One of the global highlights of this year was the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Now officially known as the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan is the first American member of the modern monarchy. With her cultural pride, intelligence, strength and humanity, there is no doubt that she will make the English monarchy stronger. As the Duchess of Sussex, she will create a stronger liaison between the United States and England.
In this modern monarchy, blue bloods can now have it all. In addition to having prestige, financial security, luxuries and trips, they now have the freed to marry the person that they love. While Harry was lucky that the modern monarchy allowed his marriage to Meghan, some of his ancestors were not permitted to marry their true love.
Edward VIII (23 June 1899 – 28 May 1972), who was the uncle of Queen Elizabeth, only ruled as king for just 321 days. Still to this day, he remains the monarch with the shortest reign in the history of England. Surely, he was certainly qualified to be king. Serving in the British army during the first World War, he showed courage and love for his homeland of England. For his bravery, he was awarded the Military Cross in 1916. Like his ancestors Prince William and Prince Harry, he was an avid pilot. He obtained his pilot’s license in 1918.
In addition to having military credentials, he also sympathized with England’s working class. There was a high unemployment rate in the South of Wales, and he supported the coal miners. Perhaps, Prince William and Prince Harry inherited their altruism from him.
Even with all of his qualifications, he did not want to continue to rule England without the woman that he loved by his side. King Edward fell in love with Wallis Simpson who was an American. Since she was divorced, she had a past. Unfortunately, the church of England did not give Edward permission to marry Wallis. They believed that remarriage after divorce was morally unacceptable. As well as being the King of England, Edward was also the titular head of the Church of England. He was required to obey the church law and set a moral example.
Despite all of the opposition, Edward tried to find a solution that would enable him to continue to rule and marry Wallis. He proposed the idea of a morganate marriage in which he would remain king, but Wallis would never be the queen. If they had children, they would not be eligible to inherit the throne. The British Cabinet and the Dominion government rejected his idea. Choosing love over power, Edward abdicated the throne on December 10, 1936 at Fort Belvedere. His brother, King George VI, became the new ruler of England.
On June 3, 1937, Edward married Wallis in a private ceremony at the Chateau de Cande near Tours France. They both had a happy union that lasted a lifetime.
After leaving the throne, Edward became a notable writer. He wrote the following books: A King’s Story, A Family Album and The Crown and the People. He also wrote articles for the Sunday Express and the Woman’s Home Companion. In 1970, he was a guest of honor at the White House during Richard Nixon’s presidency.
Like Edward, Princess Margaret, who was known as the Countess of Snowdon, who was Queen Elizabeth’s only sister, was not allowed to marry the man that she loved. She fell in love with Peter Townsend. Like Wallis, he also had a past. He was a divorced man with two children. Since Townsend was divorced, the Church of England did not allow her to marry him.
Despite the fact that the government and the Church of England opposed the marriage, the public supported Margaret’s decision. Since Margaret chose to remain in the monarchy, she did not marry Townsend. Instead she married Armstrong Jones at Westminster Abbey on May 6, 1960. Since their wedding was the first royal wedding that was televised, their nuptials became historical. The royal event drew a huge audience, for 300 million people watched the royal wedding on television. There were 2,000 guests that attended the ceremony.
Margaret and Armstrong had two children. David Viscount Linley was born on November 3, 1961. Lady Sarah was born on May 1, 1964. Unfortunately, their marriage did not last a lifetime. They got divorced in 1978.
Now accepting divorcees in the modern monarchy, the Church of England has undergone a metamorphosis of our modern world. Now it is a modern monarch where royals are free to follow their hearts. Without a doubt, we know that Harry and Meghan followed their hearts. We hope that they have a happy and lasting marriage.