MUSINGS ON THE ROYAL WEDDING

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There is no doubt that the monarchy is an anachronism in these times. The fact of someone being born into privileges over others from birth and by right of birth is antithetical to modern democratic values.  Yet The Bahamas and countries like its former colonial master the United Kingdom live every day with the magical fiction of a Royal Family.  People follow their every move and get misty eyed and sentimental about them, their children and their troubles.  It’s like one giant soap opera at public expense. On Saturday 19 May, the Prince Henry of Wales, known as Prince Harry, got married to an American divorcee.  His Great Grand Uncle Edward Windsor was not allowed to do the same thing back in 1936 because the establishment of the day could not countenance a twice divorced American marrying their king.  So he had to resign and was dispatched to be Governor of The Bahamas for his sins during the war. No such thing now.  The Queen has four children and three of them are divorced.  The heir to the throne had remarried after a tumultuous divorce. This latest marriage has provided a wonderful show for the American culture which though they fought a revolution against the British is simply enthralled by all this royalty nonsense and puffery. It was a show made all the more compelling by the fact that the woman who married Prince Harry, a former actress Meghan Markle from the United States, has a completely dysfunctional family in the sense that she does not come from the TV type family of mother, father and children growing up in one united household.  You had a black woman and white man, who didn’t stay together and she was raised by a single black woman.  Then you have a father who seemed to get carried away with his own personal drama, getting tricked by a photographer to take inappropriate photos, then he was coming and not coming.  Finally, he was sidelined because he had a heart attack. Then there were the half blood relatives, siblings who attacked the bride as being selfish and undeserving.  What a show it was.  Of course the Royal Household went on with stiff upper lip. Well not quite.  All that talk about the bride being biracial. This is obviously a black woman and African culture was everywhere: the song Stand By Me in gospel music cadence, the preacher the Black Episcopal Bishop lighting a fire in the staid chapel, the young black cellist and to top it all off the ululating as the bride took to the carriage for the processions. Africa has won. No show father, so Prince Charles did the honours.  The tourism figures were great for Britain and the TV audience showed the Monarchy on show and what it’s really useful for.  At the centre of it though is this couple and in particular in this instance a young man, born into this stuff, didn’t choose but has to perform in the role into which he was born. He chose to marry a black woman, an American, a divorcee.  He chose all the wrong things.  In an earlier era, they would have forced him not to choose. He would have had to look elsewhere.  He told the press that all the stuff about his wife’s ethnicity was out of line.  It was after all his life.  So here we go with this sentiment: people no matter what station in life are lucky if they can find someone who wants to be with them and with whom they can get along whether for the long term or the short term. So this fellow has found someone who fits that bill for him. In that example, monarchy and all aside, is something for other young men to emulate what it is to choose and to stand up for someone who stands with you, yes stands by you. In the words of the old marriage right: for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, ’til death do you part. She is your friend and protector and you stand with her, stand by her.