“... there is, in fact, another royal wedding—and she has been invited.”
A video clip has been passed around of a little girl upset when she comes to realize she will not be attending the royal wedding. She is British, about four years old, and confused that she has not received her invitation. You may have seen the video posted by the Daily Mail on Facebook or whatever your portal happens to be for social media. In my viewing, the mother and daughter conversation had more than ten million views.
The child begins in earnest and with tears, “Why am I not going to London?”
The mother replies in a kindhearted voice, “You’ve got be invited to the royal wedding. You just can’t go because you want to.”
“We’ll see if I get an invitation…And you said I’m not going.”
“But you didn’t get an invitation, love. The royal wedding is only for royalty.”
The mother’s message is reinforced by the setting; the child leans against the kitchen cabinets while her mother, not seen on camera, is cooking at the stovetop. It sounds as though something is boiling. My mind went to potatoes. Why potatoes, I don’t know. I suppose I’m under the impression it’s a staple for a middle-class British family. Whatever’s in the pot, the message is clear: If your mother were royalty someone else would be cooking dinner.
The conversation continues with the child sobbing and trying to catch her breath. Her mother tries to bring understanding to the situation. “Love,” she says, “you have to be a prince or princess to attend the wedding.” A look of sudden awareness comes to the child. Her eyes open wide. “I’m not a real princess?” There is a slight pause as the mother takes hold of her child’s thought, “Well,” she says, “You are Mommy and Daddy’s princess.”
I was one of the many millions who watched the wedding on Saturday morning, on replay at 10:00. For those who pulled themselves out of bed at 4:30 AM, I am sure you found your efforts worthwhile. It was not only the best wedding I’ve ever seen on TV, it was the best of anything having to do with church I’ve ever seen on TV. Harry and Meghan were the Prince and Princess of a fairy tale, and Bishop McCurry’s preaching on love will be written into the pages of royal family history. His presentation was that good.
Even so, the mother’s lesson for her little girl was correct; the wedding was for royalty and not for us. The pews were reserved for the fabulously rich and famous, and that was in part why we watched. The cameras focused on David Beckman, James Corden, Oprah, and Sir Elton John, who was wearing his signature large, round, rose-colored glasses. And just how many times did we need to see Mr. and Mrs. Clooney?
The mother of the bride was our only representative of the life most of us live—a social worker who will get up for work the following week and earn a paycheck to pay her rent. She sat by herself, the crowd in attendance not being her set.The nearest any us came were the streets leading to Windsor Castle, where you could catch a fleeting glimpse of the bridal carriage if you stood on tiptoe. The rest of us watched on TV, sitting on our couches drinking our morning coffee or tea.
It was a happy event that took our minds off the news, that of late can make many of us feel stressed. But, once again, the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan was not our celebration. And, I dare say, this little girl was not the only one with a false impression. Our participation was miles and miles away, blocked by a barricade of security, and distant at best.
In my thoughts, when this mother had finished her cooking and the smartphone camera had been turned off, she told her little girl that there is, in fact, another royal wedding—and she has been invited. Unlike the one in St. George’s Chapel, this one is for the poor, the lame, and the brokenhearted just like her. Over time she comes to understand that fancy clothes are not necessary, and there are no men packing heat under their suit coats barring her entrance. She needs only an open heart to attend.
There are millions at this wedding banquet, gathered across the face of the earth feasting, dancing, and singing praise to the One who would not forsake us. The groom has born the pains of the bride, and because of this she is happy—happy as she has ever been. The bride, which is the church, is dressed in redemption and her home is a new heaven and earth.
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” (Revelation 21:1-2)