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When Harry met Meghan

A prince and the prince met a commoner and fell in love, a lot of feeling people nodded and smiled and sighed in relief

By Upala Sen

  • Published 19.01.20, 1:00 AM
  • Updated 19.01.20, 1:00 AM
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle AP

The world media has always had a soft spot for the little boy who walked behind his mother’s coffin with elder brother, father, grandfather and uncle that day in 1997. The poignancy of the moment was enforced by visuals of a stark card sticking out of the flowers atop the coffin. It had written on it in scraggly hand one word — Mummy. The Ms looked like pointy mountains, the kind school children will draw. But naturally when the boy became a prince and the prince met a commoner and fell in love, a lot of feeling people nodded and smiled and sighed in relief. Goodbye mountains, they might have told themselves.

Here comes the bride

Britain couldn’t have enough of the new royal. Divorcee. No matter. American. All the better. Estranged father. Come now! Actress of considerable recall. Good. Very good. Former foreign secretary Malcolm Rifkind even said that Markle’s mixed-race background would have been a huge story decades ago but goes virtually unnoticed now. “It’s the least interesting aspect of the day’s news,” said Rifkind. The Royal Mint produced an official coin showing the couple in profile. Next came the commemorative postage stamps featuring the official engagement photographs…

Knightess in shining armour

They are dubbing it Megxit now — Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to “step back” from royal life. The move has been described as a “declaration of war on the family”. It has been said that the Prince of Wales was “incandescent with rage”. Less than 24 hours after the announcement, Madame Tussauds removed the couple’s waxworks. The niggling in-law land issues had raised their heads long ago and immediately after the happy beginning. Recently, Meghan said in an interview, “… it’s not enough just to survive something, right? That’s not the point of life. You’ve got to thrive. You’ve got to feel happy.” The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s website shows a verdant forest. It is all brown and green and in the midst of it all there is Harry and Meghan in step with each other, hand in hand, looking into each other’s eyes, young and smiling like any happy couple. Both seem to have feet firmly on ground but if there was a white horse, I have no problem imagining who its rider would be.