Tuesday, January 2, 2018
Markle's Sparkle vs. Grace's Grace
I remember (like yesterday) when Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier of Monaco. It was April, 1956. America had been agog since the previous Christmas when they announced their engagement. We had a lot of catching up to do. Who was this Prince Rainier? What was Monaco, anyways? Oh, it's where "To Catch a Thief" was shot. And that's where they met! We would have been happy snagging Cary Grant in the end, but, no, she had to go and get a prince! I still have a souvenir magazine from that time, which culminated in the birth of Princess Caroline in January, 1957. Wild horses or an astronomical ebay bid will not tear it from me.
Contrast that to the "Isn't it nice?" but not world-shaking announcement that Prince Harry will be marrying Meghan Markle in May of this year. What a difference half a century or so makes!
There are some undisputable differences. Prince Rainier was the actual ruler of a real country. Monaco is supposedly as big as Central Park. That's a nice big park but a very small country. Prince Harry will soon be only sixth in line to the British throne. It's highly unlikely there will be a King Harry and Queen Meghan, but the British Royal Family are about as royal as you can get, and she will still be a princess.
We knew little about Rainier let alone his principality. He looked like a shy, sweet confirmed bachelor. He was perhaps more of a wealthy playboy before he met Grace. I've only read innuendos. Grace was Hollywood royalty almost from the moment she first appeared onscreen. Her career had a meteoric rise, and she was at the height of her profession at the time of that fateful location shoot. We didn't know that perhaps Grace had, shall we say, a more involved romantic life than we knew at the time. It's also been supposed that snagging the prince secured her place at the top of a competitive family dynamic where she had never shined.
We've watched Harry grow from an adorable little boy to a devilish young man, who at times either didn't think things through or had some very bad advice. At 33 he seems to have reached the rungs of adulthood and appears to be following the humanitarian works path of his mother, Diana.
We don't know much about Meghan Markle. Just the bare facts would be amazing in an earlier era. She's American, divorced, bi-racial, an actress and three years older than Harry. Her claim to acting fame was a role on a tv drama, "Suits". She was hardly a household name or face, although both are quite pretty.
It will be interesting to see what and if the hoopla is about this wedding. Perhaps we are just overwhelmed with celebrity hitchings. We may have gotten too excited over minor events. Beyonce and JayZ! Are they even married? Shows how much I don't know.
Meghan will not be saving the monarchy from frumpiness. Kate has done that with an easy, every day way of dressing that may not shout but has plenty of polish. I think Meghan will follow her own style with royal boundaries (those hats), but I don't think we will be copying her every look— A) Because we are over that, aren't we? and B) Because it doesn't seem all that earth shattering.
What I truly like is that we are making so little to-do about her country of origin, her past relationships, her race and her talent. Love is a good thing, and it's about time we celebrate that.