not so great comments that didn’t go down well. In fact, she is yet to meet the couple’s first child- her grandchild as her son has also banned her from visiting him. Lord Bath hasn’t faired better as he didn’t attend the couple’s wedding either.
Earlier this year, the family first hit the headlines when a BBC1 documentary based on the family and their enormous country estate, ‘All Change At Longleat’ aired earlier this year. I have to admit that prior to the programme, I was probably one of the few in the country who had actually never heard of this estate or it’s Safari attraction, but my interest was piqued when I heard the lady of the house was of Nigerian descent.
The 29 year old Viscountess Weymouth’s father is Nigerian billionaire oil tycoon Ladi Jayesimi, but she describes herself as a Londoner through and through having never even been to the country. As far removed from the African country as she was, her bloodline was still considered an issue. ‘After [I met Ceawlin] it definitely became more of a topic,” she told the magazine. “I’m glad some people, like Tatler, received it well and decided it should be celebrated. Diversity is important.’
Having grown up in a diverse city like London in upmarket Kensington, the young Emma was never confronted with what is essentially indirect racism until she fell in love with the son of an aristocrat. While we’re jealous of the kind of problems that he Viscountess has (e.g managing a house that is essentially a palace, living next to a safari park and having loads of money), one has to admire her bravery in confronting a archaic views that seek to dictate who people should or shouldn’t fall in love with.
Read the rest of the interview here.