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Today is Meghan Markle’s last day before she becomes royalty.
It was announced this morning that she has asked Prince Charles to walk her down the aisle in tomorrow’s wedding. She has already had her final dress fitting. (It is rumored to cost $135,000 and will be paid for by Prince Harry and his family.)
She booked her manicurist to come to Kensington Palace, ensuring her nails are ready for the moment when she and Harry exchange rings. And she has reportedly been doing regular workouts at home and jogging around the park to relieve stress.
In addition to preparing to marry Prince Harry, she’s also been preparing to join his family.
According to reports, Meghan has been required to master the silver service and learn how to handle seafood, drink soup, and so on. She has been taught to curtsy, something required when she meets Duchess Kate Middleton and every royal who ranks above her.
(The perfect curtsy, in case you were wondering, is “back straight, head up, with a bent front knee and your back leg behind you.”)
As the first American to join the royal family in decades, she has also been taking elocution lessons to soften her accent and learn British terminology. She has deleted all her social media accounts (it’s forbidden for royals to take selfies). Her nail polish must be “natural looking.” Like other royal women, she is never allowed to appear in public without stockings.
And she is permitted to pick up her fork at meals only after the queen begins eating. When the queen is finished, everyone else must stop eating as well.
“A golden age of American Anglophilia”
While most of us find the British royal family and customs confusing, we are also enamored with them.
Television viewership for tomorrow’s wedding is expected to surpass the twenty-three million Americans who tuned in for Prince William’s wedding to Kate Middleton in 2011. Media revenues related to the wedding will likely run as high as $100 million.
Scholars say royal wedding enthusiasts are romantic idealists who are enamored with a “real live fairy-tale wedding.” They “find love stories comforting” and “can’t resist the pomp and circumstance.”
The allure of all things royal won’t end tomorrow.
Shows like Downton Abbey and The Crown have led to an escalation of British programming on online services such as Netflix. As the New York Times notes, “We appear to be living in a golden age of American Anglophilia.”
“You were born to rule”
Our fascination with royalty is spiritually significant as well.
Sociologist Peter Berger believes that “signals of transcendence” exist in the world, glimpses of the Creator in his creation and in our lives. In my view, our interest in the royal family is such a “signal.”
You and I are a “royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9). Jesus told his followers: “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. . . . I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom” (Luke 12:32; 22:29).
As bestselling author John Eldredge states in Fathered by God, “You were born to rule; and you were destined to rule” (his emphasis).
Meghan Markle will join the royal family tomorrow by becoming the bride of a royal groom. In a similar fashion, Christians join God’s royal family when we become the “bride” of the Son of God through faith in him (Revelation 19:7; 21:2).
After the wedding, the royal couple will make their iconic balcony appearance before the crowds and cameras. We will stand with our Groom as well: “When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory” (Colossians 3:4).
There’s something in us that knows we’re children of the King, to be united one day in his mansion with our royal family (Revelation 21:1-5). When we watch the royal wedding tomorrow, we’ll witness a fleeting glimpse of our future.
“Invite to the wedding feast as many as you find”
As previous royal divorces show, marrying Prince Harry does not guarantee that Meghan Markle will remain a member of the royal family for life. By contrast, when you became the child of God, you entered his royal family for eternity (John 10:28; Ephesians 4:30).
Three results follow.
One: This world is no longer your home.
C. S. Lewis: “Prosperity knits a man to the world. He feels that he is finding his place in it, while really it is finding its place in him.” The fact is, you’re living on foreign soil (1 John 5:19). The more you serve your King, the more you should expect persecution from his enemies (2 Timothy 3:12).
Two: Your Groom loves you passionately and unconditionally.
The next time you wonder how Jesus feels about you, read Romans 8:35-39. Nothing you do or experience today will change his love for you.
Three: You’re invited to invite others into the family.
Heaven is like “a king who gave a wedding feast for his son” (Matthew 22:2). Your King wants you to “invite to the wedding feast as many as you find” (v. 9).
Max Lucado: “Those in the circle of Christ had no doubt of his love; those in our circles should have no doubt about ours.”