Unless you’re living under a volcanic rock in Indonesia, you know by now that Prince Harry is engaged.
Personally, I’ve always preferred his big brother, Prince William. I knew very little about Prince Harry’s future wife, Meghan Markle, until I saw her on the news a couple of months ago, standing next to him in public and wearing a smile that could only mean one thing - she is a woman very much in love.
Their engagement is, of course, good news. However, anyone who knows anything about British history knows that there are much bigger reasons to celebrate it.
After her wedding next Spring, Meghan Markle will be no ordinary, traditional British Princess. Not just because she is what the Royal Family call a ‘commoner.’ Her future sister-in-law, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, was born one of those, too.
Meghan Markle’s engagement to Prince Harry should be celebrated because she is very different to Catherine. Meghan Markle is, proudly and openly, a woman of mixed race. Megan Markle is obviously American. Raised in Los Angeles with a Hollywood lighting director for a father, before she became well known for getting her prince, she was an actress, well known for playing Rachel Zane in American TV show Suits. Meghan Markle is also openly a divorcee.
Anyone who knows anything about British history knows what happened last time a member of the Royal Family married an American divorcee. King Edward VIII, uncle of Queen Elizabeth II, was forced to abdicate his throne when he married Wallis Simpson in 1937. How different things would have been if Wallis Simpson had been given her rights to marry King Edward VIII as his Queen.
Prince Charles is, naturally, delighted by the news. Could his delight be stronger because he genuinely understands his son’s situation? Things could have been very different for him, too, if the current Duchess of Cornwall had been given her rights to marry him long before their wedding in 2005.
Prince Harry’s engagement to Meghan Markle is not just a fluffy love story about a Prince and his Princess. It is also a very good sign for the British Royal Family. It is a clear sign that the British Royal Family has finally learnt lessons from its history.
It is a clear sign that finally, after at least two generations of causing heartache to people in love, the British Royal Family has learnt that love is love, and that love should always be accepted, no matter what.
That is why I am celebrating the news of Prince Harry’s engagement to Meghan Markle.