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Welcome respite from war, talk of war

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The wedding of Prince Harry of Great Britain and American actress Meghan Markle was watched by millions of people around the world on television last Saturday.

Like any royal wedding, it was full of color and pageantry. But more than this, the two people involved were exceptionally appealing ones – a prince who had chosen to fight with other ordinary British soldiers in Afghanistan and an American actress who had starred in a television series for seven years. He was not just any prince — he was the second son of the beloved Princess Diana. And she was not any ordinary American woman – she was a daughter of an African-American woman.

Thus, in addition to the usual cream of British nobility, the guests included some of Harry’s buddies in the war and some of the famous celebrities in Meghan’s world – Oprah Winfrey, George and Amal Clooney, Elton John, Serena Williams.

The wedding at the St. George Chapel in Windsor was in accordance with Anglican ritual and tradition led by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, but the sermon was a passionate message on love that can change the world delivered by the African-American leader of the Episcopal Church, Most Rev. Michael Bruce Curry. Along with the traditional Anglican church hymns sung during the affair, American musical selections were sung by an American choir.

To many, including the millions who followed the entire ceremony around the world, many in the Philippines, it was not just a colorful royal wedding held in a castle that has been home to British kings for a thousand years. It was a time of transition, personified by Meghan, daughter of an African-American woman, now part of British royalty.

It was also such a welcome change from the usual news of vicious violence from around the world – the unending war in Syria, the talk of war between Iran and Israel, the new school mass killing in the United States, the uncertainty over the Trump-Kim summit, and here in our own county the unending charges and counter-charges on issues in Congress, in the Judiciary, and actions and pronouncements of the Executive.

For a few hours last Saturday night in Manila, and in homes around the world at various other times corresponding to their longitude on the planet, millions of people followed the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, seeing it as raising their own hopes for peace, for greater equality, for the unity of the human family.

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