An Untraditional Royal Wedding!

You’ve probably heard the news – there’s going to be a Royal Wedding! I’ve never been a follower or fan of the whole British Royalty thing – but I do love weddings, and there are a few observations about the upcoming marriage of His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales (aka: Prince Harry) and Meghan Markle.

Meghan & Harry

We know modern weddings can be expensive, but the cost of their celebration is estimated at $45 million; but, to be fair, a lot of that goes to security.  In most ways, it will be a very royal affair, with fancy hats, ridiculously gorgeous flowers, and I’m sure the wedding dress will be amazing as well. With a backdrop of Windsor Castle how could this anything but a fairy-tale wedding? They will have a traditional wedding breakfast after the morning ceremony, though. Not quite American style, that’s for sure, but it won’t be breakfast as we think of it.

Yes, it will certainly be elaborate, but in a few ways the couple has made real breaks from tradition, and I applaud them for it. After all, the soon to be Princess is a modern and American woman. Ms Markle is already unusual for what Brits are used to in Royal couplings. But being charming, smart, and beautiful, she has won them over, or at least most of them. There are always some haters, we’ve come to expect that today, unfortunately.

By any other standard their wedding would never be considered low-key, but by royal standards it will indeed.  Some of the modern changes include Ms. Markle having her mother escort her down the aisle. We simple commoners may find this quite normal, but it certainly is a break from royal traditions – and if royalty is about anything at all, it’s about tradition.

Kate & William on the balcony

The couple is also prioritizing friends and family over guests with titles and dignitaries, however it is expected that there will be many celebrities attending. Given that Ms. Markle is an actress this is not surprising.

They have chosen a smaller chapel than previous royal weddings.  It will be held in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. I’m sure it’s a dump! They are also forgoing the ‘balcony kiss’ for the public, as well as ditching the carriage processional though London.

Remember, Queen Victoria started so much of how we think about modern weddings, and I’ve referenced her many times in this column. She, too, wanted it simple, but that was not going to happen. Victoria, whose name is even given to the era, is the one who gave us the white wedding gown, which she wore with gorgeous accessories such as jewelry and gloves. She wore a wreath of myrtle and orange blossoms on her head, however, I have not seen that recently. She popularized the wedding cake, and had 12 bridesmaids.

The Wedding of Queen Victoria

Many of us are old enough to remember Prince Charles marrying Diana Spencer at St Paul’s Cathedral. Her dress, was, in my opinion, hideous, although I may not have thought so at the time. Some fashions do not quite pass the test of time. But 750 million people watched the ceremony on TV and 600,000 people filled the streets of London to get a glimpse of the couple. I guess that tells us just how popular Royal Weddings can be. Then followed Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, Prince Edward and who even remembers her name, Prince Charles famously marrying Camilla Parker-Bowles, which was scandalous indeed. Prince William married Catherine Middleton, in 2011, yet another commoner!

So, for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, tune in on May 19thunless you plan to attend. After all, she is American and so are we, I’m sure we’ll be welcomed, although I heard the President is not.


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    Lois Heckman

    Lois Heckman is a certified Life-Cycle Celebrant who officiates at weddings, funerals, and other ceremonies in the Poconos and beyond. She has performed hundreds of ceremonies and brings a wealth of knowledge to her work. Visit her website: ... Read Full
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