Members of the Royal Family are the most important figureheads in the U.K. They graciously serve the U.K. at home and abroad, serving to unite not only the U.K., but also the Commonwealth.
It’s been a tradition since as late as 1919 for residents and neighborhood communities to hold street parties. We close our streets, lay out long tables, serve food and drink, put up the bunting (little triangle flags) and don party hats. You can feel the national pride in the air!
I have wonderful memories as a little girl being part of the festivities to celebrate the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana, Harry’s parents—eating in the street with all my friends, with no traffic on the roads. We had radios on and a mobile TV to ensure the grown-ups did not miss a moment of the excitement. It evoked a sense of togetherness; for just one day, strangers sat and ate together and forgot about everything else and just enjoyed the moment.
I have had the privilege to witness many major royal events while living in the U.K. This will be the second major royal event that I will not be in the U.K. for and it makes me very nostalgic. The first major royal event I was not in the U.K. for was the recent birth of Prince Louis of Cambridge. Look how many royal memories I’ve stored up:
1981 – Charles, Prince of Wales married Lady Diana Spencer.
1986 – Prince Andrew married Sarah Ferguson.
1982 – Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge, third in line for the British Throne, was born.
1984 – Prince Harry of Wales (yes, the same Prince Harry who is marrying Meghan this year!), sixth in line for the British Throne, was born
2000 – The Queen Mother 100th year
2002 – The Queens Golden Jubilee (50 years on the British Throne).
2005 – Charles, Prince of Wales married Camilla Parker Bowles (now the Duchess of Cornwall)
2011 – Prince William married Kate Middleton (now Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge)
2012 – Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee (celebrated 60 years on the British Throne)
2013 – Prince George of Cambridge was born
2015 – Princess Charlotte of Cambridge was born
2018 – Prince Louis of Cambridge was born
19th May 2018 – The Wedding of Prince Harry of Wales to Meghan Markle
Harry has always captured the hearts of the public due to his fun-loving approach to life and for his decade-long service in the British military. A little-known fact is that Harry is a fully trained Apache Helicopter pilot and this is what he flew in his deployment in the Helman Province of the Afghan War.
His time in the military had a lasting impact on Harry and drove him to launch the Invictus Games in 2014 for wounded, injured or sick armed service personnel. He remains a patron of its foundations. Another notable charity Harry gives patronage to is Walking with The Wounded. In fact, Harry and the wounded in-service ex-services walked to the South Pole to raise awareness.
His decision not to invite any members of the U.K. Parliament to his wedding also endeared him to the public.
So, what will my husband (also from the U.K.) and myself being doing for the wedding? Most likely remembering how proud of the Royal Family we are, hum the national anthem and, of course, have the traditional cucumber sandwich. We’ll also be smiling, as this wedding will make the special bond the U.S. & the U.K. share even stronger.
By Jayne Howarth, Relocation Services Coordinator