On May 19, 2018 I woke up at 2:30 am Pacific to watch my third live Royal wedding broadcast. My first was Charles and Diana’s, watched in my Toronto apartment before going to work at U of T. My second was Will and Kate’s, watched alongside our 2 lovely daughters on a big screen TV in the basement of our Langley log home.
Exactly 4 months ago today, on my middle son and mother’s shared birthday of May 19th, I watched, along with much of the rest of the world, the wedding of Ms. Meghan Markle to Prince Harry. I was on my laptop, flipping between CBC.ca and Youtube (when I became too annoyed with the CBC coverage, which was frequently). Tears flowed; smiles burst forth; I was riveted.
I am astounded by how much Royal Weddings (and all weddings) profoundly affect me. In the months that have passed, I have had time to ponder why. Perhaps it is because they contain 4 of my big passions: God, family, marriage, and the monarchy, plus a bunch of some smaller ones like history, and all things British.
I was raised in the Anglican Church, and while I now attend mainly Evangelical Churches, I have a deep fondness for the liturgy and traditions that surrounded my first memories of loving God. Jesus proclaimed that we must come to Him as children, and my childhood faith was pure, joy-filled, steadfast, and filled with imagination. In fact, I distinctly remember thinking: “I can’t wait to die…because then I will get to see what God looks like.”
In the past year I have revisited the Church I grew up in with my father on several occasions. Each one brought a sense of warm familiarity, and very happy memories of Sunday School Christmas concerts, my confirmation, meaningful moments with my Youth Group (including a 30 hour fast), and yes, my wedding. Watching the Royal weddings that took place in St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, and most recently, St. George’s Chapel, brought all of that back, in spades.
In the Anglican Church, marriage is a Sacrament. In my world, marriage is my passion. I have had the great Blessing to be married to my soul-mate, and only my soul-mate, for 36 years. I didn’t cry at my own wedding, even though I cry at practically everyone else’s. I was calm and simultaneously deliriously happy, a demeanor similar to Meghan Markle’s, if I do say so myself. My marriage is dear to my heart. When I witness the promise of a life-long union before God, family, and friends, and in the Royal case, the whole world, I am pretty much universally moved to tears.
And then there is the British Monarchy. How fortunate we Canadians are to have Queen Elizabeth II, who traces her lineage back to William the Conqueror of 1066, as our head of state. Such history, such majesty, and such a link with tradition is a rare privilege to be safeguarded. Furthermore, I cannot think of a better role model for women, children, and all Canadians than our Queen. She is dedicated, diligent, loyal, wise, fun, selfless, and still tirelessly working full time at the age of 92. Oh yes, and she was also a very proud Grandmother on May 19, 2018.
My Maternal Grandmother was born in England and brought her love of all things British to her new home in Canada. And she passed her love of all things Royal straight down to me. Given our daughters’ fascination with Harry and Meghan’s wedding, I consider the torch to have been satisfactorily passed.