Thor­oughly mod­ern pair truly in love

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - OPINION -

THERE is an oft-re­peated no­tion that divorce is terrible for the emo­tional devel­op­ment of children, and that com­ing from a “bro­ken home” makes them, as adults, less likely to find sta­bil­ity in their own re­la­tion­ships.

Harry Wales and Meghan Markle — now Duke and Duchess of Sus­sex, among their other ti­tles — prove there is more to the story of the post-divorce gen­er­a­tion.

The ex­cru­ci­at­ingly pub­lic dys­func­tion of both Harry and Meghan’s families does not ap­pear to have made them dam­aged or un­feel­ing adults.

In­stead, this new hus­band and wife ap­pear grounded, com­mit­ted, se­ri­ous peo­ple em­bark­ing upon a life they hope can be ded­i­cated to the causes they care most about, in­clud­ing men­tal health, veterans and women’s rights. They started as they mean to go on, by ask­ing the 600 guests at their wed­ding to do­nate to char­ity in­stead of giv­ing gifts.

And, most im­por­tantly of all, they seem gen­uinely and deeply in love.

The ro­mance of Meghan and Harry tells us some­thing more com­plex than the cliche about divorce be­ing a uni­ver­sally terrible thing. Maybe both their lives were im­proved by not hav­ing to live un­der one roof with par­ents whose love had fiz­zled out.

In Meghan’s case, her mother, as a sin­gle wo­man found a new pur­pose be­com­ing a social worker, yoga teacher and ac­tivist.

Harry’s fam­ily break­down was over­shad­owed by the shock­ing death of his mother when he was just 12 years old — but he seems to have built a warm and lov­ing re­la­tion­ship with both his fa­ther and the Wind­sor fam­ily as well as his mother’s Spencer clan: her sis­ters Sarah and Jane, and her brother Charles, Earl Spencer. In­deed, Harry and Meghan chose Prince Charles to give away the bride, and aunt Lady Jane Fel­lowes to give the read­ing.

Meghan’s mother Do­ria Ragland ac­com­pa­nied her to the chapel, and her fa­ther was to be in­cluded un­til some un­for­tu­nate and com­pli­cated self-in­flicted em­bar­rass­ments saw him de­cline to at­tend. (In case you haven’t been fol­low­ing, pa­parazzi pho­tog­ra­phers and open-heart surgery were fea­tures.)

Both Meghan and Harry have taken a long road to love. She was mar­ried once be­fore; he has had two long-term re­la­tion­ships as well as a dozen lesser en­tan­gle­ments.

She is 36. He is 33. Un­like their par­ents, they are com­ing into this mar­riage as adults, both es­tab­lished in their lives and ex­pe­ri­enced in the com­plex­i­ties of life and love. In other words, they’re typ­i­cal of a gen­er­a­tion that marries later and has children later.

For so long, Western so­ci­eties such as Bri­tain and Aus­tralia put enor­mous pres­sure on cou­ples to marry young and stay to­gether, happy or not.

Now, cou­ples like Meghan and Harry can get to­gether in their own time and stay to­gether be­cause they want to.

Un­like his brother, fa­ther and grand­fa­ther, Harry is choos­ing to wear a wed­ding ring. He’s a mod­ern man, en­ter­ing a mod­ern mar­riage.

We wish Harry and Meghan, most heartily, a long and happy life.

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