Monday, May 14, 2018

If you want to give Prince Harry and Meghan Markle a gift, give them a wedding day to call their own

So Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are getting married. Five days from now they will be husband and wife and this is the first blog article I am writing about them.

I would like to think that it is because I was a full-time student in school (which is true). During that time, royalty fell off my radar (As it should. I don't get marked on it). But this isn't completely true. In the lead up to the royal wedding and royal birth I have always had my toe in the water. Now that school is over, I can get caught up in the excitement. But unlike William and Catherine's wedding, I have found myself disillusioned at times.

Unlike royal weddings past where the speculation was over the top but harmless, now we are walking on egg shells.  It is hard to blog about a royal wedding when you have to be careful about every word you write. Because nothing is sacred and every topic relating to the wedding has become bigger than Harry and Meghan. To the point where if their faces were not in the china, you could think there isn't a royal wedding at all. Everything topic is magnified and Harry and Meghan are no longer people. Meghan in particular. She represents something greater than flesh and blood.  She has become a blank slate to project on to.

As Meghan is biracial, there is the discussion about race. There is no question this is an rampant issue. I've read some disgustingly vile statements from people who have never met her. On the other hand, expressing critical opinions or making innocuous statements can incur a wrath that doesn't encourage dialogue. Which, ironically is something Meghan would want there to be.

People find Meghan inspiring in their own ways. She can make a black feminist a fan of princesses and she has a little girl in her corner. She is also an inspiration for African American women in the work force. But some things are still not good enough. Such as the way Meghan chooses to style her hair.

Meghan's wedding invitations say 'Ms' and it is a feminist statement. She gives her mother a more prominent role in the wedding and she is sending an important message there too. It can't possibly be personal preference and a simple loving gesture. Meghan is not only planning a wedding for a global audience, she is also a proud feminist who has time to be all things to all people. Point one feminist wedding etiquette experts.

Then there is her family dynamic. It irks me when people who have never met her parents refer to Doria Ragland and Thomas Markle by their first names as if they have earned the right to that familiarity. Now her parents have become characters for public consumption. It was the same with the Spencer and Ferguson families: Bolting mothers, indiscreet relatives, affairs, and wicked step mothers. Oh my! Thankfully they did not have the internet to contend with. Meghan's parents do.

Speaking of Diana. No royal event is complete without her. Would she have approved? Will Meghan pay tribute to Diana's side by wearing the Spencer tiara? What message will she be sending if she does? Or doesn't? It also would not be a royal wedding without the Republican movement. Are Meghan and Harry their biggest threat? Stay tuned!

Now Meghan and Harry are changing royal wedding breakfast traditions. It is no longer a seated event. It now includes trendy bowl foods with seasonal vegetables! Expect a royal etiquette expert will critically weigh in on that in 3...2...1....

On May 19th I will be glued to the TV watching Prince Harry and Meghan Markle get married. I wish them all the happiness in the world. I wish for them to have a day free from being symbols and representing something greater than themselves. If you want to give them a gift, give them a day they can call their own.

© Marilyn Braun 2018

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