Belfast Telegraph

Editor's Viewpoint: Perhaps because of, rather than despite, the complications ahead of the big day, we all wish Harry and Meghan well

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Editor's Viewpoint

For millions, the big attraction today is the royal wedding, but the drama of the run-up to the event is something that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle could well have done without.

Some of the complications - including who would give away the bride - are almost beyond belief. However, given some of Meghan's distinctive relatives, complexities were not unexpected.

The bride's father, Thomas, made a misjudgement over a staged photo-shoot, but this frail 73-year-old man, reportedly living an almost reclusive life, in difficult circumstances, in Mexico, could have been better advised.

Few people would be undaunted about walking their daughter down the aisle at Windsor Castle in the full view of millions watching on television worldwide. It is sad that Mr Markle will not be at his daughter's side today - she clearly cares for him, and has rightly asked that he be given space to deal with his serious health problems following heart surgery in recent days. Meghan herself is no shrinking violet. An actress with a successful television career, and a divorcee of mixed race, much has been made of whether she will be a modernising influence on the Windsors. That Prince Charles will walk her up the aisle is proof the Royal Family is indeed prepared to welcome her into its midst, and to ensure the wedding ceremony runs smoothly.

There are other important human factors at play today too, including the absence of other loved ones - Harry's late mother, Diana, is sure to be in his thoughts. At heart, though, today's ceremony is the public and private declaration of two young people's love for each other.

People don't need wealth or privilege to share the universal emotion of love, and the hopes for a shared life. Many others have done this already, and will do so in the future.

This is a day for hopes and dreams. True love may not always run smoothly, as in this case, but everyone will wish Harry and Meghan a wonderful day, and every blessing for a long and happy life together.

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