British Royals Rebrand With Royal Wedding, but Critics Say White, Neoliberal Monarchy Needs to Go

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were married Saturday at Windsor Castle in a ceremony that many heralded for celebrating black culture and history. Markle is biracial, divorced and a self-proclaimed feminist. The wedding featured a sermon about slavery, poverty and the enduring power of love by Bishop Michael Curry, the first African American to preside over the Episcopal Church. The British royal family is a “celebration of wealth, of elitism, of privilege in the hands of the few, of all the resources concentrated in the hands of a very small percentage of the country. In that sense it very much represents the current economic order in which we all live,” says Priya Gopal, a university lecturer in the faculty of English at the University of Cambridge.

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AMY GOODMAN: That’s “Ave Maria,” performed by 19-year-old cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason at Saturday’s royal wedding. He was the first black British musician to win the BBC’s Young Musician of the Year award in its almost 40-year history. This is Democracy Now!. I’m Amy Goodman with Juan González.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We now turn to Britain, where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were married Saturday at Windsor Castle in a ceremony that many heralded for celebrating black culture and history.

KINGDOM CHOIR: [singing] 
The night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we see
No I won’t be afraid 
No I won’t be afraid
Just as long as you stand 
Stand by me

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: That’s the Kingdom Choir, a British Christian gospel group, singing civil rights anthem “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King. The rousing sound was one of a series of performances by Black artists at the wedding, which welcomed Meghan Markle to the royal family. Markle is biracial, divorced and a self-proclaimed feminist. She walked herself down the aisle on Saturday during the tradition-busting ceremony that led many to claim the wedding ushered in a new era for the royal family.

AMY GOODMAN: Bishop Michael Curry, the first African…

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