Just when it seemed the world can’t get any bleaker, when all normality and decency has ceased to exist, when I find myself in the existential conundrum of simultaneously cheering as my five-month old rolls over from front to back at the same time and nodding along with that New Yorker piece about how maybe the kindest thing is to never have been born at all a small ray of light has entered the universe, utterly and refreshingly benign in its pleasantness: Prince Harry, long the handsomest and most socially conscious member of Britain’s royal family, has become engaged to his girlfriend, Meghan Markle.
Why should we care? First of all, why shouldn’t we? Read anything else even remotely cheerful or accompanied by pictures of smiling attractive people lately? (Melania Trump couldn’t even muster a smile for her own damn holiday–excuse me, Christmas–decorations this year.) Second, Meghan Markle, as you may have heard, is not your average royal bride. First of all, she’s an actress, best known as Rachel Zane on the USA Network drama Suits. (She has announced she’ll be giving up acting to focus on her new role as princess-philanthropist, which frankly, might be a relief, if no less stringent regarding diet and skin care regimes.) She is also American, 36 years old (three years older than her fiancé, continuing the admirable tradition of the Wales boys preference for age appropriate spouses; the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, is six months older than Prince Williams), and divorced, with a living spouse, which, as you might remember if you are very very old or don’t have a lot else to think about, is what previously disqualified the American Wallis Simpson from full membership in “the Firm,” as the Windsors call the family business of opening kindergartens and being the only women in the world to still wear nude pantyhose.
Emphatically unlike the famously—how, how to say this tactfully—Nazi-sympathizing Simpson and every other British princess to date, Meghan Markle is also of African-American descent, the daughter of white American father and a black American mother. She is not, however, Jewish. I’m so sorry about this. I led you astray. I was going on what I thought to be reputable sources—USA Today, a reputed palace spokesperson who assured us that Miss Markle’s Jewish heritage would not preclude her from being married in Westminster Abbey, thank G-d—but these seem to have turned out to be #FakeNews. The world’s first real Jewish American Princess is still out there somewhere, perhaps waiting to be born, perhaps biding her time in some JCC preschool somewhere waiting for Prince George.
Does it matter? In this increasingly and terrifying tribal world, which seems to be regressing into what The New York Times seems to prefer to call the “Traditionalist Workers Party” isn’t it enough that Prince Harry, an honest to God prince, is marrying a biracial American girl who used to be married to someone else (producer Trevor Engelson, who is Jewish, which may have been how some of the confusion came about)? Isn’t that inclusive and forward-thinking enough? I say yes, and I also say that if Meghan Markel announced she was also running for President tomorrow, and Harry would be tutored in First Spouse duties by his BFF, Michelle Obama, I would welcome that news with the kind of joy I usually reserve for coming unexpectedly across a doggie day care with an observation window facing the street.
Speaking of which, she also gets along with the corgis and the Queen loves her. How much more can we ask for?