The nation was riveted last week when a “Karen” in Arizona was slapped across the face for telling a Native American woman to “go back to Mexico.” While many cheered the slap, it brought back traumatic memories for one New Yorker.
Nicole Young, a TV personality and the founder of the lifestyle site The Beautiful Body, constantly relives the night in 2004 when Princess Michael of Kent publicly told her to “go back to the colonies.”
“I think about it every single day,” Young told The Post. She wondered if the princess is perhaps the reason Meghan Markle never wanted to live at Kensington Palace, where she would have been next-door neighbors with the woman. “Can you imagine Meghan [Markle] having to live next door to that?”
Sixteen years ago, Young was having dinner in the exclusive front room at Da Silvano with investment banker Merv Matheson, music honcho Philmore Anderson, BET and “Extra!” reporter A.J. Calloway and entertainment lawyer Tamera Reynolds when Princess Michael of Kent was seated next to them.
“We were loud, laughing, and carrying on. But it’s Da Silvano — it’s a boisterous place,” Young said at the time.
Ten minutes later, Princess Michael — who Young says had given the table a “disgusted” look upon arrival — “reached over and just slammed her open palm down on our table. The glasses moved, the table shook,” Young said. “She said, ‘Enough already! You need to quiet down!’”
The princess, whose husband is the paternal first cousin of Queen Elizabeth, asked to be moved to another table. But, as The Post originally reported, while leaving the room, she “circled the offending commoners, leaned toward Calloway, pumped her fist and said, ‘You need to go back to the colonies!’”
“That was a defining moment in my life,” Young said. “Prior to that, I had thought ‘I’m over here well dressed, in Jimmy Choos, with cute clothes, professional, everyone knows what I do, I have a good job — it’s all good.’ I didn’t think anybody was looking at me like Aunt Jemima … and I was quickly reminded [that some people do].
“The whole front room just stopped and gagged. There were audible shrieks. I asked, ‘Did I just hear what I just heard?’ Another person from another table said ‘YES! YES!’”
“This woman was so bold and brazen. She had the audacity to put her fist in our faces at the table,” Young added. “Later, I got up and went to her table in the back and let her have it. AJ came up behind me and whispered in my ear, ‘Don’t make yourself the criminal.’”
But while Young still thinks of the incident daily, “it’s not only in the negative sense. Sometimes it’s to remind myself that I will never put up with that, even for half a second. And to trust my gut. I knew she gave us a look from the moment she walked into the restaurant but I didn’t think it was actually possible. Now I know it was.”
This was not Princess Michael of Kent’s only public display of racism. In 2017, she wore a Blackamoor brooch — a style which often depicts black men and women as slaves — to the Queen’s annual Christmas lunch, where she was to meet Meghan Markle for the first time. She later apologized.
Meghan and Harry had first wanted to move into the Kensington Palace apartments next door to William and Kate, but the current occupants, The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, refused to budge. So the newlyweds would have had to take apartments near Princess Michael, according to The Sun.
The Princess and her husband, Prince Michael, had been living for free at the palace until 2008 when a public uproar caused the Queen to charge them $140,000 a year rent — although there are questions as to how they are able to afford that sum. In the 1990s, the prince was said to be earning as much as the current equivalent of $638,000 through a series of entrepreneurial directorships, which he lost after embarrassing the queen by hawking a line of trinkets under the “House of Windsor” name.
“The fact that they would have Princess Michael living at Kensington Palace, knowing she’s hideous, is outrageous,” Young said. “And they wanted Meghan to move there? No. I find it ironic that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had to give up their duty and move to the United States because they felt unwelcome — and Princess Michael is still there. It’s not a good look for the royal family. All I have to say is, ‘Welcome back home, Meghan. Thank you for bringing someone new to our great country.’ No wonder she left!”