Welcoming the Duke and Duchess of Sussex

Saturday proved a pleasant surprise.  I had not expect to get particularly excited about “the Wedding”.  Actually I thought it was great.

A former heir to the throne once remarked that being Prince of Wales “wasn’t so much a position as a predicament”.  The same must be even more the case of for the “6th in line”!  However the new Duke of Sussex (great news in itself!)  has served two tours in Afghanistan and has continued to care for his former comrades who have been severely wounded.  The “Invictus Games” for injured veterans have proved a great success in the UK, US, Canada and, next year, Australia. 

Among the guests was Mutsu Potsane, an orphan from Lesotho with whom Harry originally bonded 18 years ago and who he had brought over for the event.  Indeed the only non-British “Royal” to attend was also from Lesotho – he had worked with Harry on the AIDS charity Harry had set up in memory of his Mother. 

Meghan’s dress contained emblems representing every Commonwealth country and the estimated 1.9bn worldwide audience could not provide a better launch for their goal of helping to strengthen Commonwealth bonds.  Anyone who thinks that post Brexit the UK would be welcome to resume imperial pretensions needs to think again very quickly.  But does the Commonwealth have a role linking different peoples with often shared aspirations and often values?  Yes.  And this may best be represented by Harry and his generation, brought up in a hugely connected world in which Empire is clearly a product of history books not personal experience.

The positive feelings from the wedding are incalculable but for those who want statistics the estimated £1bn increased contribution to the UK economy is not a bad investment!

It was great to attend street parties in Horsham.  One of the topics of conversation was the sermon.  A past Royal Wedding sermon caused the biggest ever surge on the National Grid when millions took their cue to “pop out and put the kettle on”.  Whatever your thoughts on what was (in contrast) a lively and engaging address - the fact it is being discussed I am sure the Archbishop will regard as a “win” in itself!

 

Photo caption: In a busy weekend of events it was a pleasure to attend the Alzheimer’s Society Tea Party at Warnham Park - here with the winner of the Cake Baking!