Like 29 million other Americans, I grabbed a cup of coffee and my iPad and settled in to watch the Royal Wedding this last weekend. I laughed, I cried, I was inspired.
And I’m not even a big wedding person.
But the mixture of tradition and modernity was so much fun. And can we talk about Bishop Michael Currey’s message?! Can I go to his church? The music was perfect, the white roses for Princess Diana (sigh), even the small military-style jacket Prince George wore as a pageboy was perfection.
Setting all those perfect moments aside, for now, let’s talk about the very real parts of it.
Kate Middleton Rocked the Mom Thing
Duchess Catherine (a.k.a. Kate Middleton) was less than 4 weeks post-partum after the birth of little Prince Louis. Of course, she wore a dress she’s worn before. HAVEN’T YOU RECYCLED A NICE OUTFIT FOR A WEDDING?!
A) she definitely didn’t upstage the bride – crisis averted there
B) she’s known for reusing favorite pieces
C) Meghan – I’m sorry, the new Duchess of Sussex – is big on sustainability so she probably didn’t mind, and
D) the woman had a baby FOUR WEEKS AGO. I imagine she was comfortable in the dress she wore for Princess Charlotte’s christening a couple of years ago.
Seriously, this wasn’t dressgate.
In fact, Oprah made sure that didn’t happen. Love her!
But seriously, I can only imagine doing something so official a month after having a baby, and the baby being nowhere in sight. I’m sure he was with scores of nannies and caretakers right down the lane at Windsor Castle, but mamas, you know what I’m talking about with that mommy anxiety.
The Mother-of-the-Bride was an Inspirational Example of Single Parents
Speaking of moms, Doria Ragland, Meghan Markle’s mom, is divine. I read a beautiful tribute to Ragland and all single parents out there on The Pool:
And, in the heart of an archaic English ceremony, in the huge atrium of the chapel, the enormous expanse of space and pomp and ritual and tradition, with a congregation of hundreds and a TV audience of millions, Ragland sat alone.
And that’s the thing about single parents: they turn up alone. They do the hard stuff, the fun stuff, the stuff they never dreamed they’d do, alone. They turn up to parents’ evening, where there are always two chairs, alone. They come to school plays alone. They fight with you alone. They try to guide you alone. They spend evenings at home alone, when you’ve grown up. They will be on their own on a Sunday morning or a Friday night. And, yes, they have friends and careers and full, busy lives – but they know how to be alone. Even when they’re sat facing the world’s media and the Queen.
Having been a single mom for a while, I loved this so much. I felt it so much. And I can only imagine what was going through her mind at the wedding.
Meghan’s Partially Solo Trip Up The Aisle Was Awesome
This just seemed fitting. It was so sweet to see Prince Charles greet her and walk with her the rest of the way to meet Prince Harry, but I loved that stately, regal AF procession up the aisle with Meghan (and her precious attendants), with the sun spilling down on her face. It seems so appropriate for the modern, feminist woman that she is.
By the way, did you see her official royal bio? It includes the following quote:
I am proud to be a woman and a feminist.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (speaking at the UN on International Women’s Day 2015
And This Moment Had Me In Tears
After all the beauty and the heartfelt words spoken during the service, this cello solo by Sheku Kanneh-Mason was off the charts for me!
And All The Other Parts
Princess Charlotte sticking her tongue out in the car on the way to the church, the never-has-there-ever-been-a-more-excited-pageboy pageboy whose face stole the show the second the horns came up to introduce Meghan’s entrance, Prince Charles giving his hand to and making sure Doria Ragland feel like she was part of the family, and so much more. It was such a fun way to start the weekend!
But Is It Good To Call It A Fairy Tale?
This is the story of two very real, very modern people. One happens to have been born a prince. The other is, admittedly, American royalty – she’s from Hollywood. Beautiful and lavish and over the top and steeped in history – these are great ways to describe it. You can even describe it as romantic and inspiring, but you don’t have to get married in Windsor Chapel to celebrate your love. You can create your own fairy tale. And it doesn’t have to look anything like Cinderella’s – or Meghan Markle’s for that matter!