The engagement of Prince Harry of Wales and his sweetheart, American actress Meghan Markle, has prompted global celebration for the adorable duo, who plan to marry in spring of 2018! Meghan, the 36-year-old Suits star, is a trailblazer in many ways. Ms. Markle has drawn attention as his fiancée due to the fact that she’s an American, a feminist, the first non-white member of the royal family (she is the daughter of a white father and black mother), and she’s divorced!
While the rest of the world may not think twice about a bride-to-be’s relationship history, hers makes headlines because of her betrothed’s family’s historical stance on divorce. There are some notable figures in the British Royal Family who have severed marriages including Harry’s great uncle and former King Edward VIII and his parents, Prince Charles and Lady Diana; however, divorce has caused much controversy within the British monarchy for hundreds of years.
For instance, Queen Elizabeth’s sister, Princess Margaret, wished to marry a divorced man, but faced such intense pressure not to go through with the marriage, that she eventually called off her engagement. King Edward VIII went so far as to relinquish the throne to follow his heart in marriage to American divorcee, Wallis Simpson.
Meghan and her representation of real people and real life is a welcome breath of fresh air. It’s high time that royalty had their own poster duchess proving to the world that a divorce under her belt does not make her any less remarkable.
Let’s not forget that the Church of England, of which Queen Elizabeth is the head, was founded as a result of Henry VIII’s failed attempts to obtain a divorce from the Catholic Church, so England broke away from Catholicism. Despite England’s Protestant status after Henry VIII’s reformation, divorce was still not looked upon favorably. Divorce could be achieved, but only at a high cost to one’s status, and the royal family has, for the most part, tried to avoid it.
What does the fully-supported nuptials of Harry and Megan tell us?
Divorce seems to have evolved beyond something only tolerable for “some people” to do to the point that even a prince need not shy away from loving the bride of his choice!
True, the chances of Harry ascending the throne are slim (he’s fifth in line behind his father, brother, nephew, and niece); but, the fact that the crown has not shied away from accepting the couple’s engagement tells us a lot about the cultural barometer of divorce!
British royalty has a reputation for being ultra-conservative and extremely concerned about appearances. Everything from wardrobe to menu choices must be approved, so it’s not surprising that some past romantic relationships have received a thumb’s down from the queen. Harry and Meghan seem to have ushered in a new era of modern and more open-minded thinking wherein a divorce in one’s past need not eliminate them as a candidate for marriage and high society.
Heck, if Queen Elizabeth is now willing to embrace a divorced woman into the royal family, maybe it’s time for everyone else hanging on to antiquated ideas about marriage and divorce to loosen up a bit?
Some British media are taking heat for their snobby and judgmental attitudes about Markle not being “good enough” for the role. Because she is such a unique woman, it’s hard to say if they are offended by her race, nationality, personal beliefs, or previous marriage. The news outlets spouting these asinine opinions, for whatever reason, have missed the point that Harry is in love and should be able to choose the partner of his choice, and Meghan is charming, intelligent, and already a public favorite!
Whether stodgy British aristocrats, members of the old boy’s club, or residing under a rock, old-fashioned beliefs are passe’, and the marriage in question is due to take place in the year 2018, not the Middle Ages! Divorce means different things in modern society. Most educated and empathetic people have accepted the fact that divorce is sometimes necessary, and not an indicator of negative traits in a person’s character.
Meghan and her representation of real people and real life is a welcome breath of fresh air. It’s high time that royalty had their own poster duchess proving to the world that a divorce under her belt does not make her any less remarkable. In fact, her experience puts her in a better position to value a good man and a quality relationship after having endured a failed one. Remember, this man was raised by Princess Diana, so he surely recognizes a true gem when he sees one!
Congratulations to the happy couple!
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