HRH the Duchess of Sussex

hrh duchess

Move over Grace Kelly, we have new American royalty. In case you’ve been living under a rock, (or blown up your TV after one too many political shows), you know that yesterday, Rachel from Suits scored the role of a lifetime:  HRH the Duchess of Sussex.

And now Britain’s Fab Four is complete. Seriously, are there four more perfect royals than Princes William and Harry and their lovely wives?

They are giving the reality-tv obsessed world a lesson in duty, dignity, and tact.

Somewhere, Diana is smiling.

And everyone is wondering, deep down, what does the Queen think of her grandson marrying an American divorcée?

It’s a legitimate question, and one I suspect we will never know the answer to, even long after the Queen’s death and the release of her private papers.

But surely it must make the Queen reflect on how the much the world—or at least British royalty—has changed over the course of her long life.

After all, if royals were free to wed divorcées in the 1930s, Elizabeth may never have become Queen at all.

Her uncle King Edward VIII, abdicated the throne in order to marry his twice-divorced American love, Wallis Simpson. This meant the throne passed to Elizabeth’s father and eventually to her.

Nineteen years after the King VIII’s abdication, Elizabeth was Queen and her sister Margaret wanted to marry a divorced man. While Elizabeth could not technically forbid the marriage, she and Winston Churchill informed Margaret she would lose her royal position and income.  Unlike her uncle, Margaret chose royalty over love.

(And by the way, people found my cocktail party facts about the Windsors much more interesting before The Crown came along and stole all my thunder.)

My point is the Queen grew up in a very different world than the one over which she currently reigns. While she could not—or would not—allow her sister to marry a man deemed unsuitable due to divorce, she’s given her grandson—brother to the future king—her blessing.

What a difference sixty-five years makes.

So congratulations to Harry and Meghan. Sixty-five years ago the Queen would not have permitted them to marry.

But yesterday, I believe they made her—and Britain—and America—proud.

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