On the 19th of May, 2018, Prince Harry married his girlfriend of two years, Meghan Markle at St George’s chapel, in Windsor Castle. The wedding has already been labelled ‘wedding of the year’ for the obvious reason that it’s a royal wedding and who doesn’t love the extravagance that comes with a royal wedding.
But the most exciting part isn’t the pomp and ceremony – it is that Meghan Markle, now known as the Duchess of Sussex literally smashes all glass ceilings and challenges a long line of monarchical customs. Here’s how she’s doing this:
Meghan is American
Meghan was born and raised in California making her the first American to wed a British royal. In 1936 King Edward VIII fell for an American socialite named Wallis Simpson, but their love caused a constitutional crisis and King Edward had to abdicate his throne before he could marry. Prince Harry is far from becoming a king anytime soon therefore there isn’t as much pressure on him to chose a partner that meets certain requirements.
Meghan is a woman of Colour
Meghan is a biracial woman, born to an African American mother and Irish American father. This is a huge deal in a traditionally White European setting. Only 3% of British elite are of Colour. While our society is becoming more inclusive and tolerant of all races. Meghan’s blackness was still a spectacle for the British media. Many tabloids reported on Meghan growing up in “ghetto, gang areas” even though she grew up in the upper-class suburbs of Los Angeles, CA. The havoc surrounding Meghan’s race led to Harry releasing a statement condemning the racial undertones in the British media’s coverage of the couple.
Meghan is a divorcee
Meghan was previously married to Trevor Engelson, a famous Hollywood producer. They were together for a total of 10 years. There is already a huge stigma around divorce, however the royals are more concerned about the religious aspect of it. For centuries, the Church of England failed to recognize second marriages under God. This is mainly because the vows “till death do us part” is a promise, not only to each other, but more importantly to God. Divorce indicates this promise wasn’t kept. The Queen is head of the Anglican church and so some were shocked that the palace embraced Meghan’s past. Although it’s fair to mention Prince Charles was divorced (1996) before Princess Diana died in 1997. When he married Camilla Parker Bowles (herself divorced) in 2005, he didn’t have a church wedding, rather a civil ceremony followed by a service of dedication.
Meghan was an Actress
Meghan dreamed of being an actress her whole life. She began her acting career shortly after graduating from Northwestern University in Theatre. She had many minor roles in big films but her biggest role was in 2011 in the hit series, Suits. Meghan was creating a name in Hollywood. Prince Harry lives different life. He was born into a family of royalty and spent much of his time being as private as possible. A huge concern for the couple initially was how Meghan would transition from being an outspoken actress in the limelight, to dimming her light and becoming more private.
Harry and Meghan’s romance is modern fairytale. Two completely different people found love within each other. Meghan inspired many young women from all walks of life that your dreams are fathomable, even if all odds are stacked against you.