This morning I woke up and, for the first time in what seems like several hundred years, I didn’t want to walk stoically into the ocean: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are engaged, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
And wow, big deal, right? A prince hailing from an outdated institution meets an American actor and blah, blah, blah, etc. etc. etc. Who cares? I mean, really? Do you? Do you care? Because guess what: I do. I care. Because I need this and I’m not going to let any of you monsters take this away from me.
Because let’s step back for a second. Engagement and wedding news in general is historically whatever. I love my friends and I love going to their weddings, but even if the person you love the most in the world has invited you to theirs, a small part of you is like, “Ugh, okay.” Not because you don’t care about them, but because now you have to buy a new outfit and you have to spend more money than you ever plan to and at some point, someone next to you will start crying during the vows or the speeches and you’ll be forced to reconcile their emotions. The other day somebody I know started crying and all I could say was “Stop crying. Do you want food?” Well, at weddings there already is food. So good luck, everyone.
But a royal wedding is different. You don’t know these people. They are strangers. Everyone in attendance is famous and your/my only job is to look at their clothes and say, “There aren’t nearly enough hats at weddings in North America” to no one in particular because the wedding takes place in GMT and you’re in your pyjamas alone at 6 a.m. watching television. You get to read about it, buy merchandise associated with it, and forget that now Meghan and Harry’s actual and only job is to travel from place to place shaking hands and living a life none of us will ever know unless, like me you have the first season of The Crown memorized. It’s fucking great.
And I need something great that in no way impacts my own life. I need to read pieces about Meghan Markle’s dress (even though I do not care about wedding dresses and never have but who cares), I need to read about whether Posh and Becks are coming. I need to know if Prince Phillip will be well enough to attend and I need to prep for how adorable the Queen will be, because look: I give a shit about grandmas, I’ll tell you that much for free. I need to know what Princess Charlotte will do, and whether Prince George will wear a tiny tuxedo but with shorts and knee socks instead of real pants. I need to know all of this and I need to care about it and I need to use it as the outlet for second-hand joy amidst a landscape of total and utter terribleness. I need to forget for one fleeting second that the President of the United States suggested a Fake News Trophy (seriously) on Twitter this morning.
And it is now Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s job to give me an escape from, well, actual real life. It is their job and it is the corgis’ job and it is the job of anyone who makes dish towels with their likeness imprinted upon it. So yes: I care about the upcoming Royal Wedding. And honestly, even if I wasn’t going to use it as an emotional bomb shelter, I would still care. Because I love pomp and circumstance I’m not obligated to participate in, and none of you lemurs can take that away from me.