This really isn't a question we should need to ask in 2017, is it? We shouldn't get the feeling this could go either way, but as most of us know all too well, in our post-Brexit era every single hard-won social victory feels like it's up in the air, so let's get started on tackling this one.

The princess-in-waiting that the country just isn't sure about is of course African-American actress Meghan Markle. Her relationship with Prince Harry was only confirmed by Kensington Palace in November 2016 when the Palace had to basically tell everyone to cool it on the racism and abuse she was receiving. It was a surprising move from the Palace to issue such a statement, showing just how severe the situation must have been for Markle and her family.

Forbes posed the question, does Prince Harry's girlfriend, Meghan Markle, have what it takes to be a princess? The Daily Mail produced an article that was essentially a list of seemingly obvious facts that all linked to Meghan being black. It read like the writer had just discovered this new-found concept, blackness, about an hour before his deadline and wanted to let the world know what he'd found.

The article states that "records allude to the racially-divided nature of American history, with her great-great-grandfather recorded in a census as 'mulatto'". I feel sorry for whoever had to do extensive research on this blatantly obvious fact America was racially divided.

While other articles dance around the issue of race, finding other ways to dismiss her as a potential Royal, such as her previous divorce or the fact that she's American, the Daily Mail told us exactly what they were thinking. The article exclaims that Markle's ancestors were descendants of slaves — and Harry's ruled the British Empire. Simply, they can't believe she's black and not blue-blooded.

Considering the papers can't make head nor tail of how Meghan and Harry became an item, is this attitude reflective of wider British society? There are certainly a sizeable number of commenters and Twitter users who seem to believe there's no way Meghan could be a Royal in their eyes.

The abuse can be intense online, but the internet is still an echo chamber that can't always be thought of as a reflection of reality. To know if British society will accept Markle you first have to ask which Britain are you referring to. We all know we're not united on any issue - including this. It would be impossible to come to a proper conclusion without looking at British society, both as it is now and what it will become.

Post-Brexit, the mood points towards a country where half of its residents think there is too much change, too many immigrants and a loss of traditional British values. We've all heard the infamous quotes about viewing the EU referendum as a way to get rid of Muslims and take "our" country back. The open hatred that filled the air led to a dramatic rise in hate crimes in July 2016. According to the National Police Chiefs' Council hate crimes rose by 58% compared to the previous year.

It feels like despair and hatred is winning, right? Well, I'm not so sure. We only have to look to the younger generation to see what's to come. According to the 2011 census, around 1.2 million people now identify as mixed-race and six percent of children under five identify as mixed-race.

This makes mixed-race people the fastest-growing ethnic group in the UK. Give it 10 more years and the question whether Britain is ready for a mixed-race princess will be laughable - and it will be laughed at by a population dominated by mixed-race people. Even now if you ask the majority of people in cities and towns where immigration has been on the rise for decades you'll probably receive a quizzical look followed by an acknowledgement that of 'course we're ready.'

White Teeth author Zadie Smith perfectly described this part of British life when she stated: "I grew up in a community in which nothing could be more normal than a mixed-race girl."

It is normal. This is what frightens the commenters most, Markle is normal in Britain; she looks like any other girl living in Edgbaston or Manchester and we all know this. Right-wing commenters know that the country is changing rapidly and they can't stand it so they take it out on Markle, using the Royals as the last line of defence in an ever progressive world.

Of course they won't win. Harry will keep dating Markle and life will go on. She most certainly won't be the last multiracial addition to the Royal family as the younger members of the family are allowed more and more to explore the world and experience things their parents could only dream of.

The commenters will keep screaming louder and demanding a return to the way things used to be, but as with all bullies, the reason they attack and scream the loudest is because they know they're weak and they know, eventually, they'll lose.


Stephanie Phillips is a journalist and blogger who runs her own blog about women in music called Don't Dance Her Down Boys.