Over the past few days we have all witnessed some history in the making with the infamous Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. So beautiful! While the romance and glamour of it all was, indeed, very enticing, there were also many areas which the press did not cover in any great depth, and they are pretty important areas.
Since we’ve mostly read or heard about Meghan’s dress and Harry’s loving gaze toward her, we, the general public, have forgotten to talk about other, even more beautiful, aspects of the Royal Wedding and the big day that occurred on May 19th. Meghan’s dress, makeup and veil were all very lovely, but the real value and significance of this modern wedding is much less rooted in her stellar fashion choices, and more so rooted in who she actually is without Harry.
When the press and general public label Meghan Markle as every woman or girl’s dream at the moment, given her current situation, we often assume it is due to the fairytale turn her life has taken and the societal barriers her relationship has broken. After all, who wouldn’t want to meet and marry a Prince and live happily ever after? We’ve all read the stories and seen the films, it’s lovely. However, the most inspiring and enviable aspect of Meghan Markle is not her fashion or her marriage (which are both very exciting), but rather it is her drive, intelligence and independence. There are so very many reasons why all women should look up to and admire Meghan Markle, and Prince Harry is tied to absolutely none of them.
By now we must all understand, surely, that love is not something one can plan for or control. The right partner for everybody is somewhere in this world, and meeting them for your happily ever after is a matter of timing and maturity. Without getting too into the romance topic which is neither here or there, let’s just agree that absolutely nobody, including Meghan Markle, could’ve known who she’d meet, and marry on May 19th, just a few years ago.
The one aspect of her life Meghan did know and plan for, however, was her passion projects and career goals. Her drive led her to pursue a career in acting and also focus on her passion for philanthropy. She was a woman who would knock on doors and email whoever she could and (eloquently and professionally) demand what she knew she deserved. In many cases, she demanded for her voice to be heard in discussions on women’s rights. Other times she demanded to work alongside other influential individuals in inspiring change or getting things done. Whatever it is that she was doing, she was ambitious in her own right and had the determination to not give up on her goals. This is a reminder to all of us, that even though we sometimes feel less than our best, we must never lose sight of our value because that controls how far we reach and what we reach for. If we don’t feel we are good enough, we will always pursue and accept mediocre things, and you absolutely deserve so much more than that. Yes, someone out there in the world is going to be smarter, better looking, better with a particular skill set and so forth…but none of these individuals are comprised of the exact same material you are, and that is your value.
Each of us, like the strangely complicated IKEA furniture, has a set of separate parts which fit distinctly together to form one whole. And unlike IKEA furniture, there is only one in the entire world. So no matter how we may feel in a moment, we must take stock of our valuable assets and skills and use it as currency in attaining our goals and pursuing our passions.
One specific thing we can all probably agree that Meghan Markle is absolutely lovely to look at. A beautiful and elegant woman. However, if you see any interview with her or are privileged to have ever conversed with her, you will see how captivating she is in her mannerisms and the way she speaks. She is polite and assertive. She has an expansive vocabulary as a result of both education and personal reading in her spare time. She speaks with her hands and has terrific posture. All of these specific qualities in Meghan make her an incredibly persuasive and impactful individual. When she speaks, people listen because she speaks in a way that informs everyone that she has something of value to say.
The great part about all the wonderful qualities of hers, is that ALL of us can and should be like Meghan. No, I don’t mean we should marry a Prince, because, frankly, there’s pretty much no single ones left, unless you want to move to Dubai and never be photographed again. What I mean is that we all have voices and mannerisms we can use to our advantage. If you walk into a room like you belong there, people will begin to feel that you do. If you speak in a way which tells everyone that what you are saying is valuable and significant, you will quickly see the attitude around you shift. These are all valuable tips that can make us more successful, and nobody employs them better than Meghan Markle herself. She is not exceptionally more talented or educated than the greater population, she simply uses her own skill set in the most impactful way, and THAT is power. We all can also hold this power, and we don’t even need to become royalty to do so.
Perhaps the greatest lesson women around the world can take from Meghan Markle is one quite the opposite of a wedding, such as the one we just saw. The new Royal Highness is a perfect example of why we as women should not be waiting in the wings for a Prince to come and take us under his wing and take care of us, but rather we need to build our own lives and make them as rich as possible without the presence of any man. Whether you are married or single, there is great power and strength in building a life that is one’s own and one which nobody can take away, and it also makes you a better partner for somebody else in the long run. Regardless of what happens between her and Harry, Meghan Markle has cultivated a great circle of close friends of her own, she has hobbies and passions which fill her time (travel, cooking, working out), and she had been building a career of her own for many years prior to meeting Harry. She is not at home waiting on Harry as her sole means of entertainment and living, but rather they both add to each other’s lives, and if not together, their individual lives still carry on as successfully and blissfully as before.
As a result of Meghan being an independent and wonderful woman in her own right, the press narrative around her has been very unique given the societal treatment of women thus far. We are seeing less of “she’s so lucky” narratives and more narratives discussing what she’s giving up for Harry. The world, in general, respects her, and none of it has anything to do with her being Harry’s choice, but rather the way she’s conducted herself thus far in her life. Having one’s own life is essential to your long term happiness and success, because without we’d likely be very dull and unremarkable individuals. No great person in history who has done anything of significance has ever been both great and unremarkable simultaneously have they? (Spoiler: Not possible).
Living in the age of the famous #MeToo movement, we are seeing woman take ownership of their lives and their bodies in a way we haven’t seen before, and that is only the beginning of what’s to come. We are seeing the power independence and drive can have in a woman’s life, despite living in what is still very much a society plagued by inequality. We are also seeing barriers of race and socioeconomic status being broken with modern romance fairy-tales such as Meghan and Harry.
There are more than enough signs suggesting that being a woman of great value lies within oneself and not with the person we choose to spend our lives with. So while we celebrate the beautiful Royal Wedding, let’s also try to spend less time feeling sad that we haven’t married a real life Prince in a fairy-tale wedding (cute and dreamy, yes), and rather be inspired to create our own fairy-tale lives by becoming incredible women who do things and make an impact in the world and lives of those around us. You really don’t have to actually be Meghan Markle, to be remarkable. Yes, you heard it.