From 2011 to today, royal brides still face vicious coverage

The year 2011 was one you may recall in your distant memory. It was a big year for culture, at home and abroad. The year consisted of grave events like the death of Steve Jobs, success by the U.S. forces in the killing of Osama bin Laden and the domination of pop artists Adele and Katy Perry in the world of music. 

On a lighter note, Prince William and Kate Middleton also tied the knot that year at the infamous royal wedding.

The wedding, which took place on April 29, 2011, was a highly publicized event and many fans were in attendance, crowding outside Westminster Abbey. It garnered intense media coverage and was streamed live on the internet by the royal family. 

Prince William and Middleton had been together for nine years before tying the knot, marking themselves as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on that sunny day in England. The event also made Middleton the only royal bride to hold a degree.

Middleton stunned the world with her memorable Alexander McQueen wedding dress, which contained handmade lacework and a 9-foot-long train. The dress soon went on display in Buckingham Palace and is now known as one of the most famous royal wedding dresses in history.

The couple have had their fair share of history into becoming the beloved couple they are now.

Middleton, who held the title as a commoner while she and Prince William were dating, was met with skepticism over her social status and her influence on the royal family. And after marrying, it took her time to integrate into the family, adjust to all the public attention and get along with family members. 

She is known for breaking some traditional rules, such as opting for more casual clothing, choosing to fly with her family and wearing dresses above the knee.

Years later, after complicated pregnancies and three adorable children, the Duchess is now hailed as a figure of poise and grace. Although recently, there have been rumors of a feud brewing between her and Meghan Markle, who married Prince Harry in 2018 and welcomed her son, Archie, this past May.

Their wedding last year was televised everywhere as 29.2 million people in the U.S. tuned in to watch, up by 7 million from 2011, according to Nielsen Holdings. People took notice of Middleton’s repeated outfit, the adorable children who carried Markle’s veil and the emotions between the couple at the altar which touched everyone’s hearts.

But only 18 million people in the U.K. watched the Dutch and Duchess of Sussex wed, compared to the more than 24 million for Prince William and Middleton.

Markle, a Los Angeles native and former actress, is half-Black and half-caucasian, which became a hot topic when she started dating Prince Harry. She swiftly faced derogatory headlines about her ethnicity, which made Prince Harry increasingly worried about her safety. 

And even now, while many are celebrating diversity in the royal family, people continue to question Markle’s place as a royal and mother.

In their new documentary, “Harry & Meghan: An African Journey,” Markle spoke emotionally about her struggles dealing with intense media scrutiny and the pressure she feels to fit into the British guise. Prince Harry also refused to deny reports of a falling out between him and his brother Prince William, claiming, “We will always be brothers.”  

The couple announced a six-week break at the end of the year to escape from royal responsibilities.

This will be Prince Harry’s first time celebrating Thanksgiving in the U.S., which demonstrates how he and Markle are doing things on their own terms and forgoing royal expectations for the well-being of their family. 

This also reinforces how, eight years after Prince William and Middleton, women in the media are still repeatedly questioned and pressured to meet all standards of what society expects them to be. While we live in a generally progressive era, issues of race continue to arise when people of color are given recognition or honor.

While Middleton’s transition into the royal family back in 2011 wasn’t smooth sailing, Markle faces a tougher time as there are more complicated family relations and issues with her identity. 

But both exemplify women who are breaking barriers and doing things in their own way.

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