Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: The union of royalty and showbiz

It may be churlish to be unkind about a young couple who have just announced their engagement but needs must. Someone has to say it, though let me say at the outset that the engagement has made lots of people very happy. Not least journalists. 

Prince Harry is fifth in line to the throne so constitutionally it doesn’t matter a hoot who he marries because neither he nor his children are going to become monarch, but, for what it’s worth, Meghan Markle is unsuitable as his wife for the same reason that Wallis Simpson was unsuitable: she’s divorced and Harry’s grandmother is supreme governor of the CofE. The last person who made any personal sacrifice for that particular principle was Princess Margaret, and you could argue it didn’t end terribly well.

In fact, the Queen is one of the few members of the immediate Royal Family who is not divorced; the general wave of goodwill for her and Prince Philip’s 70th wedding anniversary had an element of real admiration, because no-one even pretended that the marriage did not have its vicissitudes – did the Prince have the rumoured affairs?– which would have been the end of any modern union. As for the marriage of Prince Charles and Camilla, it shouldn’t have been blessed by the then Archbishop of Canterbury at all, because they each had a role in the breakup of each other’s first marriage – indeed you could argue that Camilla was the primary reason for his divorce – and one of the few principles on this the CofE has left is that you shouldn’t sanctify the union of people who do this. By comparison, Meghan Markle seems
rather less problematic, since she got divorced years before she met Prince Harry.

What the engagement will do is consolidate the real nature of the modern royal family, which is part of the entertainment and showbiz side of the nation.

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