An American divorcee—you don’t say!
Unlike some very few and very special people, we will never know what it’s like to live the life of a royal. There will be no hand-waving, no curtsying and no countries to rule over. There will be no palaces, no intricately-designed carriages and no photos of us plastered on every online publication. Some will say this is a good thing, but one Ms. Meghan Markle is embracing all this good and all this bad for love—and the British royal family is embracing her (and the changes she brings) right back.
The past is now another land
Edward III changed the line of succession when he abdicated the throne in 1936 and handed it to Queen Elizabeth’s father, King George VI. If you haven’t heard the backstory, you’re missing out on what some call the greatest love story (and some serious binge-worthy seasons of The Crown).
So Edward gave up the Crown because he fell in love with American Wallis Simpson, who was at the time married to her second husband. Outside of present Philippine society, that isn’t such a big thing, but the royal family had values to uphold and rules to follow. So to be with the woman he loved, Edward took a back seat and let his arguably less-charming and less-headstrong brother take the throne.
“I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as King as I would wish to do, without the help and support of the woman I love.”
—King Edward III, 1936
Now Prince Harry has no throne to give up (he is, after all, currently sixth in line already), but the acceptance of Meghan into the direct line of the royal family is amazing. Not only is the Suits star a biracial American, but she’s been divorced and holds a Catholic education as well. Times are changing and the royal family is not going to be left behind.
The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince Harry to Ms. Meghan Markle. pic.twitter.com/zdaHR4mcY6
— The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall (@ClarenceHouse) November 27, 2017
Long time coming
Granted, the acceptance of Meghan’s background is not exactly a 180-degree swerve for Queen Elizabeth and her family. Princess Margaret was allowed to divorce and Prince Charles eventually married the previously-notorious Camila Parker Bowles. Kate Middleton (ahem, the Duchess of Cambridge) was a commoner from a middle-class family—and now she’s married to the man who will one day inherit the Crown.
A two-way street
Meghan’s upcoming marriage to Harry doesn’t just signify a change in the royal family, it signifies some major changes in her lifestyle as well. She’s giving up her job playing paralegal Rachel on Suits, is moving her entire life to Nottingham Cottage and is breaking some royal protocol on her way there.
Okay, royal protocol might be a little too harsh, but she is changing traditions. She doesn’t wear panty house, ditches the clutch and is a little trendier with her hair choices. She embraces bystanders, writes them notes and holds hands with her husband-to-be.
The royal wedding
We’re only a few days away from her walk down the aisle and people are wondering what Meghan will wear, how her makeup will look and who are part of the wedding party. And this is all well and good, but honestly, there’s more interest in the months and years after May 19th.
Will Meghan be made to pursue less personal philanthropic projects or will the Royal Family embrace hers? Will she be dressing more like Kate? Will Queen Elizabeth become more vocal, much like her granddaughter-in-laws?
We. Cannot. Wait. To. See.
Art Alexandra Lara