As a proud British-South African, I took absolute joy in celebrating the Royal wedding this Saturday. I invited a friend of mine to my Mom’s house and we had a little tea party to celebrate history in the making. Here’s why I love the Royal Wedding in 2018:
1. I’ve Been To Windsor Castle!
When I first move to the UK at the age of 18, my folks took me on a day trip to Windsor Castle. It was an excellent opportunity to explore the famous castle, within strict bounds of course.
We were able to visit some courtyards, the great hall and I particularly remember the kitchen for some random reason! It was the real deal, Robin Hood type kitchen in lower half of the castle. It was a lovely day trip, which was made even better by seeing again on television!
2. My Ancestors Worked at Windsor Castle
I only found out during the Royal Wedding that I’d my great, great, great granddad had actually worked for the Queen at Windsor Castle.
William Carlisle was born in 1822 and joined the British Army when he was 19 years old. He was part of the Royal Horse Guards and worked for the British Army until the age of 38. He received bonuses for good behaviour during his career (guess those were the Christmas bonuses of the time!) and lived about 10 minutes (walk) away from the Castle. He worked as a cordwainer (a shoemaking person, predominantly with leather I think).
(Ironic how you can be the poor people back then but if that house had stayed in the family we’d be rich now! #GentrificationMuch haha.) Here’s the certificate of authenticity:
3. First Person of Colour to Marry into the Royal Family
Apart from the religious and marital status of Meghan, she is now the first person of colour to join the royal family. THIS IS HUGE! For a person of colour to marry into one of the (previously) most powerful houses in the world is a BIG DEAL. This is LITERALLY the first time in British HISTORY that this has happened! HISTORY IN THE MAKING PEOPLE!
What does this mean? Well, any time you’re watching Game of Thrones (based on the War of Roses) or the Tudors or The Queen there are set characters because history is history. Now, for the future and a day, any time a royal story will be told, Meghan Markle will be included. SHE IS NOW IN THE HISTORY BOOKS! History has been created and fact is fact. As a person of colour, this is a really, really big deal.
4. Marrying a Divorcee
The only reason why Queen Elizabeth II is currently the queen of England is because her uncle, Edward VIII, abdicated the throne. This resulted in her father becoming king and ultimately, Elizabeth II queen.
Why did her uncle abdicate? Because he wanted to marry an American, Wallis Simpson, who was a divorcee. Marrying a divorcee was a major no-no in the church of England resulting in Edward II choosing love over duty, and abdicating.
The “law” changed in recent times allowing Prince Charles to marry Camilla Parker-Bowls and Prince Harry to marry Megan Markle, only for the second time in history; in 952 years to be exact (the royal family started in 1066).
5. Anglicans Marrying Catholics
Along with divorcees previously not being “allowed” to marry into the royal family, the marriage between Anglicans and other Christian denominations was also banned. Within the last decade, this law was updated (although it didn’t apply to Judaism and Islam apparently); allowing Meghan Markle, as a Catholic, to marry Prince Harry.
6. Royal Wedding Made 468 Million Pounds
The 2018 Royal Wedding cost 32 million pounds, however, it is expected to earn 500 million pounds in tourism revenue. That’s 468 million in tourism revenue for residents of the UK. Considering 9% of all jobs in the UK fell under tourism in 2013, this is an important part of the economy.
While it is always a concern that the wedding will be to the taxpayer’s expense, there is quite a lot of miscommunication about who is actually paying for what.
“The royal family will pay for the core aspects of the wedding, such as the church service, the associated music, flowers, decorations, and the reception,” Kensington Palace said in a statement.
However, the taxpayer will be chipping in for the security costs, which are estimated to be around 20 million pounds. Considering the royal family brought in over ONE BILLION pounds into the UK economy last year, a cool 20 million is just a scratch in the UK budget.
7. Celebrating My Heritage
As someone of British descent, a royal wedding allows my family to reconnect with our traditional culture. While we may no longer be British through and through, it’s fantastic to watch the event, to learn more about British history and ceremonial etiquette (from fashion, music, food, etc.) and enjoy the process of the wedding.
Participating in the event with British food, dress and customs, allows us to celebrate our heritage both past and present.
8. Connecting Cultures
The Royal Wedding also took the opportunity to connect cultures. It was the first royal wedding to include both American spiritual culture and British spiritual culture. The passionate bishop, Michael Curry, serenaded the vaults of Windsor like never before! With a choir singing Stand By Me by Ben E King. This celebrates the best of American culture with British tradition. This communication is only ever a positive for all involved.
9. The Dress
No, I didn’t tune in solely for the dress, but now that I’ve watched the wedding I’m SO IMPRESSED by the dress Meghan chose! She’s 36, divorced and could have gone totally overboard with this new found love (and money?!). But she kept it classic, simple and classy. THAT’S how a princess should act. As my friend, Mo, accurately pointed out; the style made us look HER, not the dress. She’s such a beautiful woman, I REALLY think this dress was super classy.
And I loved her evening dinner dress even more!
10. Uniting the World
For good or for bad, until death do us part, it is my belief that the royal wedding united the world, even if just for a moment and just for some with similar pastimes. Families and friends across the globe watched the Royal Wedding, meaning love won.
All the best to HRH Prince Harry and the Dutchess of Sussex! I hope I run into you in Namibia and, if I do, please greet me!!! #MomentInAMillion