THE EDITOR: The royal wedding between Prince Harry and American-born Meghan Markle that was solemnised at the historic Windsor Castle was billed to be a showcase of the cultural and ceremonial embodiment of British aristocracy, tradition and indeed of the British Raj in all its regal splendour descended into the realm of subliminal politics and public/race relations.
It started with Prince Charles walking his future daughter-in-law Meghan down the aisle instead of her mother Doria Rangland, who was at the wedding. This was intended to symbolise royal assent and acceptance of the mixed-race Meghan into the royal family.
That act initiated the underlying but overt sub-plot that was broadcast live in HD television for all the world to witness the famed British Lion making undiluted ceremonial and matrimonial reparations for slavery by opening the gates of Buckingham Palace and the pulpit of St George’s Chapel welcomingly wide.
Here was lovely and gorgeous Meghan Markle, daughter of an African-American, Doria Rangland, dismantling the fortress of Buckingham Palace to be conferred with an overnight royal title of Duchess of Sussex. The entire British royal family headed by the queen and Prince Philip, toute bagai, were in enthusiastic attendance to welcome and pay homage to Meghan and Harry at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.
And this on the heels of Barack Obama having just broken down the fortifications of the White House to add some coffee to the American milk.
Innocent-looking bridegroom Prince Harry was merely a detached observer. He was a willing cog in the carefully crafted plot that unfolded. A local black correspondent described the main actors, the plot and the thematic displays at the wedding as an over-celebration of blackness gone wild according to British standards and protocol.
There was no display of real British diversity at the wedding. It was a domination of the African invasion with an Afro-American evangelical pastor, Michael Curry, focusing on love and fire totally delinking himself from the solemnity of the happy occasion.
He did not provide the traditional admonition and connection to the young couple about to mediate the confusing world of challenges facing the Commonwealth with the queen in retreat. He drifted aimlessly into trying to parachute his own intellectual pastoral image on the British aristocracy assembled.
Except for a noticeable few dissenting ones, the British were too kind and diplomatic to tell him by silent body language to stop the charade as it was detracting from the light fantastic occasion that belonged exclusively to the royal couple.
The guest choir and its repertoire was black. So were the queen’s chaplain, the featured young BBC musician, the visiting preacher and the writings of Martin Luther King-replaced biblical quotations.
This was intentionally according to the script not a typical British royal wedding. It broke with hallowed British traditions. It was tailored to pander to and send a strong message of royal British inclusion to the black community of Britain, the US and the British Commonwealth even though the other elements of mainstream British diversity were missing at historic Windsor Castle on a brilliant royal spring Saturday.
STEPHEN KANGAL, London