The tale of the thoroughly modern royal wedding
Amy Fallows reports on the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Only those who have been on a recent trip to the darkest recesses of the Amazon or Outer Space can have missed the build up to the grandest and most highly anticipated nuptials of the year.
M&S have their special Percy and Penny wedding sweets and shops everywhere are reporting record sales of tablecloths, bunting and napkins. Sausage roll makers and tea packers are taking on extra staff to cope with demand.
It appears that as a nation, we are gripped by Harry and Meghan fever. Prince Harry is of course the beloved son of the late Diana, Princess of Wales who, along with his brother Prince William, appears to have rejected the traditional Royal life and instead created his own based largely, it is believed, on the values and example of his late mother.
It should therefore come as no surprise that he has chosen a non traditional Royal bride in Meghan Markle to share his life. A thoroughly modern woman who has already been married once before and is a successful actress and who will become the first mixed race member of the British Royal family. Already known as a UN ambassador and a political activist, Meghan will also be 36 years old when she marries the Prince who is 3 years her junior. Both have experienced life and significant relationships and appear to be setting their own terms for a modern and distinctive Royal romance.
The papers are awash with tales of how Meghan is already breaching Royal protocol as well as regular digging into her family history and her professional and personal past. So far, she is shaking it off with quiet grace and style and resolute in the knowledge that Harry is steadfastly by her side.
They have apparently decided not to execute a pre nuptial agreement and it's also rumoured that they have undertaken pre-wedding counselling so that they are fully prepared for the aftershock of their union. The Queen, it is said, approves of Meghan who she believes makes Harry happy. It is also clear that there is a real fondness for the union from Prince William and Kate.
This all marks a very different approach from the Royal family to the job of heirs to the throne getting married. You don't have to look too far back to Charles and Diana (and Camilla), Princess Anne, Mark Phillips and Tim Laurence and even Princess Margaret and Edward and Mrs Simpson to see the duty to put your country ahead of personal happiness in a loving union. Both William and Harry appear to be turning this on its head possibly due to the example of their parents who eventually decided not to keep up the façade and chose personal happiness over duty.
As Family lawyers, we see a lot of people who stay together for the sake of the kids and keeping up appearances. The fear of change can keep people in an unhappy situation for far too long. We also see lots of people who decide to take the plunge and go with their heart hoping that leaving an unhappy relationship will bring them peace and fulfilment and a shot at once in a lifetime bliss.
Princes William and Harry have seen the best of times and the worst of times in their childhood and early adulthood witnessing their parents very messy break up and the tragic early death of their mother. It is however clear to any observer that throughout these challenging experiences they were surrounded by deep love and a caring family and it may be this which has led them to plough a different furrow. Setting new rules and not following old ones. Always together shoulder to shoulder and choosing their partners on the basis of love rather than Queen and Country.
A thoroughly modern approach.
About the author
Amy is a family law Partner and the coordinator of the employee benefits scheme.
Published: Friday 18th May 2018
Categorised: Family Law