Today, the news many have been fervently waiting was finally confirmed. It has been announced that Prince Harry, fifth in line to the throne, is engaged to bi-racial American actress Meghan Markle and the pair will wed in Spring next year.
But a section of society has been waiting for the confirmation of this news way before Harry and Meghan began dating in early 2016 - well before the pair had even met. Black Twitter users have been impatiently waiting for the confirmation of Prince Harry's 'black bride' for well over six years.
In 2011, Harry was still in his seven year relationship with blonde millionairess Chelsy Davy, but that didn't stop black tweeters from making a prescient prediction: Prince Harry would eventually marry a black woman. Today, the celebration for black tweeters is two-fold.
Comments about Harry's eventual choice of a melanated spouse have been a mainstay in Black Twitter for several years. No one knows exactly where or when the meme began, but tweets foreseeing that he would add some colour to the alabaster walls of Buckingham Palace date as far back as 2011. "I'm gonna call it now Prince Harry is gonna marry a black girl", @Chef_Boobies assured in April of that year. "Prince Harry is def gonna marry a black girl" @AirJosie concurred a day later. "Prince Harry is soooooo gonna date/marry a black girl. Just watch!!" @KemiAdetiba also tweeted a year later. The Voice Newspaper even ran a debate asking the question in 2013, citing his love of 'mixing things up' as reason we should soon expect a black princess. And that he has.
The premonition resurfaced in a huge way with @Iamsupervillian's now infamous viral tweet from December 2015. He wrote "When your girl texts you about the salad she made for dinner but you can see Jollof rice in your future", accompanied by an image of the Prince staring wistfully at a black woman in a headwrap in the near distance. This was just one of many 'When Harry Met A Girl Who Seasons' tweets that have littered timelines over time, showing various pictures of the Prince looking positively delighted to be in the company of black women around world. A personal favourite: A picture of Harry dancing with a woman in Jamaica captioned: "This was the moment that prince harry changed from ham rolls with water to jollof rice and seasoned chicken".
"Prince Harry is gonna wife a black woman against his families wishes, I'm waiting on it" @ChelleOT added - and she wasn't the only one waiting, too.
A year later, news broke he was seeing Suits actress Meghan Markle and Black Twitter collectively lost it's shit. Of course, the jokes aren't to be taken too seriously. We're well aware of Harry's chequered past regarding race. And Meghan doesn't even identify as black. But the racism she's faced from the papers and public alike has certainly been because she's been identified as such, with or without her consent.
And whilst black Twitter laughs it's joint ass off at their dream come true, racists blood literally boils at the encroaching reality of something that has been a running joke for some time. Most of us don't believe Harry marrying a woman who could quite easily pass as white will actually shake the racist foundations of the United Kingdom - but the gag is most racists do.
So the ire does nothing but fuel our tongue in cheek tweets about popping supermalt with a serving of jollof and jerk chicken at the Hall party reception. The imagery of Markle's black aunties teaching George and Charlotte to electric slide to Candy is only made funnier by the suggestion the couple name the children's unborn cousin 'Jamal'. Twitter's imagining of the royal wedding is a hodge podge of every piece of black culture, "Coming to America" meets "The Wedding Party". And it's every bigots worst nightmare.
The reality of Doria Ragland, Meghan's mother, attending a royal wedding in dreads in a country where a boy was banned from wearing them at school is a level of irony that many cannot resist. And though few of us are naive enough to believe their marriage will change anything, the prospect of a ginger afro-ed baby is warming us this winter.
In a year when the Black Panther's release was due to be the biggest black event of 2018, a British royal wedding is eliciting a similar level of excitement. What does the marriage mean to most of us? Not very much. What does it mean for most of us? Even less. The monarchy does not cease to be redundant simply because it's about to get a bit browner. But on an app where at times it can feel there's very little to laugh about, the banter has been second to none.
It took us long enough to get a black Disney princess - six years for an actual one isn't too bad. I can already preempt the jokes about how Black Twitter's influence is so unmatched, we convinced a royal to marry inter-racially, chortling in a chorus of laughter is a celebration in my book. I'm already picking out my matching gele, bag and shoe combo.