It is nearly impossible to avoid media coverage of the upcoming union between Britain’s Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle. Some Florida residents will carve out time in their schedule to view the ceremony, which is expected to be broadcast around the world. The union is significant not only because Harry is marrying an American woman but also because Markle is divorced.
Not long ago, the concept of a member of the British royal family marrying someone who was once divorced was simply out of the question. The stance dates back to the notable abuses of power of Henry VIII, who broke from the Catholic Church in order to pave the way for multiple marriages. Since then, the monarchy has taken a staunch role as “defender of the faith.”
In 1996, the divorce between Prince Charles and Diana marked a change in the way the royal family viewed divorce. Charles later remarried Camilla Parker Bowles with the consent of Queen Elizabeth. The Queen has also approved the union between Harry and Meghan, and the couple has reportedly taken the steps required to marry.
The upcoming royal wedding marks a new period of acceptance concerning the issue of remarriage after divorce. That could be a lasting change, one that normalizes divorce around the world. For those in Florida who follow the ups and downs of the royal family, the event is noteworthy in many different ways. Prince Harry is marrying a woman from a different culture, with a previous divorce, and one who has pursued a career path not at all related to the duties expected of a member of the royal family.
Source: history.com, “Why the Royal Family Used to Forbid Marriage After Divorce“, Erin Blakemore, May 3, 2018