I like to think that I'm fairly open minded. I've always subscribed to the view that the color of someones skin or their sex shouldn't be a factor in any situation. So when I read articles like Will Prince Harry ever marry a Black girl? it bugs me.
My main problem with this article is that love doesn't seem be a consideration. Any preferences Harry might have is trumped by how it would be 'a world advertisement for what a caring and inclusive nation we are' or how "Palace PR can see the benefits of welcoming a woman of colour into the fold." That shouldn't even remotely be a factor, but this article makes a pro/con argument for it.
For arguments sake, let's say Harry does marry someone who is not Caucasian. Yes. there would be intense interest. But this would be the case for anyone he marries. Much like it was when William married Catherine. Would her color or religion make a difference? Not to Prince Harry, but it will to others. And therein lies the rub. While it may be seen as a step forward that the royals have accepted a woman of color marrying into the family, those same people will balk once the coverage turns exclusively to race, as it inevitably will. When you start off by making who Prince Harry marries about race and religion instead of the individual, don't be surprised when it remains that way.
Unlike a black man (or eventually a woman) becoming President of the United States, there is no glass ceiling to break for marrying into the royal family. It doesn't exist. For most people, regardless of their race or religion, sexual preference, it is out of the realm of possibility. This is not about 'standing a chance' it is about facing reality. And to be honest, looking at the coverage of Kate's pregnancy, I don't envy those who do marry into the royal family anyway.
Once the ridiculous ban on marrying Catholics is lifted, Harry has no restrictions on who he marries. Catholic, Muslim, Black, Asian, Jewish, Canadian or American, fat, skinny, divorced there is nothing to prevent him from marrying someone he falls in love with. If it comes down to it, there's even precedent for people giving up their throne or their place in the line of succession to do so. Judging by his actions, Harry seems like the type to buck tradition when it comes to his personal life. While he may prefer the tall blond type, he is young and this could change. But even if it doesn't, it shouldn't be viewed as a slight for those who don't fit that type. Using the word 'never' in relation to Harry ever marrying a black woman or someone of ethnicity, is an awfully long time.
Even though Catherine wasn't the first commoner to marry into the royal family, much was made of her commoner status. Did commoners across the globe rail at the inherent discrimination in the coverage? I wasn't invited to any protests because of it. The discussions surrounding whether she is good enough for William are appalling in their snobbery. Yet William married in spite of it. He married for love, not for what the rest of the world prefers. I wage a guess Harry will do the same.
Prince Harry is currently third in line to the throne. Like Princess Margaret, with each child born to William and Kate, he will move further down the line of succession making him unlikely to ever be king. You only need to look at Prince Andrew to see what lies in store for Harry's future. Having served his time in the military, he will eventually struggle to find something useful to do with himself.
Regardless of her race or religion, let's hope he finds the woman he loves to help him through it.
© Marilyn Braun 2013
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