The clock is fast running down on Prince Harry’s care-free bachelor days. Saturday, May 19, 2018, will see the royal-watchers’ wedding of the year, with the 33-year-old Windsor set to marry the 36-year-old former actress Meghan Markle. But, after the honeymoon, the prince will have some important royal duties to be getting on with. And these new responsibilities have come directly from the head of the firm – Queen Elizabeth II herself. If being a member of the British royal family is a full-time job, then Harry has essentially been given a promotion. However, his new role is vital to the long-term future of the Windsors.
Harry’s wedding to Meghan is going to be a happy affair, but it is also going to be an exciting development. In many ways, Meghan’s marriage into the royal family will show the ancient British institution modernizing and diversifying. The bride-to-be is a mixed-race woman, an American, and, having been married already, she has been around the block before. Indeed, it was not so long ago that divorcées posed a massive problem for the royals.
It was previously out of the question for U.K. royalty to marry a divorced person. One of Queen Elizabeth’s many roles is that of “Defender of the Faith” – the faith being the protestant version of Church of England. This venerable institution disapproves of divorce and of remarriage, and this stance posed a big problem as recently as 2005.