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When Harry met Meghan - Useful Royalty (B2-C1)

Maggio 2018
Anche il principe Harry si sposa, e non lo fa con “una qualunque” ma con Meghan Markle: un’attrice americana, divorziata. Non è solo gossip: Edoardo VIII nel 1936 aveva dovuto abdicare per una scelta simile. I tempi cambiano, anche a Buckingham Palace.

di Toby Saul

File audio:

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Charles Rae
Charles Rae

Speaker: Molly Malcolm (American accent)

Of the two brothers, Prince Harry was always the more rebellious; he admitted to smoking dope and there were stories of him at the centre of wild parties. There were plenty of girlfriends, but he was never in a hurry to settle down like his older, more stable sibling.


Then along came Meghan Markle. She was mixed-race (a first for the Royal family); American (not a first, exactly); she was divorced; and her left-wing politics were not what the family were used to.


How did the Royals react? They thought she was perfect! When the engagement was announced there was almost universal enthusiasm from the public, and it was obvious that Harry’s father and grandparents approved as well.
Although the Royal family look like they never change, their secret is that they always adapt to fit the times. The arrival of Meghan Markle meant that a modern young woman at ease in the 21st century would be at the heart of British royalty.


From their first meeting in summer 2016, many Royal observers thought there was something special about Ms. Markle. The Princes are usually very careful about what they allow the media to see. But there were signs pointing to something exciting.
The couple had been unusually affectionate in public. There was a kiss at a polo match and a very rare public embrace at the Invictus Games (the international multi-sport event that Prince Harry founded for wounded military veterans.) The body language between the two was significant. At the games, they both looked relaxed and in love.


Experienced observers noticed that Meghan had been assigned a police guard. Royal protection officers are generally not employed until a couple are engaged.
There was also the news that the hard-partying Prince would spend his thirty-third birthday quietly alone with his girlfriend. But the final clue was that Harry had taken Meghan to meet his grandmother. An introduction to the Queen was taken as a sure indication that this relationship was something serious.


It had all happened very quickly. Within weeks of their first meeting, Meghan had moved into Kensington Palace. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Meghan hinted at what was to come: “I’m sure there will be a time when we will have to come forward and present ourselves and have stories to tell, but I hope what people will understand is that this is our time.” But it was Harry, not Meghan, who kept pushing the romance further.


Harry lost his mother when he was thirteen. He has admitted to receiving counselling after suffering years of “total chaos” after her death. From Diana he has inherited a nature that is open about his passions. Apparently, he knew Meghan was “the one” after they had been set up on a blind date by a mutual friend. He asked for her number and bombarded her with text messages asking if she wanted to meet again.
Diana always told Harry “Do what your heart tells you.” With Meghan Markle, he did just that.




Speaker: Molly Malcolm (American accent)

Charles Rae was a journalist for over fifty years and was Royal Correspondent for the Sun newspaper. He covered The Royals throughout the turbulent Princess Diana years and became friends with many members of the family. He is the author of three books on the British monarchy and of Fleet Street Frolics, a memoir of his time at the heart of British journalism. His analysis of the impact of Harry and Meghan’s wedding begins with the fact that the wedding will bring in some cash.

Charles Rae (Scottish accent):

What it means for Britain is probably an influx of around five hundred million pounds in boost of trade. Now that will be hotels, spending, tourists coming over here, memorabilia.


But it is not all about the money, Rae says. The Royal wedding will also lift the spirits of a country very much in need of good news.

Charles Rae:

That’s what it means to Britain in raw, hard cash. That’s what we will get in a boost to the economy. The other thing we’ll get, of course, is, we in Britain at the moment we keep on talking about Brexit. We keep having the opposite warring sides just banging on about Brexit, Brexit, Brexit... Which, along with the weather is... we’re not getting any joy out of it to be perfectly honest, just this constant battle. And I think this will provide something of good news, really good news that we can focus on. It’s not going to please everybody, of course, but I think [it will please] the vast majority of people.


And Meghan is a sign that the British Royal family is really making progress, says Rae.

Charles Rae:

If you were to have said, even just a generation ago, that you were going to bring into the Royal family a mixed-race American actress who went to a Roman Catholic school and was going to marry the son of the future king, they’d be taking you away and putting you in a straitjacket. So, Britain itself, and the Royal family, have come a long, long way. And that fact in itself, that Meghan is joining the Royal family, with her past history – which I’m not suggesting her past history is bad in any way at all – but it wouldn’t have been contemplated all that long ago, but now it’s ‘who cares?’


And, Rae says, the fact that Meghan is already a public figure has helped the romance move forward.

Charles Rae:

The only trouble that Harry has had in terms of relationships, is he hasn’t been able to hold on to a partner. And in two or three cases, that is because as they got close to the point of maybe an engagement or maybe getting more serious, it was the realisation of those girls that… “hang on a minute. I’m going into this Royal family, I’m going to be watched practically every day when I’m out and about doing public duties and private duties. They’re going to be commenting on everything that I do. I don’t really want that sort of scrutiny!” And Harry himself said: “Maybe I should be looking for someone who’s used to the public eye.” And in Meghan, coincidentally, he’s got that.


William and Harry lost their mother at an early age. But both brothers have turned out just great, says Rae.

Charles Rae:

I think they’re both smashing guys, they were two smashing children and they’ve grown up into very useful young men.

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He was never in a hurry to settle down like his older, more stable sibling. Non aveva mai avuto fretta di sistemarsi come suo fratello maggiore, più serio di lui. In inglese sibling si usa per riferirsi sia a un ‘fratello’ (brother) sia a una ‘sorella’ (sister). Lo stesso succede con la parola ‘genitori’, infatti parents include sia ‘padre’ (father) sia ‘madre’ (mother).

Fleet Street Frolics. La vivace Fleet Street. È un’importante strada di Londra dove, dal XVI secolo fino agli anni ‘80 del XX, avevano la sede i principali quotidiani britannici, tanto che questa via è rimasta come sinonimo del giornalismo londinese.