Allow me a few minutes of sappiness. I need it. I bet you do, too.
For the past week or so I’ve been a schmaltzy fool, following every bit of news about Prince Harry’s and Meghan Markle’s engagement. I can’t get enough of it. If something pops up on my phone about the upcoming royal wedding, I stop whatever I’m doing to read about it. If an update is broadcast on the car radio or on the family room TV, I quickly turn up the volume. The Hubby knows not to interrupt.
I’m fascinated by it all. Mesmerized, really. Overjoyed even.
I find it terribly romantic that Harry proposed during a cozy dinner at home. On bended knee. While preparing roasted chicken, no less. That’s so … conventional. My heart soars imagining the scene.
And do you know about the ring? Well, it practically glitters with sentimental value. Two of the stones are from Princess Diana’s personal collection, while the other is from Botswana, a country that, according to People magazine, “is close to his heart. Harry has often spoken about his love of Africa, and says it’s the place he feels more like himself than anywhere else in the world.”
I’m also up to date with the wedding plans. The couple will say their “I do’s” in Windsor Castle’s St. George’s Chapel, a 15th-century sanctuary that has hosted many royal family weddings. The date has been narrowed down to May 2018, after Kate Middleton’s due date. (She and Prince William are expecting a third child in April.)
Whatever the time or day of the week, you can be sure that I’ll be one of the tens of millions glued to a screen. Can you blame me? I’m usually not a sucker for fairy tales, but at this point in time we desperately need a distraction, something — anything — that resembles happy news.
I really don’t want to revert to my serious, boring self. Or to the self that stews over the state of our country. More and more I need something light to offset the wearying drumbeat of depressing news coming from Washington, D.C. More and more I find myself seeking heartwarming stories to balance the steady drip of sexual harassment allegations that have made me wonder if this man-woman thing so essential to the continuation of humankind is simply too screwy; too fraught with insurmountable perils.
Some of you may be rolling your eyes right about now. Apparently, a handful of commentators are already taking the starry-eyed to task for being interested in the royal wedding. They argue that these nuptials mean nothing, that it involves a prince with little power and an institution that is outdated.
“So this fascination with royalty,” pronounced CNN’s Chris Cuomo, “which is anathema to what our democracy is all about, has always boggled my mind a little bit.”
Or from a churlish British writer, who, among other things, criticized the American bride-to-be for quitting her acting career: “It’s a sort of ‘pay to play’ set up. You get to bear the royal babies and a dress allowance … but you no longer have your own projects. In fact there’s a chance the Palace sees your past theatrical life as a bit grubby.”
They’re so missing the point! What Harry and Meghan provide us — yes, I’m on first name terms with them — is a much-needed escape, a contrast to the immorality, stupidity and cruelty that have lately dominated the headlines. Watching them hold hands on camera is like eating a seven-layer chocolate cake without the burden of self-recrimination. You’re indulging in the moment. You’re cheering for love. You’re betting, perhaps against stacked odds, that passion is long-lasting, devotion is continuous, and happily ever after, what we all long for, is quite probable.