Princess Diana's Bridesmaid India Hicks Recounts Racism Experienced by Her Black Son: 'It's Appalling'

·3 min read
India Hicks
India Hicks

Dave Benett/Getty India Hicks         

India Hicks is opening up about how having a Black son has become "a more conscious issue" in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Hicks — who is a goddaughter of Prince Charles and served as a bridesmaid in his wedding to Princess Diana — has five children including Wesley Cleare, who the family formally adopted after his mother died from breast cancer when he was 11.

Speaking with Sheerluxe, Hicks said, "It never occurred to us that Wesley was different in any way but, since the Black Lives Matter movement, it's become a more conscious issue. In some ways, having him as part of our family has given me a better insight into these societal problems."

The British designer, writer and entrepreneur, 54, added that when Wesley and her son Amory would travel to the U.S., "it was always Wesley who was taken to one side, and Amory was let straight through."

"He would sit and wait for his brother to come out of the interview and always told us how agonising it was," she said. "After a while, we recommended Wes start dressing differently – travelling in chinos and a blazer as opposed to jeans and a hoodie seemed to help, if you can believe it. It's appalling when you think about it."

Watch: Princess Diana's bridesmaid remembers the Princess

RELATED: Princess Diana's Bridesmaid India Hicks Marries Partner of 25 Years

Hicks also spoke about growing up with ties to the royal family, as her mother Lady Pamela Hicks was a first cousin to Prince Philip, who died in April at age 99, and a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth.

"I had a very privileged upbringing in a way – but this idea of the Royal 'shadow' never felt like it cast over my own life as much as it probably did my mother's," she said.

Hicks said that her mother "never wanted to be the star of the show," although their famous family suffered, particularly when her grandfather Lord Mountbatten was murdered by the IRA in 1979.

"That was another very traumatic time," she told the outlet.

Hicks wed former advertising executive David Flint Wood, her partner of 25 years, in September.

"Covid was a strange time and we all – the children included – felt the future was so uncertain," she told Sheerluxe. "We needed to do something that would anchor all of us together, so I suggested to David we get married — he was pretty stunned after I'd turned him down all those years ago."

Can't get enough of PEOPLE's Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more! 

"I admit I did wonder if getting married might unsettle our relationship, but it's had the opposite effect," she continued. "The vows — which we said in a church — felt very spiritual and binding. It really brought the idea of commitment home to me. I love being able to say 'my husband' now — there's no confusion anymore!"

Watch: India Hicks’ royal hand-me-downs - 'I wore Princess Anne's scratchy underwear!'

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting