DISCLAIMER: I wrote this piece on Tuesday May 15th, four days before the wedding, with the intention of publishing it in our Wednesday May 23rd issue. However, after the events at Santa Fe High School on Friday May 18th, I decided to publish another tidbits for the May 23rd issue and pushed this tidbits back a week (to May 30th). Please keep this mind as you read this. Apart from a few changes, I have left everything as it was when I originally wrote it.
A little over a week ago, we had a royal wedding. It may seem confusing as to why this is being published so long after the wedding, but please keep in mind that I wrote this on May 15th—before the wedding. Furthermore, because I wrote this on May 15th, this piece will read as if the wedding is still to come. Please keep this in mind when you are reading this week’s tidbits.
Now, as you can probably tell based on my accent and the fact that I am born and raised in America—I am not British. However, my father grew up there, his immediate side of the family still lives there and my cousins are British. Not to mention that I spent five years living in Belgium, which is very close to the United Kingdom, and have had many opportunities to visit England over the years. I think I have been there seven or eight times in my 25 years, with more visits to come. And I don’t know if it’s because of these aforementioned reasons, or other reasons that I myself am not aware of, but I really admire the Royal Family. Actually, it’s not the entire Royal Family, but the Duke and Duchess Of Cambridge (who will hereafter be referred to as William and Kate) and Prince Harry (who will hereafter be referred to as Harry).
Before I go any further I want it to be clear that I am not trying to get anyone of you to like these three members, or even have an opinion on them. I just wanted to share my thoughts because of the proximity to the royal wedding and because, quite frankly, it’s my column. And I’m sure a lot of you are wondering why I like these three members, but I could not give you a straight answer. One of the reasons would be that, despite being royal and in these incredible positions, they are so humble, down-to-earth and giving. I have seen the charity work they do and the way in which they travel to different schools, organizations and countries; talking to people, learning from them and trying to do better for them. In fact they even have a website—The Royal Foundation Of The Duke and Duchess Of Cambridge And Prince Harry—which details their charity work and the various causes and organizations they support. This is something I immensely respect, that despite living these comfortable and lavish lifestyles, they still use their position to provide assistance and support to people in need. What I also admire is how available they are to the people. I have seen various videos of the three of them meeting people, either in England or any place around the world, and these Royals treat the people with so much respect and kindness. They are always seen smiling and shaking hands with everyone; holding conversations and seem to genuinely be interested in talking to everyone. What I mean to say is—it doesn’t seem like they are doing it because they have to and they definitely don’t act annoyed by it. And, in terms of William and Kate, I respect that they seem to be hands-on parents. A lot of people in their position would just hand their children off to a nanny and not be involved in their life whatsoever. And while the Duke and Duchess do have nannies (which is understandable), they seem to be very involved and hands-on parents. Not only that, but I respect how they are attempting to provide their children with as normal a life as possible; considering their circumstances.
But let’s talk about the wedding. When William and Kate got married, in April 2011, I was thick in the middle of exam season. I was in the 12th grade and preparing for the International Baccalaureate exams. The IB exams are a series of exams taken at the end of a two-year period; with the test questions containing the entire two years’ worth of information. There are multiple papers to each of the six subjects and these papers consist of multiple choice questions, essays and short answer questions. All in all, it’s a very difficult set of exams and a very stressful three week period. In fact, all of the seniors always got out of school a month before the exams, in order to have ample study time. So the wedding was on April 29th and my first exam was on May 2nd. I had decided to go to the library to study, because “I can concentrate better”. Did I go to the library? Yes. Did I log into the computers? Yes. Did I study? Nope. I mean I studied for about 10 minutes and then spent another hour watching the Royal Wedding. When I got up to get a snack, I noticed my classmates (who were also in the library to “study” were also watching the wedding). And eventually I gave up on being in the library and just went home and…wait for it…watched the wedding.
I was fortunate that I was living in Belgium in 2011, so the wedding aired in the mid-morning and it was a very convenient time to watch it. However, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding aired, I believe, at the very early morning hours CST. And, as much as I admire and respect Prince Harry, I like my sleep more. So I did not wake up to watch, but I did record to catch some highlights. I also recently watched a Lifetime movie centered around their first meeting and their relationship and, though the information in the movie must be taken with a grain of salt (since I don’t think the actual Royals were involved in its making), it seems that Meghan Markle joining the Royal Family is pioneering to say the least. I mean the fact that an American biracial woman, who happens to be divorced, is marrying into the Royal Family is quite a big deal in my eyes. According to an article by Elite Daily “Markle is the first American to marry into the Royal Family since 1937”. Her being biracial, in my opinion, also sends a message to so many people out there—that they shouldn’t let identifying factors about themselves (race, religion, gender, etc.) stop them from accomplishing anything they put their minds to. And I know that marrying someone isn’t some great accomplishment, but the over-arching idea is that Markle is breaking the mould. And, despite the comments I am hearing from other people, I think Markle is going to fit in very well into the Royal Family. She’ll have to learn and it may take her more time to get a hang of the ropes, but I think she’ll do just fine. She’s already used to the limelight and attention, due to her actress position, and she herself has done a lot of charity work, so she will easily fit into that side of Harry’s lifestyle. As for the other aspects of his life…they will just have to give her the time and patience to learn the rules and traditions.
I don’t know your opinions on the Royals. I don’t know if you like them, despise them or have no opinion. And, like I said, I am not trying to change your opinions in any manner. I just wanted to share mine. Because, the more I read up on the Royal Family and the more I learn about Markle, I think her being a Royal is going to –as I said previously—be pioneering and “breaking the mould”. In fact, there was a scene in the Lifetime movie where (the character of) Meghan Markle’s hairdresser brought his niece (who happened to be black) on to set to meet “Meghan” and told her: “To a little girl like her, someone like you marrying into the Royal Family, that’s huge”. We don’t know if this particular conversation ever happened in real life, but the fact remains—it is huge.
Sources: https://www.royalfoundation.com/, South Trees Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Town And Country Magazine, YouTube,