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The Importance of Being Meghan

The marriage between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle took place this past Saturday, and never have I seen so many British people with smiles on their faces.

Yes, I’ve seen royal weddings on television before – S/O to Will and Kate – but never while being in London, surrounded by British people, and at a gay bar.

The experience was wonderful. I could not help but feel the pride and happiness emanating off of the Brits. If you didn’t know, the royals are a BIG cultural deal.

However, this wedding was different from others. Harry was to be marrying a POC (person of color, or colour if you’re a Brit), American, Divorcee! Previously this type of union would not be permitted in the royal family for various political reasons (what example would that leave for the children?).

But in 2018, the addition and acceptance of Meghan Markle into the royal sphere speaks upon the history of everything that her identity stands for. Meaning that the ideas of this ceremonial and traditional family are now allowing for change and acceptance.

I could not help but admire her beauty and demeanor on her wedding day, and it was wonderful seeing the reactions on people’s faces as the event progressed. I was touched by the sermon led by Bishop Michael Curry, though, I did hear a few “How American” comments out of the mouth of some Brits (the idea is that Americans are a really passionate bunch.)

Karen Gibson and the Kingdom Choir’s version of ‘Stand By Me’ was beautiful along with the performance by cellist Sheku-Kanneh Mason and let me tell you, I was so HAPPY to see so many talented people of color having such a great moment and that they were able to share their talents with the world.

This particular royal wedding not only showcased the love shared between the bride and groom, but also honored their cultural pasts. After it finished, I was nearly at tears. I didn’t cry, but I did grasp my pearls.

A different kind of reception

Afterwards, my friends and I headed to Clapham Common. The mood was blissful and carefree. Though, these feelings did not last for long.

Upon choosing a patch of grass to plant ourselves in, I overheard this young, caucasian, female claim:

“It’s good to have color in the royal family. It’s good because she’s black, but not that black.”

Shocked that none of her other white friends laughed, her smile straightened and she asked them, “Was that racist?” (I said yes, but I don’t think she heard me).

I was keen to know how they would react. Thankfully, one of her friends – the most sober one – replied, “Yeah, that is. You really shouldn’t say that.” They all went straight faced for half a second; then, as if nothing happened, they stood up and decided to play a game of ’rounders’ – which is basically a more simplified version of baseball.

I turned to my friends, looked at their faces – because I knew that they overheard as well – and they just shook their heads.

What a life it must be to be able to dehumanize someone and feel okay with it. I couldn’t help but think of what the meaning of the wedding was and how important the performances and speeches broadcasted to millions are.

Representation matters.

It is important to realize that not everyone is treated equally, so as we can make a move towards improvements. It is important to recognize the histories and the pasts that help shape your identity. It is important to stand for what you believe in.

Regardless of what people say, I am sure that Meghan will represent herself with honor and grace and that ANYONE can do the same. Even if you are not a royal!

If you watched the wedding, let me know your thoughts!

Love you, be safe, make wise choices!

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