I absolutely loved the last royal wedding. When Kate and Wills got married I helped my teachers decorate the school in Union Jack bunting (lol, loser), I wore a stupid plastic hat with my red, white and blue outfit and I sat glued to the television (only a little bit crushed that Kate didn’t opt for an Alice Temperly dress), violently shushing anyone who dared to moan about it.
I’m a royalist. Not quite a collect the china plates type, but one that thinks Queen Elizabeth II is the biggest babe in the world, who thinks Megs is going to make a beaut princess and who thinks that the family and the institution they represent is something that Britain can be very proud of.
Of course, not everyone feels like that. And that’s cool.
But I have been shocked and saddened by the attitude voiced recently about the Royal Wedding tomorrow. Not least of all because it feels like a very different conversation to the one we had seven years ago.
If we’re honest, that might have something to do with the fact that seven years ago the Daily Mail was half the beast that it is today; that translates directly to: seven years ago there was half the hate there is today. Or I was exposed to half the hate at any rate.
Of course there were people then speculating that tax payers money was being pissed away on a mockery of Twenty-First-Century-Britain, there were people who hated Kate for being a) the one that bagged the prince, b) posh, c) pretty or d) all of the above, and there were people who hated the royals then and there are people that hate the royals now.
But I wasn’t exposed to an awful lot of hate at the time.
I live in London, my family are royalists and demographically so are a lot of the people that I know. I of course take no umbrage with people who have differing views: you do you hun, but things feel a little different now.
I have seen an awful lot of shit this time around.
For the most part I think it’s an overwhelming apathy surrounding us all the day before the day that has been speculated on from every which way for the lsat six months since Harry and Megs made their exciting announcement.
You cannot get away from coverage of the royal wedding.
Of course Kate’s life was scrutinised to death, but the poor girl didn’t have much to report. Aside from a ‘risqué fashion show’ she did at her expensive boarding school, she was basically the most perfect princess candidate that ever lived. Yes speculation as to which hairdresser would be there to brush her glossy locks got a little boring, but for the most part there was only so much they could chat about.
Megan, a 36 year-old mixed race, American divorcee with a lifetime worth of accomplishments under her belt is a different kettle of fish entirely. THERE’S SO MUCH TO KNOW. Most recently the focus has been on her very modern family.
Something that has really upset me.
It was announced yesterday that since her dad wouldn’t now be coming to the wedding (after admitting to taking a £100k bribe from photographers to stage photographs), Prince Charles, Harry’s father would be walking her down the aisle.
People are S-H-O-C-K-E-D. In part they are disappointed with the wording Megan used in her Kensington Palace statement in which she said that she ‘cared’ for her father.
WHY DIDN’T SHE SAY SHE LOVED HIM?! people cried.
Well quite frankly; why should she have to?! This is a man who has not only not been overwhelmingly present in her life (or so we have been lead to believe) but one that has embarrassed her in front of the world’s media before announcing that he will now not be attending the biggest day of her life.
It’s an interesting societal problem that a woman is somehow expected to love a man for no other reason than that she is related to him. It needs to be said that she owes him nothing. Just because the bloke was present at her conception by no means dictates that she should love him, let alone declare it.
And then there was the matter of her mother not being roped into walk her down the aisle, in a move so modern it would have caused the world to shake. I’ve seen hundreds of women online today expressing their disappointment. As if Megan’s decision is in someway a feminist failure on her part.
In a decision that is ultimately one of the only ones she gets complete control over, doing the right thing from a feminist standpoint should be the least of her worries.
She is already making this the most modern wedding the royals have ever seen, and that’s just because she fell in love.
We are ever-so-slightly fed this idea that Megan owes us something, that she’s doing this for us.
And in part she is, but only in the same way that everything the royals do, they do for us.
And I don’t say that in a way that implies we should fall at their shiny shoes and thank them for allowing us to take refuge in their great state, but in the way that the royal family have one job and that is ultimately to represent Britain and to be ambassadors for us.
In lots of ways being a princess is the an aspiration for a lot of little girls.
Not ALL the little girls. Not in the Daily Mail ‘journalism’ way of suggesting that all little girls want nothing more from their lives than to marry up and wear diamonds on their heads.
I wanted to be a journalist, from the off. Sure, a tiara sounds fun, but that dream wasn’t for me.
(Not least of all because despite the ‘Marry Me Harry’ jumper I wore as a teenager, I don’t think HRH ginger-dream-boat was going to fall head over heels in love with me).
In fact, I can’t think of anything worse than being a princess. Least of all one that, as of tomorrow, well and truly belongs to a society that is filled with a lot of people that don’t want her.
We own the royal family. In so many ways we own them. Their lives are ours for the observation. We can look and we can judge. Most of us genuinely believe our hard earned money is paying for Kate Middleton’s new M&S coat.
I really, really value my ability to walk into any shop and buy any piece of fabric that takes my fancy, knowing that I am not being held accountable for that. So actually I’d rather choke on an M&S coat than be held accountable for buying it by the fucking Daily Mail in the way that Megan is about to be.
I do feel that Megan has sacrificed a lot by marrying into the royal family. In the Disney version of this story she is about to fulfil a dream, but in the real world she is giving up on a lot of what her life was. She has to say goodbye to her freedom and her home and apparently her family. She deleted her Instagram guys.
Is any prince really worth that?
And then of course there is the fact that I adore Prince Harry. Not just ‘cos he’s handsome.
His work with the Invictus Games, providing something incredible for our wounded, sick and injured servicemen and women is just beyond admirable. Having been involved with Help For Heroes for the last eleven years, I know first hand the opportunity that the Invictus Game, spearheaded by Prince Harry, has done to change hundreds of people’s lives for the better.
I therefore think he deserves all of the happiness in the world. I think the whole Royal Family do, but him in particular.
It ought to be remembered that they didn’t ask for the family that any of us were born into.
Let Megan be an example of that.
I don’t like hate, in any capacity.
I especially don’t like it when people’s distain for an organisation or institution manifests itself as a personal attack on an individual.
Because you’d be an idiot to think that Megan and Harry aren’t exposed to what the world has to say about what is meant to be the happiest day of their lives. No, Susan’s Facebook rant about the cost of Megan Markle’s shoes probably won’t end up being something they discuss over their boiled eggs in the morning, but they’re not blind to it.
Hating for hating’s sake is boring. It’s BORING. And it’s ugly.
So I won’t let it ruin tomorrow for me.
I’m going to have a great day. I’m going to don a similar outfit to the one that I wore seven years ago, I’m going to squeal like a child when I see Megan’s dress for the first time, I may well cry when I see Harry’s ADORABLE little face when he sees his total ten out of ten walking down the aisle.
I am going to love the royal wedding.
And I really, really hope that the people that it matters to the most can do that too.