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  • Olivia De Santos

Harry & Meghan: Why Their Wedding Matters + My BBC Experience!

Hello everyone and happy Wedding Wednesday!

Can you believe that for once I’m actually publishing a blog on time??? What is the world coming to! I really enjoy writing but I gotta tell ya, it’s been a struggle to keep up with my editorial calendar, but I digress…

Today we’re talking about Prince Harry and (now) Princess Meghan’s famous wedding on the 19th May 2018, one month on from the momentous event. I have sooo many thought on them as a couple, the wedding itself and also my experience being interviewed on the BBC in Windsor Castle the day before Royal Wedding. So strap in, this could be a long but interesting discussion and I encourage you to let me know what you thought of the wedding.

What’s the big deal?

The people I’ve seen criticise the Royal Wedding fall into two camps:

  1. Those who hate the Royals in general

  2. Those who don’t understand the significance of Meghan becoming a Royal Princess

I’m going to try and address both but remember this is just my opinion.

So to the Royal haters out there, I understand where you’re coming from to a degree. The Royals are not in power and effectively politically useless. They draw from tax payer funds and don’t hold the same weight as maybe 100 or even 50 years ago. But I cannot bring myself to believe them to be a waste to British society. Not only do they encourage charitable donation and maintain some of the most beautiful sites in the UK, but they also have an unparalleled ability to bring people together. I guess the only thing more participatory than this Royal Wedding was, is the World Cup that even I’m gripped by (did you see that Cristiano Ronaldo hatrick though??!!). So in that way, I think the Royals are harmless and are even a celebration of British culture as it stands today. They have slowly modernised with the times and become celebrities more than revered figures.

This leads me onto Harry and Meghan as one of the most important relationships in British history. Yes, Meghan is mixed race with a Caucasian father and African-American mother. I America, she is considered a black woman. Somewhat notably, in the UK press, her blackness has been downplayed quite a lot since she is a “white-passing” mixed race person, meaning that her features are more Caucasian leaning. And the significance of her heritage is not a question of representation. It’s not like the first Black president who was an elected official and shows the diverse nature of the American population. We don’t elect who the Royals choose to marry! So this transcends that – this is a question of integration and globalisation. Harry and Meghan’s union shows that British society is a diverse mix of cultures and skin tones – to the point that the highest of the land, those that are deemed closest to God, are accepting a woman of colour into their ranks. That is a big deal. There are no two ways about it.

The Wedding Ceremony

Now onto the Royal wedding ceremony. I think the biggest surprise to me was how incredibly personalised the whole thing was. Harry and Meghan’s wedding was truly reflective of them as people rather than them as figure heads or celebrities. I think that’s really important to note and shows how modern this wedding really was. The obvious highlight for many was the passionate, and empowering address by Bishop Michael Curry so I won’t go ono about him, as there are plenty of articles across the web about why his address was significant. My highlight of the ceremony was actually the gospel choir, The Kingdom Choir, who did a beautiful rendition of Stand By Me by Ben. E King. I thought they sounded so angelic and looked so stunning together. I was truly moved by their performance. I also adored the performance by the 19 year old cellist, Sheku Kanneh-Mason. Classical music is very special to me as I was a classically trained flautist once! He actually played one of my favourite pieces by Gabriel Faure that really touched me. Such emotive and skilful playing that I was completely enchanted by.

Okay let’s address the elephant in the room – the dress. I’ve seen so much criticism about the dress as some people were disappointed that the dress was quite simple and minimalistic. I get that people wanted to be gagged by her dress style and for it to slay everyone in the chapel BUT that’s not her style. I was far too busy being proud of her for going her own way with her wedding dress to criticise its simplicity. The woman showed us that she is her own person, with her own style and her own flair – in that way, I think the dress did indeed stun us all, just not that way you thought it would.

I want to mention the flowers quickly. Philippa Craddock did a beautiful job of the spellbinding chapel entrance and altar pieces. Just. WOW. With the bouquet however, it didn’t quite live up to the rumours of foxgloves and peonies which I was actually really looking forward to (even though peonies and I aren’t really friends – but that’s a topic for another day). I guess the small bouquet was in line with the simplicity of the dress. I also love the fact that come of the flowers were ones Harry picked from the gardens at Kensington Palace which is just so fucking cute that I have to fucking swear – FUCK! So I guess I’ll allow the boring bouquet for the aww factor.

Certified BBC Interviewee

Right so, the BBC. This was an odd one. I have never ever been asked to do something like this before – nor have I ever been on telly before. There were only two things that I knew for sure; that I would be extremely nervous and that I would be powdered multiple times by various makeup artists on the day. Both proved to be completely true but I least I saw it coming.

When I arrived at Windsor Castle, I was given a special wristband to be permitted in the castle grounds where the press huts were. It was a sea of panicked producers, huge pieces of equipment and press vans that varied from executive American mega buses that screamed Anchorman to the dinky British huts that were more like Only Fools and Horses. Still I was humbled to be there and approached the situation as the wide-eyed kid that I am. There was a fair bit of waiting around as TV is a bit of a waiting game but it meant I could meet some new people. One of the cool people I met was Victoria Howard, otherwise known as the Royal Expert, who owns The Crown Chronicles. We happened to be the same age and it was a comfort to have her around.

When it came to my BBC Breakfast appearance I was incredibly nervous which probably came across on camera. I think I warmed to it eventually but it was a very surreal experience. Thank you so much to everyone who messaged me afterwards to say that they had watched me. I was overwhelmed by the number of people who actually managed to catch it live despite my initial announcement video telling you the wrong times! Thank you so so so so much! <3

The appearance was fairly short and if you skip to 14:40 on the video above, you’ll see my segment in its entirety. After it was over, I went back to the BBC hut and started chatting to one of the makeup artists. As we chatted she mentioned wedding planning, and the presenter who was sat getting her hair and makeup done, swung around and asked me about wedding planning. It turns out she actually got married in one of my favourite wedding venues in the Alentejo! Small world eh?

So she made space for me on her show on BBC World. Unfortunately my phone was dying and I only had enough charge to tell one person I’d be on BBC World which was, of course, my mother who lives in Portugal and therefore was not able to see the BBC Breakfast show appearance. That segment was much longer and on my own. Admittedly I felt more nervous during this one, as I could see myself on the TV screen that the presenters use as I was speaking. Very trippy to see yourself on TV as you’re recording it! But in this one I was able to show my prowess in millennial weddings, the planning process and a bit about there being more groomzillas than bridezillas (true story!). Unfortunately I don’t have a recording of this one but when I do, of course I’ll share it with you. My Mum assures me I was less nervous and fumbly in that one, so it’s a shame I can’t show you that one, but I’m working on it.

Overall the BBC experience was fabulous. I had an amazing day and it may ever lead to further experiences but at least I can cross it off my bucket list and proudly say that I was picked by the BBC!

And that’s it! Those are my thoughts on the whole thing. Would love to know your thoughts on the Royal Wedding and the significance of it. Do check out my video with the BBC clip at the end 😊

Ta ta for now,