Relationships

Why the Royal Wedding Meant So Much More Than Crowning a Princess

Written by Joanna St. James

I had several excited friends ask me if I was going to watch the Royal Wedding, and my response each time was no, I’d rather be sleeping.

So, why was I up early live-streaming with everyone else, and smiling so hard through my tears? For just one moment in time, it was good to see stereotypes shattered. It was so good to hear all the voices from my past melt into nothing, voices that have said You can’t do that. You shouldn’t go there. Maybe someone who looks like you shouldn’t think that. But when Harry married Meghan, we saw dreams can come true and there are still fantastic moments that can unite us all if we let them.

As a British extract currently in the US, let me tell you: growing up, we all wanted to be a princess. It didn’t help that Prince William stole our hearts with his sad eyes and mum’s shy smile. I was so upset when I turned down my admission to St. Andrews University only to find out that’s where he and Princess Kate met.

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Being a woman of color often meant my wish to snag a William was met with a snicker, a look or responses like, “There’s no way the Queen will let one of her grandkids marry a black woman.”

Cue 2018, and here we are watching Prince Harry marry his sweet Meghan, the brand new Duchess of Sussex. How could I not cry? There’s a new princess in town and she is a proud woman of color! We are stepping into spaces society has previously told us we traditionally can’t go. The preacher, the choir and the cellist today very likely never in their wildest dreams thought they’d be performing at a Royal wedding. We typically don’t dream like that; the best I ever did, and still dream about, is being knighted by the Queen and I can guarantee it’s not what most people who look like me dream of.

I want to yell, “The sky is the limit!” out of my emotions, because believe me when I say this is mind-blowing. But, bless Prince Harry’s beautiful heart, I am realistic enough to know we still have a long way to go. I’m also realistic enough to know having a princess of color in the House of Windsor means we are normalizing what was meant to be normal in the first place.

Having a mixed-race Royal means we are changing the narrative about people of color. Frankly, we don’t see enough good news about us these days, and boy do we need the good news. We need people to see us, not preconceived notions of who we are.

Today, I’m thrilled the House of Windsor has a new look, and it certainly is a beautiful one. 

About the author

Joanna St. James

This Brit turned multinational, is a stay at home mum to two boys. She home schools, runs a business out of her home and writes. In her laughably spare time, she likes to be a church mouse, hoard crafts and books and her husband happily obliges her.