Even Harry & Meghan can’t turn roy­als hip

En­joy the royal wed­ding. I have other things to do.

USA TODAY US Edition - - NEWS - Delia Lloyd Delia Lloyd is an Amer­i­can writer based in Lon­don. She blogs about the jour­ney of adult­hood at RealDelia.com.

LON­DON — I re­al­ize that I’m an out­lier on all things royal wed­ding. Just the other day, a close friend in Amer­ica texted to ask me what I was do­ing Satur­day af­ter­noon.

“Umm, tak­ing an im­prov act­ing class,” I an­swered. “Like I do ev­ery Satur­day. Why?”

“Why?” she re­peated, three eye-rolling emo­jis ma­te­ri­al­iz­ing on my screen. “It’s the Royal Wed­ding!” Like count­less oth­ers, she plans to wake at 4 a.m. Satur­day ET to see the en­tire rig­ma­role.

When it comes to Prince Harry’s mar­riage to Meghan Markle, there are those like Sarah Jes­sica Parker and the British press corps, who are over the moon. And then there are the few, the proud, the ones like me who re­ally wish the whole thing would just go away. Don’t get me wrong. I loved the film

The Queen. The Crown is a ter­rific tele­vi­sion show. And I de­voured Hi­lary Man­tel’s bril­liant novel Wolf Hall about King Henry VIII. So it’s not that I’ve got some­thing against the roy­alty per se, at least as rep­re­sented in pop­u­lar cul­ture. It’s the real thing that gets to me.

Part of it is the me­dia frenzy that sur­rounds such oc­ca­sions. The Daily

Tele­graph, one of Bri­tain’s largest news­pa­pers, has a count­down to the wed­ding (to the very last sec­ond) on its web­site. A British ex­pert on body lan­guage has pro­duced a video dis­sect­ing the body lan­guage be­tween the happy cou­ple. Among other pen­e­trat­ing in­sights, he notes how Meghan’s wave has nicely evolved from “red car­pet” to “royal” as she “grows into her new role.”

Jezebel’s Kelly Fair­cloth cap­tures this ma­nia beau­ti­fully: “For re­porters cov­er­ing the roy­als, the last of Diana’s chil­dren get­ting mar­ried is like a to­tal so­lar eclipse, or some un­fath­omably rare plant that blooms once a cen­tury.”

And of course, the frenzy isn’t just con­fined to the United King­dom. As

Guardian colum­nist Jonathan Freed­land ob­served at the last royal wed­ding in 2011, to the U.S., “Bri­tain re­mains more pe­riod drama than real coun­try, a Ru­ri­ta­nian theme park that is for­ever charm­ing and quaint.”

In April, Van­ity Fair ran a royal wed­ding “flash­back” se­ries, re­count­ing tales such as Charles and Diana’s ill­fated ro­mance. Life­time has re­leased a fic­tional film en­ti­tled Harry & Meghan:

A Royal Ro­mance. Af­ter all the me­dia hype de­voted to this cou­ple, do we re­ally need a fake ver­sion of their lives, too?

Then there’s the price tag. Harry’s wed­ding may be less elab­o­rate than the one for his brother and fu­ture king, Prince Wil­liam — but the to­tal cost is es­ti­mated at up­wards of £32 mil­lion (roughly $43 mil­lion). This fig­ure in­cludes things like £90,000 for 20 sil­ver­plated trum­pets to an­nounce the event and £50,000 for the lemon el­der­flower wed­ding cake. It also in­cludes po­lice and se­cu­rity costs of about £30 mil­lion, all of which will be cov­ered by the tax­payer — i.e., me. (I hold British as well as U.S. cit­i­zen­ship.)

Not to go all sanc­ti­mo­nious on you, folks, but ... srsly? As my late Ir­ish grand­mother might say: “There are peo­ple starv­ing in In­dia!”

Which brings us to that del­i­cate, ohso-English ques­tion of class. Kate Mid­dle­ton (now the duchess of Cam­bridge) al­ready blew the whole class thing wide open seven years ago by be­ing the daugh­ter of — gasp! — a flight dis­patcher and a flight at­ten­dant. It was the first time in over 350 years that a com­moner mar­ried a prince so close to the throne.

Meghan, of course, does Kate one bet­ter by be­ing: a) Amer­i­can; b) di­vorced and c) bira­cial. Her di­verse back­ground is a won­der­ful thing. And she and Prince Harry seem like a per­fectly nice young cou­ple in love. But their union al­lows Brits to cul­ti­vate a nar­ra­tive that in open­ing up the roy­alty to an out­sider, they are trans­form­ing this no­to­ri­ously aris­to­cratic in­sti­tu­tion into some­thing un-elit­ist.

Re­ally? I beg to dif­fer. I take my cues here from Hamil­ton (The Mu­si­cal).

King Ge­orge III is ren­dered as snob­bish, fop­pish and woe­fully out of touch with the day-to-day re­al­i­ties back in the colonies. Just be­cause there is now a princess of color, we should not as­sume that the roy­als are any less ob­so­lete.

I will con­cede that I am gen­uinely ex­cited about one thing this week: the swag. Last time around, I fell in love with the Kate and Wil­liam knit-yourown royal wed­ding kit. This time, I’m par­tial to the Harry and Meghan’s Wed­ding Rings ce­real. (The “rings” in ques­tion be­ing multi­grain hoops.)

Who knows? Maybe I’ll buy some to snack on in act­ing class Satur­day.

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