Earlier today, Meghan Markle’s father, Thomas Markle, said that he won’t be attending his daughter’s wedding. The reasons behind it involve staging paparazzi photos of himself and suffering a heart attack a week before. He also said that he doesn’t to “further embarrass” Meghan and the Royal Family.
Now, everyone’s asking, “Who will walk Meghan down the aisle?” After all, this is traditionally the role of the bride’s father.
But here’s an idea: No one has to walk Meghan down the aisle—or in wedding terms, “give her away” to Prince Harry.
The Spruce describes this act as an “antiquated tradition from the days when women were their father’s property until they got married and became their husband’s property.” That said, it is a sexist and retrogressive practice as the bride is independent and she shouldn’t let another person control that—most especially at her own wedding.
Mic noted that the bride can still be accompanied while walking down the aisle by any parental figure. In this case, Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland is already in London, so she can be by her daughter’s side. But the parents or the guardians should let the bride give herself away.
So what’s a good alternative? The Spruce suggested some “giving away” practices, including non-verbal support from families and one with feminist-inspired wording:
* When they reach the end of the aisle, the father or parents of the bride hug her and then hug her intended. No words are said.
* If a couple walks up the aisle unaccompanied, they can walk first to their families, giving them each a flower and embracing, before meeting at the altar.
Officiant: “Who gives this woman to be married to this man?”
Answer: “She gives herself, but with her family’s blessing.”
However, royal weddings in the past have observed the “giving away” tradition with the father accompanying the bride. Meghan expressed before that she wanted her mother to walk her down the aisle, but the royals reportedly suggested that Prince William should do it if her father or brother couldn’t make it.
It’s too early to say if Meghan will forgo tradition and just give herself away during the wedding. But based on their wedding planning so far, they’re no strangers from breaking a few traditions. Which means it’s probably time for the rest of the royal family to get with the times.
Art by Marian Hukom
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