India Hicks, the goddaughter of Prince Charles, has revealed that she advised her Black adopted son to dress differently when travelling to the US as he was “always taken to one side” on arrival in the country.
Speaking to Sheerluxe, an online lifestyle publication, Ms Hicks, granddaughter of Earl Mountbatten and a bridesmaid at the wedding of Lady Diana Spencer and the Prince of Wales, spoke affectionately about her adopted son Wesley Cleare.
“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,” said Ms Hicks.
“In some ways, having him as part of our family has given me a better insight into these societal problems.”
Ms Hicks explained that when Wesley and Amory, one of her other sons, who is white, would travel to the US, it was always Wesley who was taken to one side, and Amory let straight through.
She described how Amory would then wait for Wesley to be let out of the interview room calling it “agonising”.
“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,” Ms Hicks said.
“It’s very sad when you think about it,” she added.
Ms Hicks has five children — four boys: Felix, Wesley, Amory, and Conrad; and a girl, Domino.
Wesley has been considered part of the family since he was very young, and was at school with Felix, so was always at their home, and often joined the family for Christmas and vacations.
Ms Hicks had met his mother, Lynne, when they were both pregnant. She worked as a waitress on Harbour Island in the Bahamas where the family still lives.
In 2008, his mother moved the family away from Harbour Island to the capital Nassau and so they had seen less of the Hicks family until Wesley found himself sitting beside Ms Hicks on a plane two years later.
Lynne had developed breast cancer and just two days after the encounter on the plane, she passed away. Wesley was just 11 years old and soon after became a permanent member of the Hicks family.
He is now a certified marine technician and has an American bulldog called Fiona.
The family remained on Harbour Island for much of the pandemic, and Ms Hicks recently married David Flint Wood, her partner of 26 years.
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