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OpinionThe Sussexes

Royal Engagement – Royal Shakeup?

Undoubtedly, the engagement announcement between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle has taken the world and royal watchers by storm. What about the Royal Family?

According to some, the engagement and impending marriage have shaken up the monarchy. Yes, Meghan is of mixed race, is divorced, an actress, and an American. Surely Meghan’s education of British society, customs, social rules and everything about the British aristocracy has already begun. If Kate, who was once a commoner, can adjust, then Meghan can as well.

Meghan won’t be an ordinary “royal” wife. She’s a strong advocate for gender equality; she’s worked with UN Women to help young women reach their potential.

Meghan took particular care before agreeing to work with the UN. She insisted on gaining work experience before taking up the role. She shadowed Elizabeth Nyamayaro, a senior advisor at UN Women.

Elizabeth was impressed by Meghan’s intelligence, commitment and curiosity. Since then, Meghan and Elizabeth have worked on several UN missions. Elizabeth has full faith in her friend and colleague’s potential to thrive in her new role.

“Her ability to listen, her passion for other people, wanting to create social change with that level of platform can only be a positive thing. She’ll be fine; she’ll be great in fact,” Elizabeth said.

No matter how well many believe Meghan will do in her new part, she still must navigate the British aristocracy, which can judge her more harshly than the media and public combined. Julie Montagu, a nutritionist and author originally from Illinois has experienced this personally. Julie, who was featured on the Bravo show Ladies of London, is the future Countess of Sandwich, she married the son of the Earl of Sandwich and is now Viscountess Hinchingbrooke.

She splits her time between London and the family estate, Mapperton, in Dorset.

“Even now I still get things wrong,” says Julie.

“The British upper classes have their own way of doing things. But as an American, I bring my optimism, positivity and work ethic into the mix which I believe is hugely important.”

I believe this is exactly what Meghan will bring to the Royal Family; a freshness that hasn’t been seen in the Royal Family in decades. I don’t think the Royal Family is as shaken up as Meghan’s critics might believe. It’s 2017, not 1936 when Edward VIII gave up the throne for Wallace Simpson. Times have changed, and people’s beliefs and attitudes have as well.

There will always be those who will criticise Meghan and have nothing but unkind words for her no matter what she accomplishes by Harry’s side. Harry and Meghan said it best in their engagement interview. They’re putting their relationship before all else. Because if their bond isn’t solid, their foundation will collapse.