royals

Everyone loves a good Cinderella story. There’s something undeniably satisfying about watching the virtuous, beautiful girl finally get rewarded, get her prince and her rightful place. However, there’s also a dark side to these types of fairy tales, and I don’t just mean the evil stepmother. It’s the idea of the ultimate reward for a woman being a husband and a home — of dependency being a requirement for happiness. For Meghan Markle, the American woman who is now a member of the royal family, having the ultimate fairy tale ending might mean losing her freedom.

At her first public appearance after the wedding, Markle wore nude-colored tights that didn’t match her skin color. It is a fitting symbol for the British monarchy: outdated, needlessly prudish and unnecessary. British royal women are never to be seen in public with bare legs. It’s not becoming of their roles as shining examples of British virtue. Henceforth, the legs of Meghan Markle will never be seen by the commoners.

Over 2,500 common British citizens were invited to celebrate the royal wedding on the grounds of Windsor Castle. British citizens are far too invested in the exclusive royal family. The monarchy cost the United Kingdom nearly 350 million pounds in 2017-2018. The royal family is almost entirely sustained by U.K. taxpayers, yet they didn’t provide any sort of refreshments to the commoners outside the castle waiting for a glimpse of the bride and groom. The guests, who were chosen from diverse backgrounds to make the new couple seem inclusive and beloved by all of the public, were allowed to watch the carriages enter and leave from the grounds of Windsor Castle. No one got so much as a cup of water as they stood watching from outside, which seems terribly wrong.

But that side of the royal wedding wasn’t really the focus of mainstream media reports. Instead, we received the details of the cake — elderflower and lemon; where her bouquet ended up — on the Grave of the Unknown Warrior; and gushing reports from almost every newspaper and magazine.

As Americans, it’s weird that so many of us were so invested in Markle’s wedding. Markle is an American, but she married into a problematic, outdated power structure that functions around the idea that certain people were born better and should be held in high regard by the public. By celebrating the royal wedding, we were celebrating the monarchy and reinforcing the idea that the system is somehow still important and worthy of our interest. It’s really not. Why should we be emotional about the antiquated, anti-democratic values of an unremarkable family almost 5,000 miles away from us?

It’s one thousand small, stifling things which makes it seem very strange that Markle’s wedding is something to be celebrated by hundreds of thousands of people. It’s the story of a successful, biracial American actress burying herself in the ridiculously oppressive and useless British monarchy. It’s not a very good story. At any rate, not one that should be read to little girls at bedtime.

Rachel Mipro is a 19-year-old mass communication sophomore from New Orleans, Louisiana.

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