Lessons from the Royal Wedding

I am sure many of you, like me, were up in the wee hours of last Saturday morning to witness the marriage of Megan Markle to Prince Harry. Bad Boy Prince marries Beautiful Divorced American Actress–it’s the stuff fairytales are made of. It was very exciting and fun but as it goes, there is plenty to learn from the wedding.

Despite all the talk of the wedding being non-traditional, Megan Markle and Prince Harry were careful to be respectful of the Queen and of the significance of the monarchy to Great Britain. Megan’s veil was embroidered with flowers representing the 53 counties in the Commonwealth. And she wore one of the Queen’s own crowns—and you’ve got to love a lady with multiple crowns. The bride’s dress was modest. Her flower girls and pages were adorable, smiling and well-trained.

What can we learn? Tradition is about showing respect. It helps us feel like we are part of something bigger. And as much as we like to think of tradition as old fashioned, the world paid rapt attention to every detail of this wedding. It made us feel good.

Dress code for guests? According to the invitation: “Dress: uniform, morning coat or lounge suit/day dress with hat.” Women’s dresses–knee length or longer. No slacks. Black or white dresses frowned upon. Closed toe shoes. Hose. And a hat. For the record, Kate Middleton’s dress was likely off-off white or pale yellow and was clearly approved by the Queen. It’s reported that Oprah changed dresses when it was discovered the one she had originally chosen would “photograph” as white. The compliance percentage was close to 100%. The gentlemen all wore a morning suit ( a daytime tuxedo) or dark suit. I guess the men got the message, probably from their wives, that a “lounge suit” is not jogging pants. And cell phones were not allowed.

What can we learn? Let’s pay attention to how we dress and what our host or hostess expects. Just because you are anxious to wear those cute new short shorts or because your jeans are the most comfortable thing you own does not mean either is appropriate for every event. Nothing against shorts or jeans, but let’s choose the right occasion. Dressing appropriately shows respect to your hosts and other guests. No one would dare cross the Queen, but we quickly dismiss our BFF by being a little too casual or, shall we say, over-exposed? Dress in a way that makes everyone around you comfortable. Don’t outshine the bride or hostess. And put your phone away. No one at the royal wedding died of selfie withdrawal.

And while we are on the subject—did you notice everyone was on time? In fact, guests were required to seated in the church an hour ahead of time. And they all did it.

What can we learn? We can all be on time when we want to. Guilty as charged. To my friends—I will take my own advice and pay more attention to this one.

Parts of the ceremony were quite traditional, others more modern and in keeping with Megan and Harry’s personalities and heritage. The music (loved), the teaching (loved) and Prince Charles walking the bride down the aisle (loved) were all departures. And the cake was not fruitcake (really loved!).

What can we learn? Open our minds and open our hearts. Be accepting. We can change the world.

And one last thing we can learn—any girl can become a princess. 