24 MAY 2018

Royal Wedding

Kent Messenger Column - 24-05-18 

Royal weddings are good for us – official. The whole country generates its own special lift, with street parties and bunting, and together Britain shows-off to the world all that it stands for as a modern Constitutional monarchy. Flocks of inbound tourists share their delight in our history and the global media feast on the spectacle, streaming the images to every corner of the planet.

But the wedding of Harry and Meghan was bigger than that. It was a watershed moment. It said so much more than feel-good factors and economic boosts. It brought our monarchy into the 21st Century and our society clearly applauds their boldness and relevance. A beautiful American woman has married an immensely popular Prince, 6th in line to the throne, in a ceremony that was a masterclass in multinational celebrations. The event consigned race and discrimination to a closed box and recognised the love of two very giving human beings at face value.

For me, the weekend was a double celebration as it was also my 27th wedding anniversary. It was moving to re-live the memories of my own special day, with many of my close family around me, whilst we shared the worldwide joy of Meghan and Harry on the TV.

I give due deference to the setting of Windsor Castle and an audience of 2 billion people, compared with our fondly remembered St Leonard's Church in Streatham and a guest list of 100 back in 1991. There were some similarities though; it was FA cup final day, the weather was pretty awesome, and we were also a couple fusing together the genes of different nations in matrimony, setting out on our path into the unknown.

Simon and I graciously send the royal couple our prayers and warm wishes for their journey to come, and we hope that a visit to Maidstone and The Weald will soon be on the schedule!

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