Meghan Markle has made a warm gesture to Prince Charles, who tragically lost his former wife, Princess Diana, in a car accident more than 20 years ago.
The young American’s invitation to Prince Charles to accompany her down the wedding aisle provides a ray of light shining through the dark clouds that had gathered around Kensington Palace this week ahead of the royal wedding on Saturday.
The Los Angeles-born Markle made the invitation to Charles after her father confirmed he would not be attending the wedding.
Thomas Markle had been the subject of a paparazzi-plot to get staged pictures of the father-of-the-bride.
He later cited health problems as a reason for missing his daughter’s wedding.
The sad news momentarily seemed reversed when Markle appeared to change his mind: He would be attending the royal wedding, after all. Or so it appeared.
It was later the same day that Thomas Markle ruled himself out of walking his daughter down the aisle. This prompted speculation that perhaps Meghan Markle’s mother, a yoga instructor in Los Angeles, Doria Ragland, would be accompanying her daughter during the ceremony.
All speculation was ended with the announcement Meghan Markle had asked Prince Charles to do the honors at her wedding ceremony with Prince Harry. The invitation sets up a memorable invocation of British royal past and future: Many of the same questions surrounding the 1981 royal wedding are circulating around the wedding set for Saturday.
Lady Diana, born Diana Spencer to a British family, was not royalty before her marriage to Prince Charles, although her parents were aristocratic. She was an outsider, in a sense, but certainly not moreso than Meghan Markle, whose family this week belied that they were nearly as far from royalty as it is possible to get.
Markle’s family created sideshow dramas in the U.S. media reminiscent of the unsavory sort that whip up the British tabloid press into a frenzy on royal matters.
Half-sister Samantha Markle blared that Meghan was “out of her league.” Her estranged half-brother Thomas Markle Jr. had the audacity to pen an open letter arguing for Prince Harry to cancel the wedding, only to later show up at the royal digs.
Amid all this insufferable mess for Meghan Markle comes lighter side stories of a warmer, gentler bent.
Meghan Markle’s mother will have tea with Queen Elizabeth, who will surely provide a cozy vignette to draw the public eye. It will be an arrangement of equality between two families that are culturally, and in reality, worlds apart.
While some news outlets in the American media fumed over the misguided notion that President Donald Trump had been “snubbed” (no foreign political leaders were invited) — the Trumps made a generous donation to a charity of the royal couple’s choosing.
As for the bride-to-be, an unresolved matter sure to be on her mind — who will fulfill the tradition of giving her away to the royal family? — has now been resolved.
The palace released a statement Friday: “Ms. Meghan Markle has asked His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to accompany her down the aisle of the Quire of St George’s Chapel on her Wedding Day. The Prince of Wales is pleased to be able to welcome Ms. Markle to The Royal Family in this way.”
Prince Charles has accepted.
(photo credit, homepage image: Meghan Markle…, CC BY 2.0, by Genevieve / Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, CC BY 2.0, by Army Medicine / Prince Charles, CC BY-SA 2.0, by Dan Marsh / Meghan Markle…, CC BY 2.0, by Genevieve)