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Regally simple

By Jullie Y. Daza

NO phalanx of a dozen godparents or principal sponsors, not a single one, not even a secondary sponsor for veil, cord, array, whatever. No maid of honor and bridesmaids, just a trio of flower girls and two pageboys. No cleavage or miniskirt in sight, but of course it was a church wedding, even if a royal one. And except for the (borrowed) diamonds that crowned the bride’s head, the solitaire on her finger, the studs on her ears, and the bracelet on her wrist, I have seen more candlepower, or carat power, at many a wedding in Manila!

The fashion press have spoken, marveling at the “sculpted simplicity” of Meghan Markle’s bridal gown, the innocent lightness of her bouquet, the gossamer veil embroidered around its edges (by hands that had to be washed every 30 minutes), the 15 ft train. What it amounted to was a veritable collection of gestures and details chosen for their meanings poetic, romantic, sentimental, geographic (such as the flowers selected for the veil’s embroidery motif to represent the 53 states of the British Commonwealth), or personal (such as Prince Harry’s picking some of the flowers for the bridal bouquet, including his mother’s favorite forget-me-not).

Like every other television viewer on the planet, I followed the live coverage of the wedding of a prince, sixth in line of succession to the British throne, and his beloved, a mixed-race American TV actress, a divorcee whose parents are themselves divorced, and none of whose family members, except her mother, were invited to the nuptials. What a story – which fairy-tale could have begun and led up to an event as royally watchable as this?

Hundreds of thousands lined the streets to cheer the charmed, charming couple emerge from the church, but only a few hundred received the formal wedding invitations. Those invitations, printed in black and gold ink on special paper, were a one-page affair, so unlike the type so popular in Manila that runs to three pages to include a long list of proper names, the lyrics of the pair’s theme song, their prayer for a life of wedded bliss.

If Meghan Markle, formerly of Hollywood and now Duchess of Sussex, has just set a trend for regal simplicity in modern terms for modern times, our bishops should welcome such a development, fashion-wise. Just look at the bride and her gown, a picture of modesty (by St. Paul’s standards), yet so elegant without a fuss.