Royal Tea: Meghan Markle, I Salute Thee

by Carmen Woodruff
Carmen Woodruff

Meghan Markle, I salute thee. You are the wo-(MAN)! I knew it then and I truly know it now.

Meghan, my mind is a-racing. My heart a-flutter. My spirit back on track, after watching your CBS interview with Oprah in my Michigan pandemic Sunday best which consisted of a floor-length sleeveless summer dress and some black socks. We’ve all binged The Crown in quarantine but it was much better to sip the tea in real time-pinkies raised, jaws on the floor-with you, Meghan. You will always be royalty to us and we will protect you.

So much to ruminate on and just feeling grateful to have something else to ruminate on that does not entail ordering or preparing my eighth meal of the day due to false four-alarm fire hunger pangs.

But Meghan, this was not the first time I considered you my #WCW soul sister.

It started in 2018 when I hosted a “princess party” in Boston to celebrate what seemed to be a fairytale union in St. George’s Chapel. Tonight, we learned the pomp and circumstance was all smoke and mirrors. And I must say, for a while, I was engulfed in that smoke, honey! It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen, from the lush floral arrangements, to the who’s who guest list, to the resonance of your soprano soloist, to the rubato cello stylings, to the African American church sermon, complete with the angelic boys choir hymns.

And Meghan, I was literally floating right there with you, down to the “Amen!” as you gracefully mounted your horse-drawn carriage, with a helping hand from your prince. What a dream. I closed my eyes, practicing my wave, adorned in jeans and a plastic tiara. Echoey, shake-yourself-out-of-your-aspirations laughter yanked me back down to Earth, courtesy of my girlfriends as I presented to them my rendition of how I would walk, speak and carry myself as a royal, belting out “Stand By Me.” Little did we all know, you and Prince Harry had married three days earlier, quietly and informally for no attendees except the archbishop and the man upstairs.

During the interview, you pressed unmute and took back your power, wrapping up your two-hour chat with Oprah with some poignant words:

“We’ve actually not just survived but are thriving…All of those things I was hoping for just happened…these are in some ways just the beginning for us…” Thank you for sharing your truth and for teaching us the following:

“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.”
When this world gets to be too much and you want to give up, it’s okay to ask for help. I had no idea you were feeling so despondent and on the brink of self-harm as you glimmered and glowed in that black sequined dress with Archie on the way. Mental health and wellness should always take top priority in all circumstances. Now that you’ve spoken out, I hope more women will feel empowered to do so, especially those in the public eye.

Women’s issues and advancement remain relevant.
Your final trek of freedom into what Harry referred to as a “trapped” lifestyle was perhaps your solo, half the aisle wedding walk before you linked arms with Prince Charles to complete the symbolic journey into royal life. You shared with Oprah that you were “silenced” but before you traded your baseball caps for ball gowns, you blazed trails with your entrepreneurial spirit and can-do-it attitude.

You advocated for all of us and those of us who felt we had no voice. We’d like to warmly welcome you back. Now you have an even broader platform to influence with your newfound wisdom and what-was-always-there strength.

Representation makes the world go ‘round.
You walked down the aisle draped in your delicate veil, adorned with embroidered flowers representing the British Commonwealth countries. You were delighted to immerse yourself in your new duchess role and engage with everyone, with a special place in your heart for the girls of color who looked like you.

You had high hopes for Archie, a direct descendent of Harry and Queen Elizabeth II. Now we all know the only good thing that came out of the instant royal diversity was a reason for the writers of “The Crown” finally to cast minorities.

Being of Black heritage is pretty cool and nothing to be ashamed of.
Archie seemed to be at the core of your reasoning for making your final decision to step away. Concerns about how dark his skin might be along with title stripping and canceled security left you in fear. Tyler Perry felt your pain, generously putting you and your hubby up in his modest mansion with his supportive staff and unlimited “Madea” movies. I heard you watched “Madea Goes to Jail” first as a cathartic parallel to your life in lockdown when Covid-19 wasn’t even a thing yet.

You gain more than you lose when speaking up.
The most important takeaway from tonight was that although it takes a lot of courage to stand up for what’s right, it’s always best to do so. And as Harry shared, time heals everything. Now you sit comfortably on sprawling American soil, not too far away from your neighbor Oprah, complete with your rescue dogs and Archie’s Chick Inn.

You have many things to be grateful for and so do we. Thank you for reminding us of that. We look forward to seeing what’s in store with Archewell and life only gets sweeter from here with your new baby girl on the way.

In your own words, Meghan Markle, it all ends “…greater than any fairytale you’ve ever read…”

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