Opinion

Is Prince Charles walking Markle down the aisle just a savvy PR stunt?

It's a surprisingly touching move from a royal dynasty that’s famously seen as aloof and emotionless — even towards their own

18 May 2018 - 12:56
It's been confirmed that Prince Charles will be walking Meghan Markle down the aisle on her wedding day. File photo.
It's been confirmed that Prince Charles will be walking Meghan Markle down the aisle on her wedding day. File photo.
Image: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Unless you’ve been hiding underground, it’s been almost impossible to miss all the news about the royal wedding.

Anyone who has an extended family would know that the most dramatic and testing times for family ties and relationships are weddings and funerals.

Meghan Markle — the soon to be Duchess of Sussex (we think) — hasn’t been immune to this familial drama in the lead up to her wedding to Prince Henry of Wales, aka Prince Harry.

From the moment she was revealed as Prince Harry’s lady, she’s had to face sexism, racism, slut-shaming and snobbishness from the press as well as, of course, internet trolls.

As the wedding date neared closer, Markle’s half-siblings began embarrassing her in the media. Her publicity-hungry half-brother and sister, Thomas Markle Jr and Samantha Grant respectively, never missed an opportunity to publicly trash her.

Her mom’s side of the family, thank goodness, has been better behaved. Not a peep from them.

PRINCE CHARLES TO THE RESCUE

This week, after the drama with Markle’s father and the confirmation that he wouldn’t be walking her down the aisle, Kensington Palace finally shared some good (and surprising) news:  Prince Charles will be walking Markle down the aisle.

This is incredible because it’s the kind of move that would probably never would have happened in Queen Elizabeth's day. The royal family is known for sticking to protocol and hardly ever breaks from tradition (we can’t be sure if there’s a rule in the royal family against an act like this, but it’s certainly out of the ordinary).

The Prince of Wales walking his future daughter-in-law down the aisle is also touching because it’s a very public way for the Windsors to show that they are 100% behind Markle, that they will protect her (better than they have other women who have previously married into the family, we hope), and that they welcoming her into the family.

Amazing for a dynasty that’s famously seen as aloof and emotionless — even towards their own.

SCORING PR POINTS

But this is also a savvy move for Prince Charles. His image isn’t quite up-to-scratch as the future king of England. He’s not always that popular with the public, and he’s struggled to come across as more human and down-to-earth.

Prince Charles stepping in and rescuing the situation, doing something completely out of the ordinary, is a step in the right direction.

The royal family needs to be relevant to a rapidly changing England and a changing world.

Prince Harry has been their best asset over the past decade: he’s messed up in public, apologized for it, been on the front-lines in Afghanistan, and worked extensively in Lesotho towards providing more opportunities for the disadvantaged. He's also charming, handsome (he really is) and can hang out with presidents as easily as he can pop stars.

Over the past few years, he and his brother (as well as sister-in-law Kate) have been humanising the royal family by being more open about their personal experiences and struggles; this makes them seem more approachable than those who came before them.

And they’ve done this without turning the House of Windsor’s image into a circus.

Prince Harry marrying Markle is the best PR that the Windsors have had in a long time, and the family publicly rallying around her will score them even more brownie points. Good on them.


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