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Wedding bells ringing in the Royal Palace once again

The+historic+Windsor+Castle+is+the+setting+for+the+royal+wedding+in+May+2018.+Prince+Harry+will+marry+Meghan+Markle+in+an+hour-long+ceremony+starting+at+7+a.m.+EST.
The historic Windsor Castle is the setting for the royal wedding in May 2018. Prince Harry will marry Meghan Markle in an hour-long ceremony starting at 7 a.m. EST.

The historic Windsor Castle is the setting for the royal wedding in May 2018. Prince Harry will marry Meghan Markle in an hour-long ceremony starting at 7 a.m. EST.

Helen Heaton

Helen Heaton

The historic Windsor Castle is the setting for the royal wedding in May 2018. Prince Harry will marry Meghan Markle in an hour-long ceremony starting at 7 a.m. EST.

Helen Heaton, Managing Editor

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It was a scandal, an outrage, the shocking headline of every newspaper. A member of the British royal family—one of the most esteemed institutions in the world—was set to marry an American divorcée.
Meghan Markle? No. This was Wallis Simpson, King Edward VIII’s future wife for whom, in 1936, he gave up the English throne.
Now, once again, a royal is going to marry an American divorcée. In 2018, the former constraints of royal courtship and marriage no longer apply (prior to their engagement, Princess Diana had to call Prince Charles ‘sir’), and Markle’s engagement to Prince Harry is hardly a scandal. Nevertheless, their May 2018 marriage has led to both raised eyebrows and frenzied excitement.
Senior Easton Boynton, who follows the royal family with interest, was surprised by Prince Harry’s choice.
“She’s very different from Kate [the Duchess of Cambridge], but Harry is also very different from William…but I kind of think it’s a rogue decision. But they look really, really happy, and they look really, really cute together, so personally, I’m okay with it,” she said.
Boynton’s main hesitation was Markle’s freedom regarding her wardrobe and the broader implications it has for her role in the royal family.
“When you’re in the royal family, you have to have a certain image about you. You never see Kate in any kind of presumptuous dresses or any kind of gaudy jewelry. You can’t even have red nail polish on your nails,” Boynton said. “But so far, Meghan has not been that way. I mean, the dress that they showed for her engagement [a roughly $75,000 gown by Ralph & Russo] was kind of see-through; she’s had low-cut things before; she’s had high-cut things before. So I think [Markle] is just a choice that probably would not have been chosen for him by his family. But if it’s love, it’s love.”
Senior Hannah Fleming also heard that the royal family disapproved of Markle due to her lack of conformity to their traditions, especially regarding her choice of nail decoration.
“The royal family is only supposed to wear nude nail polish colors, if they wear nail polish at all, but Meghan wears dark nail polish,” Fleming said. “It’s a big deal, and the queen doesn’t like it.”
Much of this purported royal disapproval has not actually been confirmed, but it is true that statement nail polish has never been embraced by the older generations of the royal family, or even the Duchess of Cambridge. The queen, for instance, is reported to only wear ‘Ballet Slippers’ by Essie, a pale pink shade.
While the emphasis on Markle’s very modern sense of style and identity may sound strange, it does contrast with the storied traditions surrounding her wedding and the institution she is marrying into.
It was recently released that she and Prince Harry will wed on the grounds of Windsor Castle in St. George’s Chapel, which dates from the 14th century and is the resting place of numerous royals, including one infamous for far more controversial marriages—Henry VIII (for those who are unaware, he had six wives, two of whom he executed). The Archbishop of Canterbury, who holds a position dating from the sixth century, will officiate.
With the persistent tension between past and present, some see Markle as an embodiment of the royal family’s shifting relationship to the public and the ways in which the royal family has been refashioning its identity to become more relevant.
“I feel like [the royal family] may be changing the way that people view them,” Boynton said. “[The public] used to see them as, ‘Oh, we never see them; they’re much higher than us, that’s why they don’t come out in public very often.’ But now that [members of the royal family are] out in the open all the time, it’s kind of like, ‘Oh, I feel like I know them, they’re just another person.’ So I do think it’s morphing into ‘they’re just regular people.’”
This shift can be viewed as a threat to the ‘magic’ of the royal family or as a welcome change fitting to the twenty-first century.
“I think if that’s the avenue they want to go down, and it’s more inclusive and makes everyone happier, then I don’t see a problem with it,” said junior Layla Nath, who is British.
From an American perspective, the upcoming wedding has an additional element of excitement.
“I think it’s a cool representation of where America could go—where people from America could go,” Boynton said. “I’d like to be married to a prince.”

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