I listened to the Archewell Audio holiday episode so you don’t have to

Meghan and Harry went into their address books and enlisted some famous friends to introduce their new podcast

If you read yesterday’s post, you know that I wondered aloud about when Harry and Meghan would drop their holiday themed episode Archewell Audio podcast episode. A mere 12 or so hours later, voila! Maybe I was just being impatient. (Or maybe they were following my blog and decided that if I was talking about it, it must be time to release it – hahaha.)

I listened to the episode, all 34 minutes of it. Here is the list of guest appearances on the episode:

  • Tennis phenom Naomi Osaka
  • Producer and philanthropist Tyler Perry
  • Thought leader Brene Brown
  • World Central Kitchen founder Jose Andres
  • Democratic political hopeful Stacey Abrams
  • Thought leader Deepak Chopra
  • TV host James Corden
  • Spoken word poet George the Poet
  • Writer Matt Haig
  • Musician and friend of Diana Elton John
  • Black mental health activist Rachel Cargle
  • Poet and mental health campaigner Hussain Manawer
  • Teenage campaigner and youth activist Christina Adane
  • Meghan and Harry’s baby Archie

Harry and Meghan acted as emcees for the guests, who had recorded snippets and hopeful words on 2020 and 2021. There was talk of community, of helping, of sacrifice, of love, and of connection. It was scattered but nice. I could tell you that having that many guests in such a short episode was obviously going to lead to it feeling like more of a collage than a curated, singular work. I could tell you why some of the guests are problematic or explain certain conflicts of interest.

I could tell you that using Archie’s voice at the end of the episode is manipulative. But so is Will and Kate using their kids to ask David Attenborough questions for his nature documentary. Both appearances were very cute and very manipulative! There are many other things that Meghan and Harry should be questioned about, and this doesn’t feel like the hill I want to die on.

To be honest, the episode was fine. It’s not my cup of tea, but it’s pretty unoffensive and if people got something from it, that’s good. Do I think it was worth 30 million pounds? No. Do I think the episodes will become more thoughtful and streamlined with time? No. But some people will like it, and if the cheque clears, *shrugs shoulders*.

And with that, here’s a question that I missed when doing my Q&As yesterday!

Emily asked: What are the eligibility requirements for marrying a prince? For example, did Kate have to have any noble blood?

Great question! The short answer is that nowadays you don’t have to have royal or noble blood to marry a member of the royal family. However, well into the 20th century, you did.

Queen Elizabeth’s younger sister, Princess Margaret, was the first member of the British Royal Family to marry a non-Aristocrat/royal in some 400 years. But because it was only the sister of the Queen and not the Queen or an heir apparent, it was allowed. On the morning of their wedding, Margaret’s groom, Antony Armstrong-Jones, was given the title of Earl of Snowdon, which made Margaret Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon. Peep that Antony didn’t become a prince, but Margaret continued being a princess and took on his title.

Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer were married in July 1981. I’m sometimes asked why Charles didn’t just marry Camilla instead of Diana – they were clearly in love, right? Well, if love was the only consideration, they would have. But Charles was/is the heir to the British throne, which meant that he needed to marry someone with the following:

  • A royal or aristocratic background (check – Lady Diana Spencer was a member of the aristocratic Spencer family, which has spanned hundreds of years. She used to joke that her family was much nobler and longstanding than Charles’s bloodline);
  • A British passport (easy check);
  • Written approval to marry from the monarch;
  • A baptised member of the Church of England or willing to convert to being a baptised member of the Church of England (the monarch of the United Kingdom is also head of the Church of England, so the monarch and heirs must be married to someone who is a member of the church; and, most importantly
  • Absolutely no sexual history to speak of (check – Diana was a 19 year old virgin at the time of the wedding. This is important so as to not have the problem later on of a surprise love child that no one knew about possibly coming in and disrupting the line of succession.)

Being British and the religion thing were easy. But Camilla was neither aristocratic (her grandfather was a baron but that wasn’t considered sufficient) nor a virgin. By the time Charles started dating her, she had already lost her virginity (and the small noble circles in London knew about it). So, it was an absolute no to being able to marry the future King of England, including from the Queen. Diana, however, was perfect in terms of *the rules*. She was pretty, British, aristocratic, and a virgin. She had the Queen’s approval. So they got married.

After Charles’s divorce, there were several hurdles in the way to Camilla becoming his wife. They couldn’t be married in a church, because as future head of the Church of England, Charles was not allowed to condone a church-sanctioned marriage after the dissolution of a previous marriage. So Charles and Camilla were married in a civil ceremony in Windsor Guildhall, a town hall in London, with the Queen (the current head of the Church of England) absent. The couple also needed Queen Elizabeth’s written approval, which was (I think wearily) given.

But now, if you’re first or second in line for the throne, basically the rules are:

  • Be a baptised member of the Church of England or someone willing to become a baptised member of the Church of England; and
  • Have it be approved in writing by the monarch.

The rules are even fewer if you’re down the line of succession. For Harry and Meghan, all they needed was the Queen’s written permission, which they received. Meghan was told that she wasn’t even expected to convert to the Church of England (though she chose to be baptised anyway).

So when Will and Kate decided to get married, it was approved in writing by Queen Elizabeth and Kate became the first commoner with no aristocratic or royal links in more than 350 years to marry someone so close to the British throne.

Fun side note: On the day of Will and Kate’s wedding in 2011, this was one of the most popular songs on Youtube (excellent song, excellent performance, you should probably just watch it):

When she married Will, Kate became a princess, a duchess, a lady (Northern Ireland), and a countess (Scotland). Now that she’s fully royal and fully titled, her and Will’s children are all royal by blood (Prince George of Cambridge, Prince Louis of Cambridge, and Princess Charlotte of Cambridge).

I hope you enjoyed reading! Let me know what you think of the Archewell holiday podcast episode. Stay safe and wear a mask.

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