Ignore the Remainer attempts to claim ownership of the Royal Wedding

Ignore the Remainer attempts to claim ownership of the Royal Wedding

It didn’t take long for the Remain establishment to claim ownership of the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle. Like any piece of good economic news that emerges these days, this glorious national event came to us “despite Brexit”.

The Guardian leader declared it a stark contrast to a nation of Brexit voters determined to “shut its doors on the world”. Matthew D’Ancona’s column questioned if the Brexit vote “implies the opposite” of the wedding’s portrayal of a modern and open nation. Meanwhile, Twitter’s pitchfork squad decreed the wedding as “a sustained exercise in sticking two fingers up at Brexit before an audience of millions”, or as another put it: “some deep Narnian anti-Brexit, anti-racist magical ritual”.

The central thesis for the Royal wedding being a departure from Brexit seems to be that the service’s racial themes represent a rebuke of a closed-off, ‘little Englander’ worldview. The American bride herself, of mixed race descent; her African-American mother, who captured the world’s hearts with her joyous display of pride for her daughter; Bishop Michael Curry’s powerful sermon, which evoked Martin Luther King and American slavery; enchanting music from a gospel choir; and a fantastically talented young black cellist.

But this is a view that ignores the true nature of the EU, and forgets the spirit of the referendum campaign that was actually fought two years ago. Leave campaigners, led by the Vote Leave campaign, envisioned a future where Britain opened its arms to a wider world that was beginning to leave it behind. “Out… and into the world” beckoned the Spectator cover of the day. One of the prize outcomes of our departure should be a trade deal with the United States. What could symbolise that better than a marriage between a British prince and an American actress?

It also ignores some of the finer details of the Royal couple’s priorities. Anti-EU campaigners have for years championed the opportunity Brexit presents for closer ties between Britain and the Commonwealth. Meghan’s dedication to her new role was cleverly signalled in her bridal veil, which at her request incorporated flowers from all 53 Commonwealth nations.

Withdrawing the UK from the EU’s freedom of movement rules – which groups such as Muslims for Britain highlighted as a legally enforced form of discrimination against most of the world’s ethnic population in favour of Europeans – is one of the key outcomes of Britain’s departure, mistakenly regarded by Remainers as signifying the racist intentions of Leave voters, and fully in keeping with this Royal union.

In reality, this wedding was as Brexity as they come, populated as it was by divorced families, peppered with last-minute negotiation drama – Will the bride’s father be allowed to come? Who will walk her down the aisle? – and of course the Union Flag proudly flying everywhere you look. Even the prodigious cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason was from a city (Nottingham) that voted Leave.

Crucially, politicians of all stripes were not invited to the event. Much like referendum day on 23rd June 2016, it was a day when the people of Britain got to take back control from the political class. This was an event of which anyone could feel part – but for me, the embrace of America and the Commonwealth means this Royal wedding truly embodies the spirit of Brexit.