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“Royal wedding creates a royal mosaic”
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“Royal wedding creates a royal mosaic”

The recent marriage of Prince Henry to Meghan Markle in some ways represented the mosaic that is the British Commonwealth, writes Ariana Joseph, 18, a Commonwealth Correspondent from Antigua and Barbuda.

Harry, sixth in line to the British throne, married his betrothed on Saturday 19th May, 2018 in a wedding ceremony aptly fit for the Prince of our Commonwealth mosaic. The diversity of the wedding, in several respects, represents the diversity of our Commonwealth.

I speak not just of the wedding ceremony itself, which was both timeless and reflective of the kaleidoscope of our peoples. The ceremony was beautiful as all royal weddings are, and in my view imaginative.

It was a splendour to behold: the Archbishop of Canterbury against the backdrop of the ancient traditions of the office, alongside an African-American Bishop bubbling over with his uniquely Afrocentric fire of love, and the dashing Prince who ignited an amorous fire to light the path towards the heart of a radiant African princess.

For a few brief moments, the pomp of the occasion threatened to eclipse the essence of the union. The occasion demonstrated that love is more than just a many-splendored thing. It’s a fire that burns old bridges and creates new ones; that reduces to ashes old norms and make way for somethings new and refreshing; something special. It must be seen in the same sense as the conflict that burned the path to a Glorious Revolution that laid the foundations for an enduring Commonwealth.

The love itself is not to be seen as a clash of cultures, but a fusion of cultures to create a new and refreshing reality that says to our people “This is an all-inclusive monarchy that transcends race, colour, class, and social barriers, and in its place enthrones humanity in all of its diversity, dignity, and richness.”

The bride, who hails from a former member of the grandest of empires, is of mixed race. If you are of my hue you embrace her as African, and if you are from the Americas you embrace her as an American. The United States of America rebelled when it came of age, but certain aspects of royal culture were indelibly etched within the halls of American cultural architecture. No wonder several Americans have been able to make that transition from American republicanism to royalty. The bride appears to have allure for people and places Commonwealth, for she found a home in Canada, shares her hearth with a Commonwealth Prince, and now makes his home her home.

Commentators hailed the wedding as a defining moment in the evolution of the British monarchy, and indeed it is. However, it was not a defining moment for Brits alone. The British monarchy ceased to be parochial once it entered the race for empire and established a kingdom that spanned the globe, giving rise to the maxim that the sun never sets on the British Empire. Most of that former empire is today known as the British Commonwealth. It embraces peoples of all races, myriad ethnicity, and disparate cultures. Our Commonwealth is welded together by a common legal and political architecture under which we live, thrive, and celebrate our differences. The vast majority of our peoples claim Queen Elizabeth II as our head of state. That makes Harry and Meghan our Prince and Princess respectively.

The royal protocols as they pertain to royal marriages leave no doubt that Queen Elizabeth II embraces the emerging mosaic. In a world where the backward-looking cling tightly to old stereotypes, the monarchy now demonstrates a remarkable inclusiveness that is reflective of its realm.

Harry may never wear the crown of a king. Meghan may never become the queen. But what they have done thus far is truly transformative. They reign not over the people, but in the hearts of the people. That in and of itself is transformational. Our Commonwealth mosaic has now become the royal mosaic. We celebrate their union and wish them Godspeed.

Photo credit: firemedic58 Wedding Rings 2 via photopin (license)
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About me: My ambition is to become a cardio-thoracic paediatric surgeon. In preparation for this, I have commenced undergraduate studies focusing on a double major in biology and chemistry. Once I have completed my undergraduate studies, it is my intention to obtain a medical degree, pursue research studies in genetics, and eventually establish a medical services centre.

I have a passion for reading, writing, playing the violin, and engaging in community service projects. I am presently enrolled at Saint Mary’s University, Canada.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/

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