For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? Esther 4:14
On May 19, 2018, United Kingdom’s Prince Harry, grandson to Queen Elizabeth II and son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Dianna, married Meghan Markle in a dazzling wedding that triple re-wrote history.
On the heel of such a wedding, the Queen bestowed the title of Duke and Duchess of Sussex
Clearly Meghan has come a long way from her previous Hollywood role in Suits. And her other tags: a divorcee, an American and she’s black. Or as the media likes to sugar-coat it, biracial.
But she’s black, coloured, African American, person of colour. All that.
I watched the colourful wedding from my flat screen, accented by news feeds of pictures and videos people were making of this absolutely and totally different wedding involving the grandson of the world’s longest and revered reigning monarch Queen Elizabeth, who on this day wore a green formal suit and hat touched off with purple fluffy stuff.
While the stiff smiles on the royal family strolled into church, it was ear to ear smile time for many of Meghan’s and Harry’s guests – mostly from the Hollywood A-List that included Oprah Winfrey, the Beckams, George Clooney and his Mrs., Elton John.
Yes, the wedding took place in the UK, in a Church of England (St. George’s Chapel), and the archbishop of Canterbury performed the exchange of vows bit, and to add spice tot his wedding of colours, Harry and Meghan invited an African American preacher to spice up the ceremony.
And that he did. The African American preacher, Bishop Michael Curry, by name, made tremendous history, adding to the already historic event: a British royal marrying a person of colour.
The choice of the Bishop Curry came from Harry and Meghan and in itself made the wedding spectacular. But spectacular still was the fiery Bishop’s message which as The Hill reports “went beyond symbolism and empowered Reverend Curry to deliver a sermon that his audience had never experienced.”
Curry opened his message with a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we do that, we will make of this old world a new world, for love is the only way.”
Such talk of social justice traditions of the black church in America, where sermons are about empowerment and justice as much as they are about Christ, are a new flavouring in the British church space.
Prince Harry and Princess Meghan are the second duke and Duchess of Sussex; and in the first duke and duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan inherit a mantle of revolutionary progressive ideas.
History records that the first Duke of Sussex was something of a rebel during his time. Born in 1773, Prince Augustus Frederick was the sixth son of George III and Queen Charlotte (some history books record that Queen Charlotte was the daughter of a former American slave – which would make her granddaughter Queen Victoria, partially of coloured stock)
The Duke of Sussex, Prince Augustus Frederick was invested with the title in 1801 and studied in Gottingen, Germany where he secretly married Lady Augusta Murray, a Catholic, in Rome. Religious intolerance being what it was at that time, the king annulled the marriage because it violated the Royal Marriages Act of 1772.
Prince Augustus supported the abolition of slavery, ending discrimination against Jews and Catholics, and parliamentary reform; such views were very progressive views for the time. . In 1831 he married a second time, , but his wife was given an independent title and did not become duchess of Sussex. so progressive was the duke, they extended into his final wishes of having his remains interred in a public cemetery at Kensal Green, rather than Windsor Castle.
And so now to the next Duke and Duchess of Sussex we write two letters. One is from my friend Lindiwe from Swaziland and the other is from yorus truly Jayzedkay.
from the desk of Lindiwe
Dear Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, Youth Ambassador to the Commonwealth,
As one of your peers, youth of the Commonwealth, I write to you with a common request, Your Royal Highness.
Please make our Wealth Common as the Commonwealth so it can benefit all Youth.
In the words of Bishop Michael Curry, “when there is Love, Poverty will be History.” I speak Life to that Word.
I thank you. Lindiwe.
from the desk of Jayzedkay
Dear Princess Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex,
First of all, Your Royal Highness, I must say, Girl, you’ve done us proud! Good Girl! Go Meghan! Go Meghan! Go Meghan!
Secondly, I want you to know that from this day onward, just as all people of this colour did nine years ago when Barack Obama entered into the White House, we all sort of moved to Pennsylvania Avenue, this year please don’t be surprised when we pack our little overnight bags and things (collard greens, jerk chickens, grits, plantains, pumpkin leaves, chicken peanut soup, pig feet and okra), we’re moving to Kensington Palace.
Thirdly, your royal duchessness, please keep your advocacy light burning in the palace, may it never deem. We, your faithful following, promise to stand by your side and support you and the duke (your knight in shining armor). We ask that the ideals you held dear to your heart, expressed so magnificently at the UN, when you met our former President Dr. Joyce Banda, should not dim because you are in the palace. You have come into the kingdom for such a time as this.
We ask that you remain true to upholding women’s rights as human rights, that empowering girls and helping vulnerable girls and boys be your beckon that you will carry forward as the Duchess of Sussex. And don’t forget the elderly.
This is the year of Wakanda forever! Jayzedkay