No royal wants to be king or queen, Prince Harry says
Prince Harry isnt the first British royal to wed an American divorcee
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their engagement on Monday morning. Chris Jackson/Getty Images
- Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are officially engaged.
- Since they started dating in July 2019, the couple's relationship has often been the subject of problematic comments in the media and online.
- However, Prince Harry isn't even the first British royal to marry a divorced American woman.
- In 1936, then-King Edward VIII — Harry's great-great uncle — gave up the throne in order to marry twice-divorced American socialite, Wallis Simpson.
- The Church of England finally approved marriages for divorcees in 2002.
- Although the royal family's acceptance of Markle shows how far the monarchy has come since the 1930s, the public's comments about Markle show how far we still have to go.
On Monday morning, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their engagement in a statement on Twitter.
As many may remember, soon after the pair started dating in July 2019, the couple became the subject of salacious, and often problematic, comments in the media and online. In November 2019, just four months into their relationship, Harry released a statement for its racist, sexist, and defamatory coverage of Markle, an American divorcee whose mother is black and father is white and Jewish.
Interestingly enough, despite what you may think, Prince Harry isn't the first member of the royal family to marry a divorced American woman. No, that title belongs to Harry's great-great-uncle, King Edward VIII.
The last time a British royal married an American divorcee, he gave up his throne for love.
In 1931, an American socialite named Wallis Simpson met and began an affair with Edward VIII — then the Prince of Wales — while she was still married to her second husband, Ernest Simpson.
(Unlike Simpson, Markle separated from her ex-husband Trevor Engelson in 2013, long before she met and started dating Prince Harry.)
Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson pictured together in 1936.When King George V died in January 1936, Edward VIII was next in line for the throne. However, at the time, he was forbidden by the Church of England to wed a divorcee whose former spouse was still alive. Faced with a constitutional crisis, then-King Edward VIII chose to give up his throne in order to get married to Simpson — a decision that shocked the nation and entire monarchy.
"You must believe me when I tell you that I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as king as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love," Edward VIII explained in his abdication speech in 1936.
One year later, the couple officially married. The two stayed together, and lived abroad in France, until Edward VIII died in 1972.
The royal family's acceptance of Markle shows how far the monarchy has come since the 1930s.
Since Prince Harry and Markle announced their engagement on the Clarence House Twitter account — Clarence House is the organization that represents Harry's father, Prince Charles — other members of the royal family have expressed their happiness for the couple.
Harry's older brother Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, shared their congratulations on Twitter: "We are very excited for Harry and Meghan.
Video: REVEALED!! Serious Feud Prince Harry And Prince William Are Having Over Meghan Markle!
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