Princess Michael Sorry for Racist Brooch ... I'm Going to Retire It

12/22/2017 9:57 AM PST

Princess Michael 'Very Sorry' for Racist Brooch at Meghan Markle Lunch

EXCLUSIVE

Princess Michael says she's sorry the racially insensitive brooch she wore to the Queen's lunch -- attended by Meghan Markle -- was offensive ... and we're told she vows never to wear it again.

Simon Astaire, a spokesperson for the wife of the Queen's cousin, tells TMZ ... she's "very sorry and distressed" she wore her Blackamoor brooch to the Xmas shindig. We're told it was a gift she's worn many times before, without controversy.

A source connected to Kensington Palace tells us Princess Michael was not trying to insult Meghan or any people of color. The source says she's learned her lesson, and is going to retire the brooch for good.As we reported ... this was Meghan's first Christmas lunch hosted by the Queen. It was not Princess Michael's first controversial incident involving race. She allegedly told a group of African-American diners in a New York restaurant to "go back to the colonies" in 2004. She made things worse when she explained she views people in Africa as "adorable."

We also reached out to Kensington Palace and Buckingham Palace ... no official comment.