The View From Here – It was impossible to stay completely divorced from reports on the royal wedding

Tom Henihan

I avoided the Harry and Megan Markle royal wedding.

When I say I avoided the wedding, I don’t mean that I had an invitation but refused to attend the ceremony. I mean I made every effort to avoid the long media preamble and the reporting on the actual event.

Over the past few months, I attempted to ignore all media coverage of that wedding, if constant, breathless anticipation and royal toadying counts for coverage.

I make a conscious effort to tune out a number of events especially the winter and summer Olympics and royal weddings, events where the media artificially fattens its puny subject matter while simultaneously going on a feeding frenzy.

However, in spite of my efforts to avoid all the obsequious commentary, the onslaught of coverage is so pervasive that it is remarkable how much unwanted information and minutiae one acquires regardless of how shielded one tries to be.

I happened to learn that Meghan Markle’s father was to walk her down the aisle followed by speculation that he wouldn’t attend.

I also learned that her father made an ill-timed and ill-conceived video but ultimately, his poor health attributed to his absence at the wedding.

I acquired information from Canadian media headlines about Markle’s ties to Toronto, about her fondness for the city, and that the home she once rented is now a shrine where the faithful go to breathe the environs rarefied air.

I also learned that Ben Mulroney was to attend the royal nuptials, though this I could have guessed, as such an occasion would not be complete without the effusive approbation of our starstruck celebrity journalist.

It is remarkable that through the unrelenting babble of the media, news of such an uninteresting event in which one has no interest, can penetrate the most resistant façade.

Still, it was also interesting and encouraging to learn that the British media and the British public appeared to be the most restrained, blasé compared to Americans who have an insatiable appetite for all forms of royal jelly.

Putting the trappings of royalty aside, both Harry and Meghan Markle appear to be charming, affable individuals, so it is reasonable to assume, if they married quietly in a country church somewhere in Britain, they would have solicited an even greater showing of goodwill.

But a great many people justifiably resent the pomp and ceremony, the glass coach and all that archaic pageantry.

There must be substance behind fanfare in order to merit the fanfare and even hundreds of years of courtesies and protocols are not substantial enough.

Considering the marriages to “commoners,” and now to an American no less, one wonders when the bloodline of absolute entitlement is sufficiently diluted that the line becomes dispossessed of its palaces and forced to fend for itself.

The last royal to marry an American divorcee, Edward Vlll, abdicated the throne as at that time members of the British Royal Family could not marry a divorcee.

Fortunately, for Harry and Meghan Markle times have changed. Besides, Harry being sixth in line has no throne from which to abdicate, so the going looks good and, without irony, I hope that all does go well.


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