Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (Reuters)
The royal power couple
Let’s face it: we’re swooning over them. He’s the big-hearted Prince with a social conscious, and she’s the American actress with an activist soul. In their official engagement interview, Prince Harry revealed that on his first blind date with Meghan the “stars were aligned when this beautiful woman tripped and fell into my life.” It’s the stuff of fairytales. And now the happy couple have been graffitied over walls, printed on Union Jack flags, they smile on the glistening china of cups and saucers, and then there’s the life-sized cardboard cut-outs of Harry and Meghan holding hands, ready to take on the world.
I write this article on the eve of the royal wedding between Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales (say it slowly and you won’t get tongue tied), and Ms Rachel Meghan Markle. I find it fitting that in her high-school yearbook the quote beneath Meghan Markle’s picture reads:
“Women are like teabags; they don’t realise how strong they are until they’re in hot water.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)
She has traded the vanilla soy lattes of Hollywood for the English Breakfast brews of the United Kingdom. As she rides in a horse-drawn carriage from St George’s Chapel towards Windsor Castle with her new husband, it’s expected that 3 million kettles across the UK will boil, according to one report. Could it be anymore British to toast the royal newly weds with a cup of tea?
Over 2 billion viewers worldwide will watch this power couple say “I do” making this the wedding of the century. But why do we care about the romance of princes and princesses, anyway? Does the world stop to take a breath of awe when other celebrities marry? Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s wedding photo is one of the most popular images on Instagram, with 2.4 million likes. Their wedding may have saturated the tabloid press, but did it draw thousands to the streets waving flags, and send off international waves of joy and hope for the future?
The phenomenon behind royal obsession
The idea of royalty stirs in us something much deeper than a shallow fascination with the rich and famous. In the frenzied lead up to the big day, Huffington Post asked psychologists to explain the phenomenon behind our obsession with royalty. There were some interesting points like:
- Disney fairytales program us from childhood to fantasise about princes and princesses
- Royalty provides us with a way to escape from troubling world news
- The Queen and her family help us connect with the past and through them we can witness history unfold
- The success of the Netflix show The Crown means more people are interested in royalty
Though these are valid statements, I don’t think they come close to explaining royal obsession. Why did we run around the playground as kids imagining kingdoms? Why did we get so excited when a plastic tiara was placed on our head, or we wielded a knightly sword? Why does a royal wedding captivate us as adults if not to remind us who we are and what we’re called to?
“We were crowned with honour and glory…we remember, if only faintly, that we were once more than we are now.” (John Eldridge, Epic)
As a geeky teenager I poured over family trees, first in old books, and then on the internet, until I could finally prove that my family was descended from William the Conqueror. Bursting with excitement I raced to tell my brother the news. He’s a surfer who likes to watch the footy, skate, hang out with mates, and basically do more interesting things than research kings and queens. He couldn’t care less about modern monarchies. Yet when I told him he had a king as an ancestor, he lifted his head a little higher, looked a little stronger, dare I say it a little nobler. My findings tapped into something that was already in his soul, a knowing that he wasn’t ordinary. He was set-apart. The bloodline of kings and conquerors dwelt within him.
I’ve since learnt that having a violent Norman king as a great-granddaddy is nothing to boast about, most people don’t care and if you bring it up at dinner parties your friends will roll their eyes.
Thankfully the true King who summons us by name into His Kingdom is Christ. He is the one whose holy blood flows through your veins. He is the one who has set you apart and called you to greatness, for you are fearfully and wonderfully made in His image. He is the King who conquered sin and death to win your heart. He has invited you to the grandest wedding of them all. It’s the event, not of the century, but of all eternity. And in that glorious crowning moment all that you are, and all that you’ve been created for, will be revealed before heaven’s host. For the King’s banner over you is Love, and in this divine romance you have the starring role as the one who captured His heart.
“The time has come for the wedding feast of the lamb. And the bride has prepared herself. She has been given the finest of pure white linen to wear…Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the lamb.” Revelation chapter 19, verses 7-9.
Though your face might not feature on a souvenir teaspoon, you are inscribed on the heart of a King whose wild for you. We still care about royalty in the 21st century because buried within us in the knowledge that we’re born to bring delight to the King of kings, even as He delights over us.
He is your happily ever after.
Amy learnt from an early age the value of a good cup of tea. Her British Grandparents and UK-born mother taught her that putting the kettle on was always an appropriate action, because tea brings people together, quenches thirst, solves problems, and is the only way to toast a royal wedding. Her previous articles can be read here: http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/amy-manners.html
Amy is a Press Services International Columnist from Adelaide. She has a BA in Creative Writing and Screen & Media, and now works as a freelance photographer, videographer and writer. She was runner-up in the 2018 Basil Sellars Award. Her previous articles can be viewed here: http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/amy-manners.html