As the royal wedding unfolds with all the pomp and circumstance, with the many-tiered cake and the breathtaking dress and the guest list a who’s who of the wealthy and important, you might find yourself wondering what it would be like to be Meghan Markle, once an actress from California, now part of the British royal family as Prince Harry’s bride.
Perhaps you’re wondering what it would be like to marry into this legendary family with the entire world watching. Maybe you’re even–just a little bit–envious. But before you start wishing it was you marrying a royal instead of her, consider everything Markle must give up when she joins the Windsor family:
1. Her career
Members of the royal family have very busy lives but they can’t have careers the way other people do. That’s giving up a lot for Markle, who was a successful actor. She was also an entrepreneur who published a popular lifestyle website called Tig. She officially ended both as part of her preparation for her wedding.
2. Her social media identity
Markle had almost three million followers among her Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts. She has had to delete them all. The royal family do not have their own personal social media accounts. Instead, royal family members have official accounts that are carefully managed by palace staff.
3. Signing autographs
Markle, who starred in the TV series Suits, is well accustomed to signing autographs, but she isn’t allowed to anymore. Members of the royal family don’t sign autographs because of the danger that they could be forged. Selfies are frowned on as well.
4. Political opinions (maybe)
Traditionally, the royal family does not run for political office or express political opinions, remaining neutral. Markle is a known feminist, and she has expressed dismay at the fact that her marriage into the royal family has led to many comments about her race (she’s biracial). But from here on out, she’s likely to damp down or eliminate political comments in keeping with royal tradition.
Or maybe not. Monarchy watchers agree that Markle represents a new model of princess, and they expect her to shake things up somewhat. Markle has been politically active, so perhaps one of her innovations will be that she’s a bit more politically outspoken than is usual for a royal.
5. Her favorite food
Markle’s favorite restaurant is reportedly a sushi restaurant in California. But members of the royal family–who have a busy schedule of appearances and can’t risk food poisoning–are not allowed to eat shellfish. They’re also discouraged from eating undercooked meat. So she likely has to say goodbye to her favorite dinner.
6. Having her father walk her down the aisle
In the original plan for the wedding, Markle’s father, Thomas, was supposed to walk her down the aisle at Windsor Castle. Unfortunately, he had to have heart surgery and his doctors have advised him not to make the trip. If Markle were marrying an ordinary citizen, they could choose to have the wedding nearer to his home in Mexico, or postpone it until he is well enough to travel. But because it’s a state occasion, it will have to proceed without him. Instead, Markle will walk partway down the aisle on her own, and then will be joined by Prince Charles.