Meghan Markle to join small circle of American royals and has new role to master British royal protocol
Meghan Markle to join small circle of American royals and has new role to master: British royal protocol
Meghan Markle to join small circle of American royals
When she marries her prince next week, Meghan Markle will join a distinguished line of American citizens who have become real-life royalty over the years - though not all their love stories had fairy-tale endings.
The wedding vows that Markle and Britain’s Prince Harry will exchange at Windsor Castle on May 19 will transform the Los Angeles-born divorced actress into nobility. Afterwards, she will have plenty of women to serve as her role model for the “Dos and Don’ts” of being royal.
Markle could seek to follow in the footsteps of Princess Grace of Monaco, said John Lehman, whose cousin Grace Kelly was a Hollywood star whose 1956 marriage to Prince Rainier III made her Princess Grace of the small Mediterranean principality.
“She went through some awkward years getting the people in Monaco to accept her,” said Lehman last week.
Studying hard to overcome cultural barriers in her adopted country, Princess Grace quickly mastered the French language and won the hearts of royalty and commoners alike.
“It didn’t take too long before she was ‘their’ princess,” said Lehman, a former U.S. navy secretary who often visited Princess Grace at her palace before she died in a car crash in 1982. He is now chairman of the Princess Grace Foundation-USA, which supports emerging artists.
A less promising predecessor may be Baltimore socialite and divorcee Wallis Simpson, the wife of Britain’s King Edward VIII. The king abdicated the throne in 1936 in order to marry Simpson.
From the outset, the British establishment was uncomfortable with her because she was so outspoken, said Anne Sebba, author of “That Woman: The Life of Wallis Simpson Duchess of Windsor.”
“I think the problem for Wallis really was that she was brash,” Sebba said. “She would walk into a room and say, ‘Hi, I’m Wallis.’ She’d wear lots of jewelry. She’d talk about money.”
Lee Radziwill, a sister of former U.S. first lady Jacqueline Kennedy, is an American socialite whose 1959 marriage to Prince Stanislaw Albrecht Radziwill of Poland ended in divorce 15 years later.
The fairytale also didn’t last for American actress Rita Hayworth, whose 1949 marriage to Prince Aly Khan of Pakistan ended in divorce in 1953.
Meghan Markle has new role to master: British royal protocol
From curtsying to Queen Elizabeth to calling her “Your Majesty”, U.S. actress Meghan Markle will have to learn her royal lines when she marries Prince Harry and joins the ranks of the British monarchy.
Unwritten rules govern how the royals should behave and the public act around them. While many antiquated protocols have fallen by the wayside, there is still some etiquette Markle will be expected to follow after her wedding to the queen’s grandson on May 19.
“The problem is that she’s got to remember that, as a member of the royal family, she represents the family or, as it’s been called, ‘the brand’,” said Grant Harrold, who served as a butler to Harry himself while working for his father Prince Charles, and now provides expert guidance on the subject.
“So, I think there is quite a lot pressure to make sure she gets it right because the last thing she wants to do is do something wrong or make a mistake and it ends up becoming front page news - and then it’s embarrassing for her and for the royal family,” Harrold told Reuters.
For someone who grew up in Los Angeles, life behind palace walls - where butlers, footmen and members of the royal household, often dressed in smart traditional uniforms with scarlet waistcoats, discreetly go about their jobs - could scarcely be more different.