Emma McQuiston

Britain’s high society just got a bit more colorful. Emma McQuiston, the 26-year-old daughter of Suzanna McQuiston and Ladi Jadesimi, a Nigerian oil magnate, recently became the UK’s first black marchioness. McQuiston is engaged to Ceawlin Thynne, Viscount of Weymouth and the son of Alexander George Thynn, 7th Marquess of Bath.

To put things in context, a marchioness is above the ranking of countess, but below duchess, and McQuiston’s new title has seemed to ruffle the feathers of the old guard, but she isn’t worried.

‘There has been some snobbishness, particularly among the older generation,’ she told The Daily Mail.

She continued: “There’s class and then there’s the racial thing. It’s a jungle and I’m going through it and discovering things as I grow up. I’m not super-easily offended but it’s a problem when someone’s making you feel different or separate because of your race, or forming an opinion about you before they even know you.”

Emma McQuistonMcQuiston is an unlikely addition to Britian’s aristocratic ranks. Unlike her peers, she’s a former actress, artist, chef, and avid blogger.

Although McQuinston will be the first black marchioness, she isn’t the first in her family to marry into the Thynne clan. Her half-brother, Ian, is married to her future father-in-law’s half-sister.

I’ll let the Daily Mail explain the connection:

McQuiston and her husband to be are technically already family. 

The daughter of Oxford graduate, Ladi Jadesimi, McQuiston grew up in the rolling Wiltshire countryside and has long been part of her future husband’s circle, first meeting him when she was just four years old.

Her mother, Suzanna McQuiston, had already been married when she met Emma’s father, and had a son named Ian, now 51.

Ian is the husband of Lady Silvy Cerne Thynne, the daughter of the sixth Marquess of Bath by his second wife, and the half-sister of the current incumbent.

Lady Silvy is the Viscount of Weymouth’s aunt, which means that his soon to be brother-in-law is also his uncle.

Despite being the latest addition Britain’s aristocratic society, McQuiston has known her fiancé since she was four-years-old and was a regular at the family’s massive estate growing up. And though she may still feel like a bit of an outsider, her mother knows that McQuinston can win over her critics.

“I always felt there might be this slightly snobbish thing about anyone that’s black,” McQuinston’s mother confessed, “but it seems that everybody has taken Emma into their hearts and they love her.”

116 Comments

  1. Echi

    It’s funny how she’s being denied access to the hallowed halls of being black, by some of the commenters here. Her dad’s Nigerian. For many Nigerians, where-ever the father is from, that is where the children are from. Bi-racial or not, I think that traditionally, her dad’s community would claim her as their own, so I don’t understand why her “blackness” is up for debate. The definition of blackness is not monopolized by solely our one-sided view of American or even British race relations.

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    • cupcakes and shiraz

      Well, since she doesn’t live in Nigeria, this point is kind of moot.

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    • Ms. Vee

      @Echi

      You do realize that in west Africa mixed people are called half-caste. It’s not an agreeable term but biracial people are differentiated as non-black even if embraced into the black family.

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    • Echi

      @Ms Vee – I see you’ve been talking to many a West African and take their word as gospel. While I can’t speak for all West Africans, the term half caste is a term introduced by colonialists to describe mixed race blacks. I can only speak for my ethnic group (and I hate to extrapolate to others), but I am yet to hear of an indigenous word to describe those whose mothers are not black (if someone knows, I would love to find out). We even refer to our albinos as “white” but culturally, heritage is determined by paternal origins. Half caste is an unfortunate word that needs to die out like the word “akata,” a derogatory word meant to distinguish African Americans from Africans.

      @cupcake – that’s a ridiculous argument. That’s like saying that someone isn’t Asian because they were born and raised abroad.

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    • Ms. Vee

      @Echi

      “While I can’t speak for all West Africans, the term half caste is a term introduced by colonialists to describe mixed race blacks”

      If you want to get technical the entire English/French/Spanish/Portuguese language was introduced by colonists. Regardless of the word used (derogatory or not) Africans still distinguish blacks from biracial people. Furthermore the one drop rule was introduced by colonists. Telling mixed people to deny/disown half of their non-black ancestry is in itself racist. Lets not argue about word play and acknowledge that mixed people are differentiated.

      “…but culturally, heritage is determined by paternal origins”

      Heritage yes. But not race. The father will pass down his legacy and tradition to his child regardless of what the mother is (thats pretty much the tradition of almost every culture worldwide). Emma would not be considered black when discovered that one of her parents is oyibo (white).

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  2. Maria

    I wish them happiness she is pretty and he want her as his wife that all that matter.

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  3. I’m sorry but this light skin, long hair, European looking women should not be labeled as black. Ya’ll don’t get it! We let these mix-breeds call themselves black and then you get mad when the media and society makes them the standard of black beauty.

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  4. Girl

    Then you get sad when biracial people hate their black heritage and favor the other. I think it’s people like you who make biracial people uncomfortable about accepting both sides of their heritage.

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  5. I wish them all the luck in the world. Everyone deserves happiness no matter what other people think.

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  6. Anthony

    There’s a lot of truth in what you say.

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