The Wall Street Journal: Prince Harry, Meghan Markle royal wedding will usher in a new era for the monarchy

LONDON — When Prince Harry marries American actress Meghan Markle in a pomp-filled ceremony on Saturday, it will mark a giant step in the modernization of the British monarchy, as its younger members increasingly take center stage and recast the family as a less tradition-bound clan.

The grandson of Queen Elizabeth II and Markle have planned a wedding outside Windsor Castle that seeks to include members of the public. But the glare of media attention around the nuptials underscores continued tension between the royal family and the British press, which has in recent days ridiculed members of Markle’s family.

Read: What it’s like to share your wedding day with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

The wedding between Prince Harry, the sixth in line to the throne, and Markle, a mixed-race, divorced star of the popular American television series “Suits,” marks a seismic shift in the once-stodgy reputation of the British monarchy, whose head, Queen Elizabeth II, is 92 years old. The ultimate trans-Atlantic celebrity marriage, the wedding represents a first-of-its-kind mix of Hollywood glamour with one of the most popular members of the royal family.

Read: Some Spice Girls will be at Prince Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle, and some won’t

“Someone who has been divorced and doesn’t come from an aristocratic family shows the monarchy is adapting to a modern age,” says Vernon Mogdanor, a professor in U.K. constitutional history at King’s College London. Markle’s father is a white cinematographer, and her mother is an African-American social worker and yoga instructor.

An expanded version of this story can be found at WSJ.com

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