Wishing Harry and Meghan all the very best

Laugh at me all you like, but I’m loving this Royal Wedding stuff. There are some truly awful things going on in the world at the moment, but for one day, I’m going  to smile, bask in the sunshine and watch two very happy people get married. Actually, I’m probably going to blub my way through it. The coverage had barely started this morning and I was filling up.

I’m slightly disturbed by the fact that someone I remember very clearly being born is now in his mid thirties, but I’ll cope with that. And, yes, a monarchy isn’t ideal, and I’d happily have an elected head of state, but pretty much three quarters of the population isn’t with me on that at the moment, and there are, frankly, bigger battles to fight.

One thing that is worth pointing out, though, is that it is great that Meghan, a US citizen, has had no bother getting her immigration status sorted out. That is how it should be for everyone who falls in love with a British citizen. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Holly Matthies wrote on here three years ago about the ordeal she was put through when she wanted to come here to join her husband. While her story has a happy ending – she recently obtained British citizenship, and stood for election in Manchester a few weeks ago, she should never have been treated like that. Our forthcoming immigration policy paper must address these issues.

So, good luck to Harry and Meghan. I wish them a lifetime of happiness. I’m delighted that the Royal Family will have a feminist amongst its numbers. William, Kate, Harry and Meghan certainly seem to be pretty switched on to some of the key challenges facing us, particularly on mental health. I see the influence of Diana, who was pretty much my hero as I grew up, in both of her sons. That she’s still remembered with affection 21 years after her death shows the influence she had and the lives she affected.

I realise that not everyone will feel so moved by this occasion and will be out and about doing other things instead but I hope that all of us would wish Harry and Meghan and anyone else getting married today all the very best.

 

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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37 Comments

  • No comment.

  • Let’s hope that Meghan knows what the Vindolanda was – see https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/02/world/europe/uk-citizenship-meghan-markle.html

    I think for a democrat the issue on the monarchy – at least for me – is the non-democratic powers that are still exercised in the name of the monarch through the Royal Prerogative.

    Obviously a touch of sadness today is the death of Diana and as has been said many times one has to think how pleased she would be on how her boys have turned out – may be we can all celebrate the marriage by helping someone, a local good cause, a random act of kindness etc. etc. One has also to say that Diana would be particularly pleased that Harry is marrying Meghan.

    On a more political point Diana’s death showed the massive effect the national press has on people’s lives and it is a crying shame that Leverson 2 has been abandoned.

  • Richard Underhill 19th May '18 - 12:52pm

    There are no politicians invited. Unlike the death of Princess Margaret today is a good day for burying bad news, so hopefully our politicians will be closely monitoring news releases from the government.
    The European Convention on Human Rights applies, there is a right to marry. The case-law is worth a look, for a Swiss gentleman who was of the marrying kind, but was subject to a Swiss law imposing a two year delay. The delays in the ECtHR were more than two years. Article 8 also applies.
    The bride drove to the Cathedral in a British Rolls Royce, presumably from the Queen’s collection, a 1950 Phantom, not a post-war economy, model. Check the colour of the RR symbol on the radiator grill, if it is red it is a Royce, who was a British engineer, a perfectionist, Charles Rolls was an entrepreneur, a salesman, an hereditary peer.
    The VW-Audi Group gave her a Bentley, which was used at St. Pauls Cathedral on roads that are too steep for a horse drawn carriage. The brand name of Rolls Royce Motors had been sold by the aero-engine group to BMW who built an entirely new factory in England.

  • Richard Underhill 19th May '18 - 12:55pm

    Hopefully the bride’s father will recover his health and be able to come and visit her and meet her other relatives.

  • Peter Martin 19th May '18 - 12:59pm

    For those who are lucky enough to be wealthy enough, British residency isn’t a problem. I don’t know just how wealthy Ms Markle is but I doubt she’d be refused British residency – if that was what she wanted – even without the need to become the Duchess of wherever by virtue of her marriage.

  • paul barker 19th May '18 - 1:17pm

    There are some great dresses on show, I particularly liked the one Cressida Bonas is wearing. The Men look dull of course, part of the legacy of Sexism, Protestantism & The Industrial Revolution.

  • Tony Dawson 19th May '18 - 1:26pm

    Wedding? have I missed something? Is this some new-fangled warm-up for the FA cup? 😉

  • David Blake 19th May '18 - 1:27pm

    Interesting that this article is being published. Nothing similar on ConservativeHome.

  • I missed it. I was delivering ‘Focus’ leaflets 🙂

  • Yeovil Yokel 19th May '18 - 2:45pm

    Alan Jelfs, I honour you.

  • paul holmes 19th May '18 - 2:48pm

    @David Blake. Conservative Home had a comment yesterday on this.

    It was in Ian Dale’s column and read ‘A man and a woman are getting married in Windsor on Saturday.’

    I liked that version!

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 19th May '18 - 2:49pm

    Yes, but they might have more to say about a black preacher talking about faith providing resilience during slavery and the power of love to eliminate poverty. I don’t think many people were expecting that. Fire and no brimstone. Even as an atheist I loved it.

  • I watched her walk down the aisle, which was quite nice. The ceremony kind of lost me at the sermon though so I started to watch something else. Would have appreciated a week day wedding and a day off really.

  • nvelope2003 19th May '18 - 2:57pm

    Lots of people in the streets seemed to be having a nice time. What is it with you people ?

  • @Caron Lindsay

    Yes, the address was brilliant – well worth watching on iplayer if you didn’t and something that I need to put into actually doing – however imperfectly!

  • Laurence Cox 19th May '18 - 3:32pm

    For anyone in the Party who wants to replace the Saxe-Coburg-Gothas (who had to change their name to Windsor because of anti-German feeling in WW1) as hereditary Heads of State by an elected Head of State, I only have two words: Tony Blair – you know that he could never have resisted it after being PM and seeing how much better Betty’s houses were than No 10.

  • Ruth Bright 19th May '18 - 4:44pm

    Tony Dawson – I live in a place with a fine Victorian history and a Liberal tradition (Eastleigh) so I just assumed all the bunting was to mark the 120th anniversary of the passing of William Gladstone!

  • Lorenzo Cherin 19th May '18 - 4:54pm

    A fine piece from Caron

    I am a strong and increasingly ardent, to borrow the word Prince Edward utilised for his company to make documentaries, supporter of this excellent Constitutional Monarchy.

    I have written an article the current heading of the Ustinov Forum I am active in, entitled, Wedding Belle, ode to Meghan Markle! It has a sense of humour as do that fine Royal family.

    My father met several members during his years in London catering, Prince Charles who I met and chatted to as an actor presenting a piece for him as guest of honour when we spoke , impressed me as a terrific warm man. The Queen likewise on meeting in person reveals her professionalism and ability, matched by dedication and resilience.

    The younger members are outstanding. William and Harry have shown in their work and choice of partners, taste and talent . Their partners are proof of this institution thriving .They as a family firm do more good that most politicians or many and repay what the cost is severalfold.

    We as a nation are entitled to an eccentric system.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 19th May '18 - 5:01pm

    p.s.

    Bishop Curry is extraordinary, that sermon remarkbable, the man, liberalism that is living, his record on lgbt issues fantastic.

  • John Lamb - North Co 19th May '18 - 5:59pm

    Yes Bishop Curry was outstanding his address worth a listen to even if your not a Christian or Royalist. Totally counter culture in our intolerant age. He expressed values that any Liberal Democrat would be more than just with comfortable but would shout to skies.

  • Mick Taylor 19th May '18 - 6:14pm

    Yawn

  • I was starting to get fed up with the coverage of irrelevant stuff during the week, not to mention the rather nasty gossiping, to the point that I couldn’t work out when the actual wedding was taking place, but I was more than happy to tune in this morning to see the guests arrive in their nice frocks. And anything is an improvement on football chat.

    I got far more emotional than expected as the bride got out of the car, and seeing Harry showing a healthy mix of nerves and excitement. I adored the gospel choir, while the choral music was beautiful, and a good descant always gets me emotional. I’ve seen a lot of deserved praise for the young cellist too.

    I have to agree that the words of the American pastor were brilliant, giving a lot of people something to think about, especially those who claim to be Christians, yet struggle to put it into practice when it comes to practice. I’m thinking especially of you Theresa.

    If the public purse was paying for the reception I’d be miffed, but seeing just how many people had a great day out, and thinking about how many people will have enjoyed watching via tv, I don’t begrudge that we paid for security. The Windsor tourist board must be thrilled.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 19th May '18 - 7:41pm

    John on my and his comments on the bishop, agree, that is what I and you feel, surely others, the discourse on love, and liberalism as the default position for those who feel love as the way to see others and liberty itself as a free expression of it, should mean far more fondness towards this fine couple and hardworking proponents of just causes and important charities

    Fiona is sensible and it is the media we can see for the nonsense, the couple and Meghan , in these difficult revelatory escapades, stoic.

    Visit http://www.ustinovforum.com

  • I think as democrats we should be wary of any power or position of power that is not democratic – as Winston Churchill said democracy is the worst form of Government until you consider all the others.

    As been said today’s monarchy is almost totally ceremonial and the problem is the power that is wielded in its name. And the monarchy does have a democratic element in that it knows to keep the support of the people to survive

    It did occur to me that an hour long advert for Britain beamed worldwide to 2 billion people (even if these figures are always wildly exaggerated) is probably worth several years’ of civil list payments.

    As the bishop said we need to give away love, money, time, help to others and good causes, and indeed political parties or other political causes. It is understandable that we want to horde these things for ourselves but as (I believe from memory) he said the ultimate beneficiaries are ourselves. And our time on this planet is short – too short unfortunately.But it is easier said than done.

    I appreciate the sentiments expressed about Theresa May – and I am not a practising Christian but tend to believe that the teachings of Christ lead one to left wing and progressive politics but others disagree. I think we should celebrate the work of our political opponents even if we disagree with them – mostly they want to improve the world and the planet and mostly any discourse and participation in the political world is to be welcomed – there is far too little. And although I may disagree them, (at least some) good has come from their work.

  • If you feel and act like a serf, enjoy being a peasant outside the royal feast and are willing to behave as if we are still in Medieval times, then that is your problem. For me I prefer to live in a modern democracy.We neither need nor require this farce.

  • William Fowler 20th May '18 - 8:43am

    Quite annoying to have the marriage repeated over and over again on the news and the one time I thought I was going to see some real news they put the sports on. Would be a better world if they were afforded some privacy, surprised they aren’t expected to have a camera in the bedroom… keep the monarchy (better than yet more politicians) but wind it down to a quieter level, I am sure all would be relieved for the pressure to be off and great masses of swooning spectators could try to find some self respect and a life to lead.

  • What happened yesterday chez nous? In the garden with a John le Carre’ novel, good weather, ‘snacky doos’ and a decent Barossa…Sorted.

    I gather they opted out of the ‘Obey’ bit but still had the ‘for richer for poorer’ words…

    As for ‘the poor dears will have to spend their lives in the spotlight’ nonsense; those who ‘swooned’ over the wedding are responsible for that.

  • Richard Fagence 20th May '18 - 10:15am

    Two things to add.

    One: an elected head of state can also be un-elected. Donald Trump has to stand again in rather less than two and a bit year’s time and has to stand down for good in six years. Quoting ‘Tony Blair’ as the inevitable outcome of an elected head of state is just plain silly.

    Two: I live in Windsor and my town was CLOSED from 10:00 pm on Friday until midnight yesterday as a result of this castle-based activity. Goodness knows what it all cost in terms of policing and associated security. Another triumph for the Windsor Family PR machine.

  • Richard Fagence.
    Well said. With an unelected head of state you get whoever is in line, good, bad or indifferent. No one was forced to vote for Tony Blair. He didn’t become head of state automatically because his ancestors happened to bop the right people on the head a few hundred years ago and then were able to claim divine right. Personally, I don’t think a head of state is either desirable or necessary. You could just have a regulatory body to deal with constitutional issues. Even the most ardent royalist concede that the role of the monarch is limited and mostly symbolic. However, I do sometimes wonder just how limited or symbolic the reaction of the monarchy and its supporters would be if there was a serious democratic effort to replace them, though?
    I spent the day doing a bit of shopping and then having a nice pub lunch in a pub with no TV.

  • William Fowler 20th May '18 - 11:51am

    Well I guess if we ended up with a bad King or Queen there would be so much discontent in the populace that one of the political parties would call for a referendum on abolishment, so the weight of public opinion rules anyway and in many ways in a more forceful manner than in a democratic vote for replacement, The interesting moment would be if a political party with a very small majority (say it won more seats but not the popular vote) tried to turn the country into a Marxist paradise against the will of the people and the Queen refused to sign off on it.

  • Thank you, Caron. Whilst on holiday abroad I happened to come across their live marriage ceremony and ended up watching the whole service on my iphone. It was inspiring, moving and most refreshing. Like, Caron, I wish this young innovative couple every happinesss together.

    The passionate and fieiry address was given by an American, The Most Reverend Bishop Michael Curry. The theme was the power of love. Towards the end of his lengthy speech he quoted the French idealist philosopher and Jesuit priest, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

    ” If humanity ever captured the energy of love, it would be the second time in history that we have discovered fire”

    I see our Liberal Democrat approach and policies to be an expression of love, though perhaps people don’t quite think of it like that. Let’s hope we can contribute to humanity capturing this energy of love.

    Jane Reed, Liberal Democrat member and Activist in York

  • Went to a fantastic rugby match down in Exeter. Was there something else going on that I missed .

  • nvelope2003 23rd May '18 - 3:38pm

    An elected head of state would inevitably be a party politician which seems a bit pointless if the role is largely ceremonial as in Germany, Austria (where an extreme right winger nearly got elected), Italy and Portugal. Not sure what they would do all day. The royals seem to be popular and give many people a lot of pleasure. Many Italians do not know the name of their president like many here would not know the name of the Speaker of the Commons, let alone the Speaker of the Lords.
    Abolishing the post of head of state would put a big burden on the Prime Minister who would presumably have to be President and elected separately from the Commons. The use of the prerogative power by the Prime Minister is something that is essential for the functioning of the Government whatever name is given to it.

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