Meghan Markle's Misstep Infuriates Opera Star Danielle de Niese

Fatima Araos
Closeup of Meghan Markle
Getty | Chris Jackson

Meghan Markle’s racism claims are in the news again.

The 41-year-old American actress-turned-Duchess infamously accused the British royal family and press of being racist in her interview with Oprah Winfrey in March 2021. Now, opera star Danielle de Niese, who happens to have some things in common with her, is weighing in with her opinions.

De Niese is 'Opera Royalty'

Danielle de Niese posing in sleeveless white dress
Flickr | rq8881

Like Markle, de Niese is a mixed-race woman who married into “royalty” – opera royalty, that is. The 43-year-old lyric soprano is the wife of Gus Christie, who is the white, upper-crust Executive Chairman of Glyndebourne Festival Opera.

Her Racial Background

Closeup of Danielle de Niese
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She was born in Melbourne to Sri Lankan-European parents who had migrated to Australia as teenagers. Later, the family moved to the United States, but she now calls England home.

She Is Mixed-Race But Does Not Find Markle's Claims Relatable

Closeup of Danielle de Niese
Flickr | cheese_scientist

With her mixed-race background, one would think de Niese would find Markle’s experiences relatable, but she actually thinks her claims are “very unsettling.”

'Strange' And 'Unsettling'

Meghan Markle being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey
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She told Daily Mail, “What I think is strange is to get your home country of America to say that the entire country of Britain is racist... I find that very unsettling.”

'That Hasn't Been My Experience'

Danielle de Niese looking over her shoulder
Flickr | Royal Opera House Covent Garden

While she acknowledged that racism is real, she thought it was unfair to generalize.

“It's not to say that racism isn't everywhere, because it is, but I don't think you can tar everyone with the same brush like that,” she said. “To say a whole community of people are racist, that hasn't been my experience.”

She Has A Lot In Common With Markle

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during their wedding
Flickr | vikas.plakkot

De Niese also talked about having a lot in common with Markle, like being “a mixed-race person” and marrying someone who, while not a member of the royal family, was “still part of a big institution.”

But She Handled Her Situation Differently

Danielle de Niese in gold gown
Flickr | FestivalDelSole2012

However, they have responded to their situations in very different ways.

She Learned About The People Around Her

“I've set out to support my husband and learn about the people around me,” the opera star continued. “I very much set about learning about what happens here. There were people who tried to imply that I was ‘trailblazing’, but I wasn't into that because it feeds the ego.”

'A Complex Story'

Closeup of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Flickr | A Great Reckoning

De Niese did acknowledge, though, that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s experience is “a complex story” and the public might never really find out what went wrong.