On the 19th of May, Prince Harry wed American actress Meghan Markle in a ceremony that was broadcasted live to almost 29.2 million viewers in the United States of America alone. This wedding, dubbed by various newscasters and royalists as the wedding of the century, generated not only global attention but also worldwide frenzy.
The marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was remarkable in more ways than one, but that might be hard to imagine for you, especially if you are merely just a student in high school. After all, what do the lives of British royals and American celebrities have to do with you?
What you might not understand is that the union of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle by marriage is an extremely pivotal moment in world history. To start off, a little historical context is needed.
England has always had its monarchy, notably ever since the early days of William the Conqueror, and it still remains today as one of the world’s most well-known royal families in the world. The current Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II, is arguably one of the most recognizable faces in the world.
When one thinks of royals and/or royalty in adjacent to marriage, one may come across the term ‘arranged’, or ‘fixed’. Ultimately, most of our experiences with royals have only been through vicariously living their lives through glowing silver screens, and wasn’t Cinderella’s marriage her prince a big deal?
Well, British royals marrying non-royals, or, commoners, has actually been happening as early in history as the 14th century. In addition, the last two extremely well-documented marriages by the press–William and Kate’s, as well as Charles and Camilla’s–have been the union of royals with otherwise normal people.
So, what exactly makes Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding so legendary?
For starters, Meghan Markle is one of the farthest people that could be associated with the British royalty. She is a divorced American actress of Caucasian and African-American descent from a strictly upper-middle-class Catholic upbringing.
Meghan Markle’s rise from a regular American teenager posing outside of Kensington Palace to actually residing in Kensington Palace is one of irrevocable progress.
A couple of decades ago, this marriage would have simply not occurred. It was that simple. Before William had married Kate and was known to be the father of the adorable Prince George and Princess Charlotte (and now baby Prince Louis), Prince Harry was third-in-line for the throne.
However, times have changed. Princess Charlotte’s birth is no longer being discounted in the line of succession, another pivotal event; therefore, Prince Harry now falls to sixth-in-line for the throne.
Maybe it is the cumulation of all of these events that eventually resulted in the Queen’s approval of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding (yes, they had to get the Queen’s blessing). Or, on a more optimistic note, times have changed and so has the old system.
People only have to re-watch clips of their wedding to prove that this is a new age. When have the royals looked so uncomfortable as an all-black gospel choir sang, and when their song came to an end, only to have an African-American Bishop of the American Episcopalian Church, Michael Curry, conduct the ceremony?
Whether or not this marriage will last indefinitely, only time will tell; however, Meghan Markle’s rise from a regular American teenager posing outside of Kensington Palace to actually residing in Kensington Palace is one of irrevocable progress.
Just when you might’ve stopped believing in fairy tales and good old-fashioned prince and princesses sweeping you off of your feet, the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle prove that in modern society’s progressive era, anything is possible.