A royal spring wedding is coming. The frenzy has just started and articles about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have inundated the internet even before their engagement was officially announced. I am one among millions of fans who eagerly read articles that came my way. Whilst many anticipate the wedding day with much gusto, excited to have a glimpse of the bridal gown and all, I am more excited about what Meghan –an advocate of many good things—can do as a princess.
I am a recent Suits fan. I’ve only watched the series few months ago. I’ve read articles about Prince Harry dating a Meghan Markle but didn’t care one bit until I realised the lady he was dating was Rachel Zane of Suits! I was all eyes since then. Being a law student, Rachel Zane inspired me in several ways which made the person behind the character interesting for me too so I started reading about Meghan and found that she is more amazing than Rachel Zane. My politics is aligned with hers – at least from what I’ve read thus far.
She is a feminist, humanitarian advocate and actively voices out issues facing the marginalized communities. Her experiences growing up as a mixed-race woman, having a black mother, and living in a white supremacist society obviously helped shape her consciousness as an advocate but it was her choice to use her standing in society to raise awareness and take action against social issues that made me admire her. I’d like to believe that her advocacy will not change once she becomes a princess but rather, the new role will provide her with better opportunities to continue her advocacy.
On a side note, the upcoming royal wedding undeniably made me nostalgic of the time I spent in London. I was volunteering with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) for three months in Newham, London in 2008. The experience though short opened my eyes to a different reality. I grew up thinking that rich countries like the UK don’t have to face problems experienced by third-world countries like the Philippines. This notion changed when I saw a beggar sleeping on the street in winter. And I’ve seen the same in Sweden too.
We were also told to not stay at the park late because some African volunteers in another community were assaulted by a ‘white gang’ of young people. I’ve met a refugee from Afghanistan who barely spoke English and was all by himself in London. We may have struggled with language but I did understand that he was missing his family so much.
We had one activity where we were to identify social problems in the UK and our British counterparts shared that neighbours barely talk or know each other; a stark contrast in the Philippines where everybody knows everybody even those from different towns. There was a need to get people to talk and inculcate that sense of community – at least in London. There were various youth centres available in Newham alone that catered to the needs of young people but not many youth came. Instead, you’d read articles about them getting into a fight or involved with drugs.
Every nation face problems unique to its society and culture but in the grand scheme of things, nations have more similarities than differences. Globalization and the increasing technological advances rapidly blur borders. Problems faced by one country likewise pose a set of complex problems to its neighbours and even those at a distance geographically. Now more than ever, there is a need to catalyse global citizenship and encourage cooperation among advocates. And this is the reason I am thrilled that Meghan Markle is going to enter the royal institution –the British monarchy at that. I hope she will become a unifying figure in our continuous battle for a better world. Her love life may be one we can call a fairy-tale come true –a modern Cinderella—but I hope that her story won’t end at the wedding like most fairy tales do but rather open a new chapter of a princess working hard to save lives and the Mother Earth.