A tidal wave of marketing. People Magazine and Vanity Fair and any publication that sports a cover. Round-the-clock television coverage by the major networks, cable, streamers and dreamers, local and national reporters, Telemundo and Channel 4 and E! Maybe even the Congressional Record.
What is this, you might ask. Live from Singapore? Tom Brady at the Super Bowl already? Is it time for the Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech? Are we in Jerusalem? Look, there’s Ivanka, there’s Jared!
Nope. As you may have guessed, we’re talking about the royal, fairytale, magical wedding of Prince Harry aka His Royal Highness (HRH) Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales to American sweetheart Meghan Markle at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle this bound-to-be-a-fine Saturday morning, May 19.
This column was going to be about President Donald Trump, and, oddly enough, how he dominates our days and nights and sometimes dreams. It was going to be about Iran and inexcusable tweets and Giuliani and lawyers and rallies and treaties and Macron and Iran and the Koreas and fake news and real news and all the daily details of life under the Donald.
Then, in the middle of another Trumpian deluge, I encountered images, one after another: Harry, the red hair, happily composed, the biracial bride-to-be, an American princess with the welcoming smile which seems to have conquered the few remaining withering looks in England and the world. Day by day, we thought more and more of the Royals, Harry and his brother and their adorable sunlit little children. We almost did a curtsy to the regally present Queen Elizabeth and the memory of Princess Di hugging AIDS patients and dancing with John Travolta, the boys and their father, chin up, walking at her funeral, the other weddings of Di and Kate. And we basked in the gossip, the gushing whispers (“What about that dress!”). We looked up old “Suits” episodes, and who was invited and who was not.
Every day lately, we are inundated with facts and figures, and history, and corgis and nephews and nieces and pound-sterling images and the faces of a couple — his ruddy lightness, her warm openness — which seep into our consciousness like butter on rye, like our own best memories, like music you can dance to, triggering a kind of happiness royal.
Harry and Meghan, the prince and the princess to be, surely are blessed — he in his assuredly English way, she in her American storybook way. But in our current state of affairs, they serve the welcome purpose of antidote to the climate of rancorous division.
We imagine them, for this time, as the gown passes by and for days on end, the perfume of its passing, the vows, the murmuring of those gathered in the church. And we, out among the flat-screens of the world, will allow all this to stay with us as a kind of armor.
Harry and Meghan. Here’s to the groom. Here’s to the bride.