The eyes of the world will be on Meghan Markle when she walks down the aisle at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor on Saturday to marry Prince Harry before 600 guests.
Even those of us who live six time zones and nearly 5,000 miles away will celebrate, in our own fashion, the union of the happy couple.
Some of our readers will gather for “wedding watch parties” with friends. Others will don formal daywear to sip champagne and nosh on fish and chips, Cornish pasties, beef Wellington and Yorkshire pudding at a special noon brunch at Seven. Still others will rise at dawn to watch the procession on television or online. In the evening, revelers will celebrate at the Royal Ball fundraiser at the George Town Yacht Club – a charity event jointly hosted by the Cayman Islands Sailing Club and National Sailing Centre.
Myriads of magazine articles, newspaper stories and blog posts will be generated to scrutinize and analyze the minutiae of the ceremony, noting carefully the preservation of traditions and introduction of innovations. The flowers, the guest list, the dinner, the dress (if history is any indication) will set wedding trends for brides and grooms for years to come. (Brides who wear white wedding dresses may not know it was Queen Victoria who started the custom when she married her cousin Prince Albert in 1840.)
What is it about a royal wedding that so enthralls so many people? Residents of the Cayman Islands, of course, have a direct connection to the monarchy. As a British Overseas Territory, our official loyalties lie with the Queen and the House of Windsor. To dispel any doubts about that statement, simply take out your wallet and observe whose royal portrait adorns Cayman’s coins and bills.
But millions of non-British wedding watchers have been following every advancement of Ms. Markle and Prince Harry’s romance – from the proposal (over roast chicken) to the ring (including diamonds from his mother’s collection), to their honeymoon (date and location TBD).
In general, to witness a royal wedding is to experience a small piece of history. But Saturday’s wedding, in particular, seems in some ways more “personal.” Ms. Markle, an American actress, is basically a Cayman resident. … Well, she could be if we could get the Cayman status board to cooperate. After all, she was here for a couple of days to speak at the Cayman Alternative Investment Summit two years ago. But what self-respecting British territory wouldn’t attempt to lay claim to a corner of a princess-to-be’s heart?
Prince Harry is also a familiar personage. He grew up under the eye of an adoring public and – despite some youthful indiscretions that became tabloid fodder – has retained his profile as the beloved younger son of “the people’s princess,” Diana, who died tragically when Prince Harry was only 12 and his brother William 15.
Watching the two princes mature into adulthood has been like turning the pages of a book that, while having moments of pathos, ultimately tells a story of joy.
Finally, it is a persistent truth that everyone can use some good news now and again. Amid the disasters, destruction and divisiveness typically dominating headlines and broadcasts, what better emotional salve is there than a modern-day fairy tale?
Weddings are a celebration of harmony, hope and new beginnings. So join us as we raise a glass to Harry and Meghan. Let their happiness forever reign.