The Royal Wedding of Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex to an American former actress Meghan Markle substantiates the evolution of British royal family and transformation of their beliefs over the years.
To begin with, this wedding not so very long ago would have been impossible. Meghan, who was born and raised in Los Angeles, is biracial and was previously married to another man who is still pretty much alive- which is something that strongly opposes the old traditions of the Church of England and their motto of ‘marriage means forever’.
The last time a member of the British royal family decided to get married to an American divorcee the result was a constitutional crisis and serious doubts over future of monarchy!
In fact, Edward VIII had to give up his throne to his brother George VI in order to marry the love of his life, Wallis Simpson. There was not even a single section of the society that accepted her as a royal bride.
She was deemed unfit because of her nationality, failed marriages and two living ex-husbands which was a big no-no back then. This led to a rift between Edward and the Royal family.
Edward, after his abdication, was asked to stay away from England and the couple settled in France. With time, people started perceiving divorce as something ‘normal’ and it became a cultural norm; in fact by 1990s, three out of the four children of the Queen were divorced.
After his divorce and untimely death of Princess Diana, Prince Charles married his long-term love, Camilla Parker Bowles (also divorced) in 2005. Hence, it is not very astonishing to note how there hasn’t been a ripple of disquiet over Meghan’s marital status.
Another striking thing about Meghan is the fact that is she is 36, much older than the other royal brides when they got married. Diana was 20 when she got married to Prince Charles who was much older to her.
At that time, it was considered necessary for the royal bride to be a virginal youth. Today, Meghan Markle, who is three years older to Prince Harry, is the Duchess of Sussex. She also has a very successful acting career, which until recently was not considered a very respectable profession.
She’s also biracial, which is definitely a first for the royal family considering how they have always been perceived as being ‘too white’. They will now be seen as more a part of the multicultural world.
The royal wedding honoured both the sides by following American-African traditions too along with the British ones.
The Royal wedding goes out to show how much the Royal family and society has progressed over time. Wallis was seen as a vulgar American adventuress, while Meghan is perceived as a strong, confident career woman who isn’t afraid to admit her mistakes and move on.
She has become an important cultural icon of positive change in race relations around the world. Harry and Meghan also being termed as the ‘Modern Royals’ have truly set an example for the future generations to follow.