Everybody by now knows that Prince Harry is engaged with a mixed race American actress, who will already stay with the Royal Family over Christmas. That is unusual - normally only the wives are invited never before the fiancées. Meghan Markle will be the first mixed race member of the Royal Family something no one really takes great offence at.
That was completely different for the first mixed race female member of the British aristocracy who to England end of the 18. Century. And - even worse - she was born in 1761 as daughter of an African slave and the English nobleman Sir John Lindsay and lived many years till her death 1804 as family member of the Murray family in Kenwood house not really far away from the Alexandra Palace. Sir John Lindsay brought his daughter with him to England and she grew up together with her niece as part of the household of her Uncle William Murray, Earl of Mansfield. 1793 she finally was released into freedom and got enough finance means to find as a rich heiress her place in society after the death of her father. IN the same year she married Frenchman John Davinier and they had several children. Her last great-grandson died 1975 in South Africa.
At the start of the first evening of the PDC World Championship Alexandra Palace was quite empty and very cold. IT was almost as cold as outside where it was freezing. But during the first match the crowds started to fill the venue and it started to get at least a little bit more
Already the first match of this year's World Championship showed how important it is to hit the doubles.William O'Connor experienced a lot of double trouble which even infected Steve Beaton - a little bit. O'Connor made his World Championship debut which probably was the reason for the problems. But he delighted the crowd with six 180s. All in all it was a close match which Beaton - who after the match told he still enjoys playing darts otherwise he would not be here - won deservedly with 3:1.
James Wilson seemed to enjoy the atmosphere a lot when he walked on the big stage. Much more then the Pole Krzysztof Ratajski who looked to be very tense and who played far less confident as he had played recently during the Winmau World Masters. But it was his PDC World Championship debut and the World Championship you can't compare neither to the World Masters nor to all those European Tour events Ratajski took part during this year. The Polish eagle managed to win a set but most of the time showed to be rather with a wing down. He lost with 1:3. Now of course one wonder whether he would have fared better in the BDO World Championship for which he had qualified as well.
The third match was the match most of the crowd and most of the press had waited for and reigning champion van Gerwen came on stage. His opponent Christian Kist didn't show any signs of his arm injury and was not an easy opponent for van Gerwen. He would have been even more dangerous would he have hit all his doubles. So van Gerwen had to work hard to win in the end with 3:1. Both players had an over 100 average. No one could have predicted this after Kist's performances in the last months.
Before the next match the security first had to remove a few too heated fans from the venue. A female flamingo even managed to climb over the barrier. Than the last match of the evening began between Gerwyn Price and qualifier Ted Evetts. Evetts was quit clinical with his doubles only he rarely had a chance to throw for one. Beside this he was the clearly weaker player. But Evetts was a Debutant on this stage as well and like all other debutants he was very tense and stayed it throughout the match. For Price it was already the fourth World Championship and his experience showed in his match which he won with 3:0. His average like van Gerwen's and Kist's was over 100.
And after that match the first evening was already over. It hadn't been exiting - might be you could call Ratajski defeat a small surprise. The evening had been characterised by the reigning champion Michael van Gerwen, the second evening will be characterised by Phil Taylor who will start in his last World Championship against Chris Dobey.