Britain’s Prince Harry married American actress Meghan Markle at the iconic St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle on Saturday. Although the bride and the groom have no connection with India, some Indians showed a great interest in the Royal Wedding. Some people were overwhelmed in India, as the prince exchanged rings with Meghan 4,171.2 miles away.
Indians have always enjoyed tales of princes and princesses. As far as Saturday’s wedding was concerned, the groom belongs to Britain, with which India maintains cordial ties even seven decades after the end of the British colonial rule in South Asia. It is said that many Indians feel spiritually connected with Britain and some of them consider the European country as their ‘home’. So, it’s natural for them to celebrate the British prince’s wedding.
Harry with Meghan
The people across India had shown similar enthusiasm way back in 1992, when Prince Charles and Princess Diana visited the country. The Royal couple had broken all the protocols during the historic trip to win the heart of the common Indians. In 1992, the late princess posed for one of her most iconic photos in front of the Taj Mahal. However, Lady Diana’s solo figure painted a picture of loneliness and set the tone for what was to come. Months after the photo was clicked, Lady Diana and Prince Charles announced their separation. Princess Diana also met Mother Theresa in India, as they shared views on different issues.
Princess Diana in India
Since then (especially after the death of Princess Diana), the British Royal family has softened its strict rules and regulations. However, the relation between the Indian people and the British Monarchs seemingly remains the same. Princess Diana’s untimely death, the wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles, and Prince William and Kate Middleton’s visit to India in 2016 made the Indians emotional.
Prince William with Kate Middleton in India
The emotional bondage comes from the loyalty to the Monarchy. India has no monarch, as the Constitution – adopted on January 26, 1950 – established a parliamentary model with a figurehead president. However, monarchy still exists in Britain that had ruled India for nearly two centuries. Although the Britons left India in 1947, the ‘colonial mentality’ is yet to leave the country. As a result, a section of Indians has been able to ‘forget’ the colonial pain and to consider the British Monarchs as their ‘own’.
Prince Edward and Wallis in 1934
Of course, there is no harm in strengthening ties with a foreign country. However, attraction of the people of a ‘democratic’ country towards Monarchy is unfortunate (and dangerous as well). Does Monarchy have its place in ‘true’ democracy? And, does the world, especially the Anglophiles, remember the not-so-lucky Prince Edward, the Duke of Windsor, and Ms Wallis Simpson?
Can it be conjectured that people – through this – seemingly have respite from the current situation of widespread terrorism, pitched battles, famine, resulting in gruesome killings, hunger and mass displacement in different parts of the world?
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