Melissa Carter

That’s What She Said: We’ll Never Be Royals … Or Will We?

Me: “Will I live long enough to see an openly gay heir to the throne? Doubt it.”
Friend: “I don’t know. That’s what I said about a black president.”I am a huge Anglophile and, like many others, have followed the British Royals since childhood. I was 10 when Prince Charles and Lady Diana got married, and have vivid memories of the birth of both of their children. Already in love with Diana and her maternal ways, my loyalty to her was cemented by the pictures of Diana taking the boys to McDonald’s and Walt Disney World. I think we all knew then the British monarchy would never be the same.That was evident during last weekend’s Royal Wedding and the service Prince Harry and Meghan Markle chose for their nuptials. I was honestly nervous for those excited by Meghan’s mixed race because I couldn’t imagine a royal ceremony that would honor her background. Boy was I wrong, and gladly so, when I saw not only the all-black choir but the main sermon delivered by a black American minister. Even Prince Charles’ treatment of Meghan’s mother was charming, and I couldn’t help but see Diana’s continued influence on that family and their traditions.Education truly is the most important thing you can give your child. I’m not talking about the structured, teach-to-test ways of the current American school system. I’m talking about real-life exposure to other religions, cultures, economics, anything that is different than your current routine. We as humans are built to adapt to our environments, but the downside of that is a short-sightedness that can turn into fear if we’re not careful.

The education Diana gave to her children of life outside the castle walls changed the direction of those boys’ lives. Now we have a black family that is directly tied to the royals, and will always be part of the genealogy of their children and beyond. But I couldn’t help but think of the gay royals, and you know there have been many, who haven’t had the freedom to live their lives out loud. Could you imagine seeing a spectacle like Harry & Meghan’s for a same sex couple? To spend $45 million on a ceremony to honor them, watched by a billion people around the world?

The above text exchange with a friend of mine expressed my insecurity that I won’t see it in my lifetime. As a black woman, she reminded me not to lose hope, since you never know what the world may bring and that the element of surprise is a real and sometimes wonderful part of existence. I know Diana wouldn’t have cared if her sons were gay, and her ability to make everyone feel comfortable and accepted is another gift that seems to have been passed down to her children.

I look forward to seeing the legacy they will leave with that establishment, and hope one of their kids might burst through the barriers of sexuality and usher in a new era of equality within the castle walls.