Royal Flush

21 May 2018 | Lloyd Hughes

I blogged last week, how the run up to the Royal Wedding was a PR shambles, with the event itself overshadowed by the constant flow of negative stories emerging around Meghan Markle’s dysfunctional family.

Although much of it was the usual media hyperbole, it seemed the portents for the day going smoothly weren’t looking great.

I should’ve known better.

With it being seven years since William and Kate tied the knot I’d forgotten just how much I bloody love a Royal Wedding.

It was similar last time. I recall being pretty nonchalant about it, not expecting to get too engrossed and then – having flicked the broadcast on – BOOM. I was hooked.

I watched Saturday’s wedding on a 2-hour delay thanks to my wife, who'd worked in the morning, wanting to watch it once she got home.

Again though, I wasn’t initially fussed, but eventually couldn’t help getting absorbed by the spectacle.

I absolutely love the pageantry. The pomp and ceremony of a Royal affair simply can’t be beaten.

Although it didn’t quite match the heights of Will and Kate’s big day in my eyes (not quite the King to be, after all), Harry and Meghan’s union was still an excellent occasion and one that shone an admirable spotlight on the UK.

There are so many naysayers vociferous on social media that you’d be forgiven for thinking that nobody in the UK was interested in the wedding and that republicanism was the next logical step given the lack of regard for the Royal Family – however the weekend put paid to that.

The mix of British tradition and royal heritage alongside black culture, reflecting Meghan's roots, that was celebrated in the event, offered a refreshing take on proceedings and highlighted that the monarchy is evolving along with the country itself.

Windsor looked splendid in the sunlight, and with an estimated television audience of 1.9billion around the world, it was an opportune moment to show that it doesn’t always rain in Britain, and that there’s more to be seen than London.

The turnout of well-wishers in Windsor was also huge, with commentary saying that far more than the predicted 120,000 onlookers turned up.

Weddings and births are the best PR for the Royals, and what seemed to have been unravelling and falling out of Palace control ahead of it, all came together in the end.

There are those who complain about ‘paying for the Royal Family’, ignoring the huge return the UK gets from them. A Royal Wedding is a timely reminder of the interest with which they’re held around the world and the subsequent tourism boost that follows. I’m certain Americans will be flocking to Windsor in their droves over the next couple of years, although, sadly, they might be disappointed that it isn't, in fact, sunny all the time.

Here’s to the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex!