Queen Sorry for Golliwog Dolls in Gift Shop

Uproar over blackface character prompts rare royal apology
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2009 7:29 AM CST
A child with a golliwog, similar to the dolls on sale at the gift shop on the royal estate of Sandringham, in Norfolk, England.   (©Conor Lawless)
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(Newser) – Queen Elizabeth issued a rare apology after the revelation that a shop at one of her estates was selling "golliwogs"—a kind of blackface minstrel doll. The dolls, made in China, have frizzy black hair and beady eyes, and are prominently displayed at the gift shop at Sandringham, in the east of England. A Buckingham Palace spokesman said that "the Queen wouldn't tolerate any kind of racism."

As the Daily Mail reports, the brouhaha over the royal gift shop comes on the heels of another "golliwog" incident. Carol Thatcher, a television presenter and the daughter of former PM Margaret Thatcher, was booted from her job at the BBC after she used the word to describe several players at the Australian Open. Thatcher refused to apologize for the incident until a newspaper published the story.