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“Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are engaged!”
That was the headline from BBC that woke me up yesterday morning. I usually just skim the news headlines on my phone but when I checked my notifications at 6 a.m. yesterday morning I was in for a surprise. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had announced their engagement.
This probably isn’t a big deal to many people. I would have been one of such persons under normal circumstances. I didn’t care that much about Prince William’s engagement to Kate Middleton when it was announced. She had stolen one of the world’s most eligible princes, shattering the non-existent incredibly unrealistic hopes that I and many others had of ever marrying him (what a dream eh?). I was downright pissed at her as if I had a right to be.
Now with Prince Harry, the situation was different. He’s the spare heir, a rebel, playful, sometimes controversial, and not likely to ever ascend the throne. As cute as his ginger locks are, I wasn’t really interested in him from a marriage point of view. He’s the prince to party with. William was the one to bag unless you didn’t care about becoming the wife of a future monarch. Who doesn’t want power?
So when I found out that Prince Harry had begun dating the American actress Meghan Markle last year, I was pleasantly surprised. No jealousy at all. I was surprised but at the same time not that shocked since he never seemed to be all that fond of following royal protocol. I was surprised for the obvious reason that Meghan is black – well, a ‘woman of colour’. She is mixed race having a black mother and a white father.
Some persons may not find this to be a major issue but it is. It most certainly is if you know anything about history, particularly the Transatlantic Slave Trade, British imperialism and Euro-centric ideology. Prince Harry is marrying a member of the race that his ancestors once enslaved, and in today’s world no less. In today’s world, where black people are still treated as second class citizens by many persons of Caucasian heritage, and where race relations are sadly lacking in many parts of the USA and around the world. It would be foolish/ignorant to deny that race is not a significant issue in this matter. I will leave it at that.
Meghan Markle will be a princess, regardless of her future title. As a successful actress, she probably does not need the Royals’ money but it would certainly be an added bonus nevertheless. She would have servants and be waited on hand and foot. She would never have to be concerned about where her next meal would come from or how to pay her bills. She would have the very best food, clothes, jewels, hairdressers, assistants, exotic vacations, and more. She will be living a life of luxury and be the envy of many.
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But not me. No envy here, seriously. All fantasies of being a princess aside, the reality would be very challenging. Fantasy is one thing, reality is another. Meghan would be in for a life full of public scrutiny and would have little to zero privacy. As an actress, she presumably would be used to being in the public eye and being photographed. But it would now be on a whole different level as the wife of Prince Harry, a member of the British monarchy. If the cameras aren’t bad enough, she would no longer be as independent as she was before. Her schedule and the rest of her married life would be dictated by the royal agenda. She has already left her show Suits and announced that she would no longer be operating her lifestyle website “the Tig”. All this in preparation for falling in line with royal protocol.
And then what about future children? They would have to be raised in the public eye for one thing. Secondly, how much of an input would Meghan have in making important decisions about their upbringing?
I’m sure that Meghan would have considered all of this before accepting the role. I hope so. The glitz and the glamour would be great, but behind closed doors I hope that she will be smiling. Hopefully their love for each other will be enough to sustain their now very public relationship. I certainly do not envy them. Would I want the wealth and luxury associated with royalty? Yes, of course! But I definitely would not want the other side – the invasion of my privacy, loss of independence, and being controlled by the Crown.
I have been alive long enough to know that you can very rarely have a positive without a negative, if at all. In Meghan’s case, extreme wealth versus extreme scrutiny. But as long as she has the necessary emotional support, I am sure that she will adapt quite well to her new role as a princess, the wife of a prince. She and Prince Harry appear to be very suitable for each other from the interview that I watched last night. There is definite love there. I am happy for them both.
This is a truly historical moment.
If I had to bet which member of the royal family would be the one to marry a non-white, non-British, non-Anglican, divorcee, I would certainly have picked Harry. He surely knows how to break royal tradition!
In conclusion, I wish Prince Harry and his new princess, Meghan Markle the very best. May their union last a lifetime.
Thanks for reading J
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|Image source: vanityfair.com|