After watching the royal wedding on yesterday between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, I reflect on the significance of what Ms. Markle’s (now Duchess of Sussex) ascension to the palace should inspire in young girls and other women. The wedding was nothing short of spectacular and the bride was beautiful. I beamed with pride watching her walk down the long corridor to meet her waiting Prince.
I reflect on, how is it possible for a bi-racial, divorced, feminist, dysfunctional family, American woman to become royalty and a global icon in two years? I’d never heard of Meghan Markle before she began dating Prince Harry (my favorite royal, by the way).
I believe the Duchess’ new station in life is the fulfillment of a destiny that was masterfully orchestrated to fruition. I also understand that destiny without active participation is only wishful thinking. The Duchess did not know she would one day become a member of the Royal family, but her actions set the stage for her current station.
As you and I reflect upon the possibilities in our lives, whether professional, relational, financial or spiritual, here are ten takeaways we can glean from Meghan’s story. So as not to make this post too lengthy, I decided to share this content in two posts; with part 2 to follow next week. Numbers 1 through 5 are as follows:
1. Anything is Possible In 2014, two years before meeting Prince Harry, Meghan wrote in her now-defunct lifestyle blog, “Little girls dream of being princesses. I, for one, was all about She-Ra, Princess of Power. Grown women seem to retain this childhood fantasy. Just look at the pomp and circumstance surrounding the royal wedding and endless conversation about Princess Kate.”
Meghan believed that she could become a princess from an early age. Not necessarily a British royal, but a princess no less. Does your dream for the future seem ridiculous? No matter how far fetched your dream may appear to be, let Meghan’s story be a reminder that anything is possible.
2. It’s Not too Late Meghan’s first marriage ended in divorce after only two years. Five years later she marries her Prince at the age of 36; not yet middle age but not a young adult either. After a failed first marriage, you might think that her prospects of marrying a prince had probably been dashed. Yet, she emerged as an empowered and independent woman determined to move on with her life. Strengths and traits that she can pass on to other women and affect positive change within the monarch.
You may have hit a detour along the way and feel that it’s too late to get back on course or that you must settle from less than the best. Not true. Regardless of what may have happened in your past, grow from it and keep moving forward. 3. Everyone won’t embrace you When Meghan and Harry’s relationship became public knowledge, the news was not welcomed by all. In fact, it exposed an undercurrent of racism that had to be addressed directly from the monarch. This would not have been a shock to Meghan for she had witnessed first-hand her mother being called the ‘N’ word and how people had mistakenly assumed her mother to be her nanny during her childhood. Meghan also explained how being bi-racial had hindered her from certain acting roles.
As you ascend on your journey, like Meghan, don’t be surprised if you are misunderstood by some and outright hated by others. Just don’t allow it to cause you to retreat but let it motivate you to effect change.
4. Distance yourself from unproductive relationships By the time Meghan met Prince Harry, she had severed ties with some of her family members. After witnessing the tumultuous discourse from her half-siblings during their courtship and engagement, one can understand why this move would have been in Meghan’s best interest.
Everyone can’t go with you as you ascend to new levels. Look at your life and identify the people you must leave at the foot of the mountain. It might be a difficult decision to make but one that is necessary for a season in your life or permanently.
5. Adjust to your new normal As a single, American woman Meghan was independent and free to express herself on her own terms. Marrying into the British monarchy would require her to adjust to royal protocol. There was an established hierarchy, dress code and befitting behavior. We saw some of these adjustments by Meghan during her engagement to the Prince. Gone was the cleavage and above-the-knee attire, no autographs, no social media, no voting, no more acting, no more bare legs in public, no traveling alone. Meghan had to be trained on do’s and don’ts of British royalty. Meghan doesn’t see these changes as being restrictions but embraces all of it as a new chapter in her life.
You must be willing to shed some old mindsets and rituals while embracing new ideas and standards along the way. Don’t become so rigid in your traditions that they cause you to fail at the next level. Like Meghan, embrace it all as a fresh new normal.
… to be continued next week.