It's safe to say that Buckingham Palace and the monarchy of Great Britain are forever changed by the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. From the beginning, the world has watched with rapt fascination the evolution of their time together. Their relationship has thus far bucked every notion of what people have always expected of British royalty, and in all the best ways, especially when it comes to gender norms. To prove my point, I've compiled a list of ways Harry and Meghan are equal partners that will fill you with feminist glee.
To be fair, there have been some seriously impressive female monarchs who have sat on the throne in the history of Great Britain. After all, queens like Elizabeth I and Victoria have been lauded for their courage. And even going as far back as Empress Matilda in the 12th century, who may never have become queen as Henry said she should, on her own caused quite the ruckus in her determination to see her husband's wishes for her succession fulfilled. She even outlived her enemy to see her son's eventual elevation to king. However, that being said, the spouses of the monarchy have been mostly relegated to their appearance or what scandals lay in their wake. Harry and Meghan are different. They're out there boldly striking down these outmoded traditions, and bringing the monarchy into the future.
1. Harry Wears A Wedding Ring
Traditionally, British male monarchs do not wear a wedding ring. Harry's older brother, Prince William does not. But Harry is often seen fiddling with the slim gold band, reported Harper's Bazaar. This is a very unsubtle hat tip to an equal partnership: they put a ring on each other. He is as much her husband as she is his wife, and that is awesome.
2. They Moved Out of Kensington
OK, so let's face it, most millennials have lived with their parents longer than they might have liked, and some of us have lived with our parents even after marriage. But that brings a strange dynamic to a marriage. Whoever's family you live with, it is as though they have the upper hand, whether consciously or unconsciously. This year, Harry and Meghan moved out of Kensington Palace and into Frogmore Cottage. Yes, it's still owned by the Palace, but it's much less like living in a royal condo unit than Kensington Palace, where several royals live.
3. No Postpartum Photo Op At The Lindo Wing
For decades, it has been the tradition of the royals to deliver in the posh Lindo wing of the hospital, and then, just a few hours later, trot your baby out to be photographed by the paparazzi. It almost feels inhumane for the mother. Give her some time to rest. I've had a few babies, and all I was thinking about in the first few hours after giving birth was what I was going to eat, and how bad my vag hurt. Harry and Meghan ditched this trend, giving Meghan time to recover before showing off baby Archie.
4. Harry Held The Baby At The Showing
Princess Diana, Fergie, Kate Middleton — all of them held their babies at their presentations. Not so with Meghan and Harry; it was him who lovingly cradled Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. Which is a bold move, but one I know I'd be grateful for after giving birth because, did I mention how bad the undercarriage hurts after shoving a baby out like a much evicted roommate? Lifting is not fun.
5. They Speak Truth To Power
They aren't shy about speaking about gender equality. According to the New York Times, at a conference for International Women's Day, The Duchess of Sussex told the crowd in regards to how men might feel about the closing gender gap, "I hope that men are part of that conversation. My husband certainly is.”
And he certainly is. At an event for a woman's charity, Harry was quoted as saying "I'm a feminist," reported The Telegraph.
6. They're Raising Their Child Sans Royal Title
While not giving a baby a royal title might seem neutral in regards to gender norms, it's not. Given the UK's history of patrilineal succession — regardless of whether or not that's been changed — carries a lot of weight. For centuries before the 2011 ruling that allows women the same rights of succession as men, being a Prince or a Duke carried with it all the powers of the patriarchy. Archie is just Archie. (With super rich and powerful parents.)