My late mother infected us with her love for Princess Diana and of course, since her last born son was getting married on Saturday, I felt it my duty to represent. So, I set up my workstation in front of the TV and watched all the coverage, switching between CNN, E! Entertainment Network, and Twitter. I didn't want to miss a thing.
When I first read that Harry had gotten himself an African American girlfriend, I thought it was tabloid gossip. But then he released that statement about how the press should kindly leave Meghan and her mother alone and that was when I knew it was all true!
I wasn't so much excited that Harry was dating a black woman as I was that he seemed to be very happy. Let's face it, that image of him and his brother following behind his mother's coffin traumatized us all. We've been waiting, okay, I've been waiting to see that weight on their shoulders lift a bit. William got his chance at happiness and support with Kate, and now Meghan looked like she might give it to Harry.
Huge weight off my chest.
So this wedding for me was about bearing witness. Since my mother couldn't watch, I would watch for her and cheer Harry on to his new life. That's really all I expected - a standard wedding, the press referring to Diana every three to five minutes, William and Harry looking dapper next to each other...basically a replay of William's wedding with a few more black people and celebrities.
The obsession with the wedding dress was a bit much for my cold unromantic heart. I mean who really cared? Apparently, everyone. Or at least everyone in the press was trying to make it a thing. But online, on twitter, my timeline seemed about as bothered as I was about which designer Meghan would wear. Do you think the design houses pay to have these concepts pushed at us? Hmm.
Well, the guests began to arrive and the most unexpected celebrity to be invited turned out to be Oprah. Somehow it's hard for me to believe that she and Meghan were tight before all this. The commentators on CNN said that Oprah and Meghan's mother had become close in recent months. I'm sorry, I cannot control my side-eye.
Speaking of Meghan's mother, she was the real breakout star of the royal wedding. The unapologetic dreadlocks, the fact that she was the only one in Meghan's family with any home training, the only visibly emotional parent in the church, her unlikely friendship with Prince Charles...Doria Ragland might just be more popular than her daughter if that is even possible.
The next person to up the popularity stakes was the black pastor who delivered the homily. I personally felt it in my soul. Love God and love your neighbor people! He spoke of the redemptive power of love with passion and belief and he made me very jealous of his congregation. It's been a minute since a priest moved me in such a way. Of course, I had to check in on twitter and see what everyone was feeling about this display of blackness.
My timeline was very thrilled but I long ago unfollowed any account with the tendency to spew endless negativity. Even scrolling down the royal wedding hashtag, the comments on the pastor were mostly positive with a few racists here and there trying to troll. The people I felt bad for are those black people who wanted him to tone it down because they felt that the Royals would be uncomfortable.
Never be embarrassed by your heritage, or ashamed of it.
The Royals seemed bemused about the whole thing, but I'd be willing to bet money they were as inspired and enjoyed it as much as I did. Different isn't always bad. When the choir sang 'stand by me' after, I think three-quarters of my timeline was in tears. As I understand it, Prince Charles is the one who recommended that choir, even though the internet was quite sure the queen was all, "Well I never!"
The truth is that the palace signed off on all of it. They were here for it! Some people love to act like the world is only full of hatred and bigotry but clearly, the Royals have opened their arms to Meghan and her mother. I don't think we were the only ones traumatized by Diana's death. People do learn from the mistakes of the past.
The main take away that I got from this wedding is that people will perceive things through their own personal lens. Whatever colors that lens; bitterness, hope, anger, love...that's what they see reflected back. And if they can't find a focus for their emotions, they will make one up.
What was your royal wedding experience?