Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's royal wedding

Royal wedding offers some welcome cheer 

Some will say the ceremony is a waste of money and an anachronism, but in a world of Trump tweets, trade wars and nuclear fears, it is a much needed distraction     

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 19 May, 2018, 5:11am
UPDATED : Saturday, 19 May, 2018, 5:11am

There is nothing quite like a good wedding. The romance, the tradition, the glamour and the smiles of the happy couple can all serve to lift our spirits and make us feel good.

The wedding at Windsor Castle in Britain today will not appeal to all, but for many it will meet these expectations and more. The British royal family’s biggest wedding for seven years will see Prince Harry tie the knot with Meghan Markle. It will be watched around the world, including in China where many people have a fascination with the royals.

The wedding is not on quite the same scale as that of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011. The venue, St George’s Chapel in the castle grounds, is smaller than Westminster Abbey and offers more privacy.

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But after the ceremony, the couple will ride through streets lined with well-wishers in a carriage. And at an estimated cost of £32 million (HK$340 million), it is a predictably lavish event. 

Even by the standards of royal weddings, this one is unusual. Markle does not fit the stereotype of a royal bride. She is an American, an actress, a divorcee and of mixed race.

Her family has had its problems. Those problems have been evident in the days leading up to the ceremony.

Markle’s father will no longer attend, after apparently suffering a heart attack and facing allegations of having posed for staged paparazzi pictures. The bride’s background has sparked intense – at times too intense – levels of media interest.

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And Markle has been subjected to appalling abuse and threats from social media trolls.

In 2016, Prince Harry took the rare step of issuing a statement urging the media and the trolls to cease their sexist and racist slurs. In years past, Markle’s background would have prevented her from becoming a member of the royal family.

Thankfully, those days are gone. Her race, profession, family issues and status as a divorcee, really do not matter. She is smart, confident and outspoken. She will make a refreshing addition to the royal family. 

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Many will shun the wedding, seeing it as a waste of money and or a sad anachronism. Others will simply find it boring. That is fine. It is up to them.

But in a world of Trump tweets, trade wars, and fears of nuclear conflict, the splendour of the royal wedding offers a brief, but welcome distraction. We wish the happy couple well.