I’m an early riser, so I may very well watch the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on May 19, just as I watched the wedding of Harry’s parents in July of 1981.
That’s assuming I haven’t succumbed to wedding-information fatigue by then.
Yes, the 24-hour news cycle has given us a deluge of facts and speculation about the guest list, the bride and groom’s net worth, the wedding gown, the honeymoon, Israeli intelligence revelations about the structural integrity of the sporks for the reception, etc.
I’m surprised we haven’t seen more about security measures for the wedding. Satellite surveillance shows that a caravan is trekking to Windsor Castle from a castle in Scotland to demand relief from second-rate caviar.
The British newspaper The Guardian pointed out that Markle will be the first American royal bride since Grace Kelly married into Monaco’s House of Grimaldi way back in 1956! Oh, there have been opportunities; but the overbooked American lifestyle puts such nuptials on the back burner. (“Gotta straighten out my boss’s latest mess, footnote my doctoral dissertation, find mom and dad a new assisted-living facility. haul kids to three soccer matches …. THEN maybe I can acknowledge flirtation from Count What’s-His-Name…”)
Once upon a time, many commoners felt sorry for those who married into royalty and had to live under a microscope; but loss of privacy has become much more egalitarian. There was a certain roguish distinction when a member of the royal family, for instance, engaged in a little hanky-panky while on a fox hunt; but there’s scant glamor when Joe Blow faces social media scrutiny. (“Mark Zuckerberg’s algorithms tell us you’ve been quite interested in toenail fungus remedies and inflatable women…”)
Much has been written about how radically times have changed in order for Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, to give her royal blessing to his union with a divorced biracial American. But by the time Harry and Meghan’s children get engaged, the comment will probably be, “You want to marry a Martian artificial intelligence trapped in a Venusian artificial intelligence’s body? How cliche!”
Some observers worry that the future Duchess of Sussex will be bored out of her skull by her new responsibilities. But surely a quiet evening of “Netflix and dedicate a nuclear submarine and chill” can’t be all that bad.
It’s nice that a wedding can give the British a little pomp and pageantry. They’ve downgraded from “The sun never sets on the British Empire” to “If you think tiny houses are trendy, you’ll love our tiny empire!”
Hopes are high that Meghan’s California ethos (like the marriage of Prince William to Kate Middleton in 2011) will have a rejuvenating influence on the House of Windsor. I heard that the guards at Buckingham Palace will still maintain a stone face when cajoled by tourists — but that a few impromptu yoga positions are not out of the question.
Many of us are excited about the whole fairytale romance angle, but leave it to spoilsports to rain on the parade.
(“It’s shameful that a successful actor thinks she can find fulfillment only by growing up to be the stereotypical princess. This is devastating to girls’ self-image. This is so dangerous — almost as dangerous as my unshaved armpits. Ow! Tripped again! I think I twisted my ankle! Stop mansplaining how to call 911 and just do it!”)
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