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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 1 April, 2020

Why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's marriage gives me the 'Back to School' feeling

‘That same sinking sensation.’

ON THE DAY Kate Middleton walked up the aisle back in 2011, my mother urged me to stop rooting in my handbag for spare change, and focus my attention on the television for a second.

The Royal Wedding Source: Jasper Juinen/PA Images

With just a passing interest in the Royal Family at the best of times, my mother couldn’t conceal her interest in this instance, and yet I could barely look at it.

I saw Kate ascend the steps of Westminister Abbey under the glare of what seemed like one million photographers’ bulbs, and I felt vaguely like I was suffocating.

And I’ll be honest, this sensation returned upon the announcement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s engagement.

Prince Harry engagement Source: Dominic Lipinski/PA Images

And it intensified as the Big Day crept ever closer, Meghan’s family acted more and more like fame-hungry zombies, and British red tops devoted countless front pages to the upcoming union.

Bizarrely, I actually felt the same sinking sensation you got in the pit of your stomach as a child when Back to School signs popped up around supermarkets.

Again, the day arrived, and again I didn’t consider watching it.

Now obviously, I saw highlights, memes and montages because, you know, I live on this planet, and it certainly seemed like a joyful affair.

But Christ, between the drama with her family back in the States, the public critiquing of her appearance on the Big Day, and the endless articles devoted to Meghan’s new role and responsibilities, that familiar feeling of suffocating crept slowly up my neck.

Royal wedding Source: Chris Jackson/PA Images

And to be honest, it’s gotten worse since she has officially become the Duchess of Sussex.

We all know how accomplished she is in her own right, and the personal and professional strides she has made over the course of her life, so the idea that they will ultimately take a backseat while she steps into the role of Duchess leaves me feeling cold.

‘Adorable’ images of her standing alongside the Queen at public engagements, ‘sweet’ footage of her asking her new husband the correct protocol at any given time, and endless articles reminding us how different her life will be since being accepted into the Royal Family have me clutching at my throat.

You know when you’re at a really dull party and the sense of tedium is palpable, the sensation of boredom almost tangible, and you’re willing yourself with all your might to have a good time? Yeah, that.

Royal visit to Chester Source: Phil Noble/PA Images

Perhaps it’s because I’m not drawn to pomp and ceremony, or that I’m adverse to social engagements which suggest I can’t get locked and shame my family with little to no consequences, but there is not one iota of me that feels envious of Meghan’s new circumstances.

And that’s despite the fact Prince Harry is a beaut.

Every time I’ve seen images of Meghan since the couple announced their engagement, I’ve felt like I do when I’ve been forced to endure social occasions with who I might consider the driest person on planet earth; nervous, stifled and like I want to escape at the nearest opportunity.

And if I had to feel like that in front of the world’s media? Like, honestly no.

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About the author:

Niamh McClelland

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