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MARTHA SEZ: The royal wedding

May 25, 2018
By MARTHA ALLEN , Lake Placid News

Hey, Prince Harry of England just married an American gal last weekend. Did you hear about it?

I was up early that Saturday, as always. I can't sleep in anymore. My sister texted me at 7:07, considerably earlier than usual, with the question "Could anyone be cuter than Prince Harry?"

No doubt many people could be cuter than Prince Harry, although he may well be the cutest member of the royal family, over the age of 30. I am not the one to ask. Unlike my sister, I am no royalist. Of course, I always liked Diana.

Because she is a royalist, my sister naturally assumed I had arisen at the crack of dawn for the express purpose of watching all the hoopla attendant to the royal wedding, and that I had been glued to the television set ever since, whereas, while I was aware of the royal wedding-no way to avoid it, really-I was not particularly interested in it.

"His mother contributed a lot to the cuteness of the royals," I texted back. "They were faltering in that department."

I agreed to turn on the television in order to witness Harry's cuteness for myself.

Both my sister and I admire Stephanie Ruhle, the MSNBC News anchor, for her incisive political reporting. Imagine my surprise when I turned on the TV just in time to see Ruhle and news correspondent Katie Tur screaming "Meghan! Meghan!" as the royal newlyweds' horse-drawn carriage passed by through the streets of Windsor.

"We got the first wave!" Ruhle gushed. She was shaking with excitement. "We're soul sisters!"

I will never look at Stephanie Ruhle in quite the same way again. I am probably being unfair-after all, she is human-but next time I watch her talking tough about President Trump and the Justice Department, I'll see her in her purple hat, screaming, arms outstretched to Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex. It's a wonder she didn't scare the horses. But then, like police horses, they are trained for that.

I learned that Meghan Markle is American, an actress, divorced and of mixed ethnicity, all of which make her an unlikely duchess. Kind of like a Disney princess, when you think of it. The person who really got my attention, though, is her father, Thomas Markle.

Although he did not attend the wedding, he became famous anyway, because of Coleman-Rayner paparazzi agency photographs of him buying beer. The photos were printed in "The Sun," a British tabloid.

"The father of the bride, looking disheveled, in a blue hoodie, buying beer and cigarettes," one news report read.

I googled the photographs to see for myself.

The tabloids made him sound like some kind of bum. He didn't look particularly disheveled to me. And what is the deal with hoodies? As if wearing a hoodie denotes criminal tendencies. As my friend Jenny remarked, "Who gets dressed up in their Sunday best to buy beer?"

You picture Markle buying a case of Busch light, whereas in reality it was a four-pack of Heineken.

Still, even if it was a case of Busch Light, so what? Whose business is it? And if the photos embarrassed his daughter Meghan, whose fault was that? Coleman-Rayner's. The tabloids'. Why take those photographs? Why print those photographs? All Markle was doing was purchasing some beer, after all, a normal thing to do. Unless you are a royal, of course, in which case you have your servants do it.

Jenny says she can't see why there is so much fuss about Prince Harry's wedding. It's not as if he's Mick Jagger.

"What did we fight the Revolutionary War for, anyway?" Jenny asked. "Why did our ancestors leave England and come over here? Not because they loved royalty. Not because England was so great."

That afternoon, as I was driving home from work, I turned on the radio and happened to hear Frank Langfitt on NPR. He was interviewing two women of Afro-Caribbean descent in a pub in Peckham, England. Both of them were happy about the wedding. They liked the fact that Prince Harry had married a person of mixed race. One of the women said that the royal family looked very uncomfortable. Langfitt asked, isn't that the way they always look? No, she answered, they did look uncomfortable:

"But I felt that it was a pleasure to watch them feel uncomfortable, because it's like the way the world needs to go."

Have a good week.



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