Chanté Griffin, a black American actor, fantasizes about the Royal Wedding — if it were completely on Meghan Markle’s terms.
It’s a modern American fairytale: a struggling actress who provided wedding calligraphy services for Robin Thicke is now sending out gold-embossed invitations for her multi-million-dollar wedding to a real-life prince. And Meghan Markle’s marriage to Prince Harry of Wales won’t just be the making of royalty. It will be a celebration of interracial love and the fusion of cultures: British, American and African American cultures plus Hollywood glam — broadcast live on an international stage.
But considering that some parts of British royal culture and African American culture are seemingly opposite (curtsies vs. fist daps, neutral clothing vs. bold prints and vibrant colors), how much of Meghan’s cultural heritage will actually make it into the wedding of the year? Will her laid-back California roots sneak their way into St. George’s Chapel? I mean, can you imagine Meghan’s mom greeting the Queen with the “Wakanda forever” signal after she walks Meghan down the aisle? I’d give away ALL of my vibranium to watch that moment.
So far, Markle has handled her transition into British culture on her own terms, to the chagrin of traditional Brits. She’s done the “royal” thing Markle-style: rocking jeans with holes, wearing dresses without stockings (insert British gasp here!) and even donning a partially sheer dress for her engagement photos (insert royal gasp here!).
Although she’s been spotted sporting hats as of late in keeping with royal customs, she and Prince Harry absolutely refuse to be the straight-laced royal couple. (Lifetime nicknamed them the “Royal Rebels,” and I find it both ironic and amusing that Prince Harry, Britain’s “Royal Renegade” is marrying a bi-racial American divorcee, Britain’s rebel child. Hee hee!)
In fact, the couple’s wedding plans have already parted with royal traditions:
- Prince Harry will wear a morning suit instead of a military uniform because Prince Harry is anything but uniform.
- The couple will serve an organic Amalfi lemon and English elderflower cake instead of traditional fruit cake, but can you really blame them? Fruitcake sits on the bottom of the cake totem pole. It’s the last kid to get chosen for the croquet team.
- Reports say that food trucks will cater the couple’s reception at Frogmore House, Kensington Palace. Yep, you heard that right! The couple will reportedly serve tacos (will they be Roy Choi’s Kogi tacos?! Will there be a salsa bar?! So many questions), grilled cheese and sliders. This is no doubt a reflection of Markle’s chill California roots.
- Instead of inviting foreign dignitaries to their big day, they have invited “commoners” from their favorite charities and the local community. If Princess Diana was “The People’s Princess,” then this decision positions Markle as “The Pauper’s Princess.”
Although this event will feel like a British wedding, replete with the extra pomp and circumstance, I wonder what Markle’s wedding would be like without the crown’s demands? If it could be a complete reflection of her diverse cultures: American culture, African American culture and Hollywood starlet?
As a black actor and former pageant winner, I know what it’s like to have people recognize you from TV, stare at you while you try to eat dinner out with friends and barrage you for autographs when you’re using the ladies room. It’s like living in a fishbowl. I also know what it’s like to have strangers in other countries gawk at your darker skin, simultaneously amazed by your African features and enthralled by your “celebrity” status. That’s like being cornered into a zoo where you’re the featured attraction.
Yet Meghan has handled it with such grace. She has responded to intense public scrutiny by simply being herself. But as much as Meghan has made the crown her own, there are things that she will never be allowed to do, like go anywhere alone, ever.
Meghan must sometimes daydream of being able to do whatever she wants. Here’s what I imagine Markle’s wedding would be like if she did it her way.
Royal Wedding: No Bare Arms, Bare Shoulders or Exposed Bosoms
Royal protocol dictates that brides be covered. Princess Diana’s dress is a perfect example of a fully clothed bride, and Princess Diana even had “cleavage bags” sewn into all of her outfits to ensure that her breasts were covered when she entered and exited cars.
Referring to Markle’s dress, Harper’s Bazaar writes, “Per royal tradition, the Queen has final approval on the gown’s suitability for a royal wedding,” and that the gown is “safely hidden at Windsor Castle.”
Meghan’s Fantasy Wedding: Boho, Sexy or Glam
Being the glamour gal that she is, I imagine that the neckline of Meghan’s wedding gown would plunge so low that it could reach the depths of Celtic Sea. Her dress would be so sheer that the Queen would try to sew the “cleavage bags” directly onto Meghan’s dress.
Royal Wedding: Guests Wear a “Daydress With Hat”
The royal invitations explicitly asked guests to wear “a daydress with hat,” Although the Brits customarily wear hats, it’s clearly not Meghan’s preferred fashion accessory (because if your hair was that flowing and beautiful, would you flatten and cover it up with hats all the time?! No).
Meghan’s Fantasy Wedding: A Fashion Free-Style Zone With Blinding Colors
This is after all, the same woman who rocked a messy bun in public, which goes against royal protocol, and whose first wedding was beachside, where some guests wore sandals.
Her mother would wear a traditional African head wrap in lieu of the Brit’s customary small hat (Please also note that it would be near impossible for any of Meghan’s relatives or friends with an afro to attach a small hat onto it — trust me, I’ve tried.)
Tennis champ Serena Williams would sashé around the castle in a bright red dress, showcasing her arms of steel, while actress Priyanka Chopra would show-off her most spectacular gold saree and electric-red lipstick.
BFFs Jessica Mulroney and Benita Litt would stand by Meghan’s side as bridesmaids rocking bare shoulders, beads or even tasteful sequins instead of Princess Charlotte, Jessica’s daughter, Ivy, and the other four children who are accompanying her per royal guidelines.
Royal Wedding: Classical Music Echoing Everywhere
Classical music is the staple of royal unions, and this wedding is no exception. The Palace just announced that two choirs, an orchestra and cellist Sheku Hanneh-Mason, winner of Britain’s Got Talent, will perform at the ceremony. (Granted, Kanneh-Mason is black and the gospel Kingdom Choir is directed by Karen Gibson, a black British woman, so Meghan is clearly getting her African American culture in there no matter what!)
Meghan’s Fantasy Wedding: Janelle Monáe (for Sure)
Recently Meghan revealed what’s on her playlist, and there was absolutely no classical music on it. Singer Janelle Monáe, fifth on the list, would undoubtedly wow guests at the royal reception with an unforgettable performance (would she dare sing “Q.U.E.E.N.”?). She’d serve as the musical representation of Meghan: a woman who confidently rocks her skin, her culture and refuses to conform to other people’s expectations of her.
While the DJ performed between Monáe’s set — yes, there’d be a DJ — she’d surely play “The Cha-Cha Slide,” “The Cupid Shuffle,” and “The Wobble,” and we’d get to watch Meghan, Harry and their guests party American-style. Can you just imagine Princes Harry and William dancing like their dorky selves on the dance floor?
Royal Wedding: No Kissing in Sacred Places
Apparently the Church of England has a “no kissing in sacred places” rule. This is why
William and Kate’s first kiss as a married couple was taken on the Balcony outside of Buckingham Palace. So, the question is: Where will Harry and Meghan smooch for the cameras?
Meghan’s Fantasy Wedding: Kiss Him Any Chance She Freakin’ Has
Harry & Meghan’s PDA is unparalleled in royal couples. They always seem to be touching, unlike William and Kate and the Queen and her husband. Is it because their relationship is still new? Because Meghan’s a touchy-feely person? Because she’s an American? Or because the two love birds just can’t keep their hands off of each other? Whatever the reason, I would kiss McPrincey every hour on the hour on my wedding day if I were Meghan, cuz #relationshipgoals.
In Meghan’s make-believe wedding, the PDA would be of seismic proportions. She’d kiss Prince Harry during the ceremony, hold his hands during the vows, link arms with him in the carriage ride after the ceremony, kiss him during both of the receptions and then kiss him right in front of the Queen’s face, for good measure. I mean, who wouldn’t want to show affection to their #foreverbae on their wedding day?
Royal Wedding: The Bride Shall Not Speak At The Wedding Reception
While the line between “rules” and “traditions” is blurred here, brides typically do not make announcements at the wedding reception.
Fantasy REAL Wedding
Being the bold, outspoken woman that Meghan is, she WILL grab the mic’, even though I’m pretty sure the Queen approved every. single. word.
Meghan is no stranger to the microphone. She double majored in theater and international relations at Northwestern University, interned at the U.S. embassy in Argentina and spoke at an event for the United Nations Women where she famously said, “Equality means that a woman is equal to her husband. I am proud to be a woman and a feminist.”
The looming question is: What’s she gonna say?
Will she declare that although she’s giving up her career, she isn’t giving up her identity (part two of her UN speech)? Will she give a shout-out to all her American friends she couldn’t invite? Will she mention Thomas Markle (insert British gasp again)?
Markle’s decision to speak at the reception, to hire food trucks and to break the royal rules is proof that she is equal to her husband, and that her opinions and taste matter, too. This royal wedding will document the mixing of cultures — formal British traditions with casual American preferences — conjoined beneath the underlying theme that being black and biracial isn’t just beautiful—it’s royal.