The match is formally official: Queen Elizabeth II has given her consent to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s upcoming marriage.
The blessing is a formality, but additionally a necessity—below the Succession to the Crown Act, each royal as much as the sixth in line to the throne wants her specific permission earlier than marrying to ensure that the particular person, and the particular person’s descendants, to not be disqualified from succeeding to the Crown.
Whereas a lot of the official announcement was carried out in ye olde English (no, actually, the phrase ye was used), the Queen couldn’t resist sneaking in some affectionate language. “I declare my consent to a contract of matrimony between my most dearly beloved grandson Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales and Rachel Meghan Markle,” she wrote.
In fact, there wasn’t any query as as to if or not Queen Elizabeth would approve the match. Harry and Meghan already had an viewers, if not a number of, with the monarch, and any doubts doubtless would have been raised nicely earlier than the full-blown engagement announcement. But it does function a putting reminder of simply how far the monarchy has come.
In 1936, it was opposition to King Edward VIII’s deliberate wedding ceremony to Wallis Simpson, an American divorcée, that induced the younger monarch to abdicate the throne and threw England right into a constitutional disaster. Within the 1950s, Princess Margaret, though she was not the following in line to the throne, was reportedly forbidden to marry the divorced commoner Peter Townsend.
In 2005, a brand new precedent was made when the Queen blessed the union of her son Prince Charles to Camilla Parker Bowles. Though it was a tolerant step, it was nonetheless a small one: Although she too was a divorcée, Parker Bowles was a British blue blood—a high-born girl of the higher class.
But at the moment, what would have been unthinkable a number of a long time in the past has occurred: A divorced American commoner has been welcomed into the royal household with effusive (nicely, as effusive as they publicly get) arms.
The British monarchy is usually considered stiff and stuffy. And with all its robes, galas, and centuries-old traditions, how may it not? However as the top of the second Elizabethan Age nears, a brand new trendy monarchy is rising—one which higher displays Britain’s (and the world’s) altering angle and society.