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Does Meghan and Harry’s romance reinforce dated stereotypes?
I was a young teen when Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer got married. My friends and I stayed up all night to watch the spectacle—and it was worth it. When she stepped out in that impossible dress of endless ivory taffeta, our deeply embedded princess desires were so completely satisfied that we needed a cigarette. That morning, snuggled in sleeping bags, we dreamed of courtship and tiaras.
Everyone knows how that relationship ended. Yet, all these years later, a royal spell has once again been cast over us. Show us a roguish prince choosing a blushing commoner for his bride and we eat it up like scones and clotted cream. None of us is immune to the fantasy.
At least Markle isn’t a young innocent plucked from obscurity; she’s an empowered woman with a career and a life. Then again, maybe that makes us more likely to mythologize her—because she mirrors us. We believe we can have what she’s having.
But believer, beware. Love isn’t about the pageantry of the wedding day or about finding that prince; it’s about the minutiae of every day that follows. It isn’t about the heart and soul; it’s about the mass and matter of two human beings coexisting (specifically, large winter coats and hockey bags in the hall). It isn’t about facing the world together; it’s about holding on to each other for dear life when it tries to tear you apart. There are very few tiaras. I wish this strong 21st-century woman real love—and all the stamina it requires. I can hardly wait to see her dress.
This article originally appeared in the May 2018 issue of ELLE Canada.