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It's a marriage not just a carnival

By Mal Fletcher - posted Monday, 21 May 2018

"There's a higher form of happiness in commitment; I'm counting on it." So said British actress Claire Forlani.

I'm not sure, but perhaps she was thinking of marriage at the time. Regardless, the statement is a great reflection of what a wedding is about.

Preparations for the wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, were followed closely around much of the globe. Its every detail was scruitinised and interpreted.


Estimates regarding the TV coverage of the wedding itself have varied. If Prince William's wedding is any guide, as many as two billion people may have tuned in to watch his brother tie the knot.

Here in Britain, royal weddings have long represented an opportunity for a collective coming together around shared values. In uncertain times, they provide important reminders of a long and proud history of hope and solidarity.

In its last year before Brexit, Britain faces real uncertainty - though arguably not with the sense of public horror or panic that some politicians, past and present, would have us believe.

Any uplifting public ceremony is welcome at a time like this. But a royal wedding offers a unique opportunity to celebrate the bonds that tie a society together and particularly the deepest of these, the family.

For all its glitter, however, sometimes perhaps a little too much is made of the wedding spectacle itself.

As someone who has served as celebrant at a number of weddings, I feel sure that the celebrant in this one will have been mindful of this.


I recently had the privilege of meeting the Archbishop of Canterbury. By all reports, he approached his role in this wedding with due humility and solemnity, yet with his typical lightness of touch, which probably best reflects the personality of Prince Harry and his bride.

I'm sure that his pre-wedding counsel to the couple will have helped them prepare them for the wedding, but more importantly it will do the same for their marriage.

In recent weeks, British newspapers featured page after page - in some cases, pull-out after pull-out - of "news" regarding wedding preparations.

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This article was first published on 2020Plus.

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About the Author

Mal Fletcher is a media social futurist and commentator, keynote speaker, author, business leadership consultant and broadcaster currently based in London. He holds joint Australian and British citizenship.

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