19 May is not just going to be a big day for Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (read more about her here), but it may just prove to be the day when England’s rather antiquated royal family gets the shot of life it needs to stay relevant in today’s context.
So with the entire world giving in to the ‘royal wedding fever’, can we stay far behind? We have for you our top five trivia on the royal wedding ahead of the big day.
To commemorate one of their first dates together – a camping trip to Botswana – Prince Harry Prince designed Meghan’s engagement ring himself from a diamond sourced from Botswana’s famous diamond mines. The ring also features two gems from Harry’s late mother Princess Diana’s collection, and is crafted by royal jewellers Cleave and Company.
The bride’s wedding ring is, however, specially sourced from a royal reserve of Welsh gold. This unique gold comes from the Clogau St. David’s mine in Wales, and has been used to make royal rings since Queen Mother’s wedding to Prince Albert, Duke of York, in 1923. Since then, wedding rings for various royal princesses, including Diana and Kate Middleton, have been made from this gold.
Adhering wholeheartedly to the royal custom, Prince Harry sought the Queen’s permission before proposing to Meghan. Given that the British sovereign – in this case Elizabeth II – has to approve all royal weddings, it seemed Harry wasn’t taking any chances. After all, the last time a British royal family member married an American, he had to abdicate his rights to the throne!
In keeping with traditions then, Meghan Markle has already been baptised into the Church of England – one of the prerequisites for entering the royal fold – and is all set to become an UK citizen. The secret ceremony – in which only a handful of royal guests were invited – included holy water from the River Jordan being poured on her head.
But even if Meghan Markle may have conformed to this one tradition, she seems to be by far the most rebellious, progressive, liberal royal that we may have seen in a long time! When she was just 11, she campaigned against an ad for a washing-up liquid that seemed to imply that a woman’s place was in the kitchen. After she enlisted the support of a number of high-profile women, including Hilary Clinton, the then first-lady, the manufacturer surrendered and the ad was pulled.
Here’s hoping this firebrand feminist can inject one of the world’s most conservative families with a right dose of modernity!
Text: Suchetana Mukhopadhyay