Meghan Markle's family went from cotton slaves to royalty via freedom in the U.S. Civil War

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While Queen Victoria sat on the throne, Empress to a quarter of the world’s population, a woman named Mattie Turnipseed gave birth to a ‘mulatto’ — the ugly, official term to describe those of mixed race — baby girl in a corner of America’s Deep South.
In that moment, a remarkable chain of events was triggered.
Half the population of Georgia state, named after Victoria’s ancestor George II, were black.
Almost all of them had been slaves or were descendants of slaves, bought, sold, and passed on to lives of servitude and brutality.
It’s almost impossible to picture the colossal gulf separating the most powerful woman in the world from a young, uneducated ‘coloured’ woman without a vote — without much more, in fact, than the clothes on her back.
Yet this week, with the engagement of Prince Harry to actress Meghan Markle, a descendant of each of these women pledged themselves to the other.
Building on the work of U.S. experts Elizabeth Banas and Doug Nicol, genealogist Angela Aldam has worked with the Mail to create a comprehensive family tree to illustrate Meghan’s fascinating family history, from her African-American slave ancestry, to those on her father’s side who emigrated from England and Ireland.
Mattie Turnipseed, Meghan’s great-great-great-grandmother, grew up in or around Jonesboro, Georgia, after the American Civil War of 1861-65, which had laid waste to the area. 
That war centred around the determination of the Confederate states to cling on to their slaves because the cotton fields needed them, and the wealth of the South depended on cotton.
They were opposed by the ‘Union’, the northern states which, under President Abraham Lincoln, sought to abolish slavery. 
The North triumphed and, in June 1865, the Emancipation Proclamation — freeing America’s slaves — was enforced throughout the South.
It would, however, take many decades for that proclamation to become a reality, and life for the black population continued to be one of poverty and barbaric discrimination under ‘Jim Crow Laws’ that enforced racial segregation.
This week, it was announced Meghan and Harry will marry at Windsor Castle next May, and according to Markle family legend Meghan¿s great-great-great-grandmother is thought to have worked at the Castle as a teenager, probably in the kitchens or as a housemaid

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