By Dr Bashir Qureshi FRCGP, FRCPCH, AFOM-RCP, MICGP, Hon. FFSRH-RCOG, Hon. FRSPH, Hon. MAPHA-USA.
• Expert Witness in Cultural, Religious & Ethnic issues in Litigation
• Expert Witness in GP Clinical Negligence
• Author, Transcultural Medicine; dealing with patients from different Cultures, Religions and Ethnicities
Wonderful Royal Wedding
The marriage of The Royal Highness Prince Henryof Wales and Ms Meghan Markle took place at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, UK on Saturday19 May 2018; 12 noon. As a Life Member of Friendsof the College of St George’s & Descendants of theKnights of the Garter and being an ardent supporterof the Royal family since my childhood, I had the honour to be invited. I took a seat in precincts of theWindsor Castle, just outside the entry door of StGeorge’s Chapel. The service was led by The RightReverend David Connor KCVO, Dean of Windsor.The marriage was solemnized by the Most Reverendand Right Honourable Justin Welby, Archbishop ofCanterbury. The Address was given by The MostReverend Michael Curry, a Black American Anglican Bishop, who had a very good personality andsense of humour.
I was delighted to see HRH Prince Harry and HRHPrince William, wearing army uniforms, walking inthrough the Chapel door before the wedding ceremony. I also saw Her Majesty the Queen, HRH Dukeof Edinburgh and other members of the Royal family. Later on, I was one of a first few people whowaved to The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, whenthey came out in a carriage on their way as part ofthe procession. This was the most wonderful scenewhich I have ever seen. Many friends saw me on theirtelevisions and a friend sent me a photo of myself ina BBC1 broadcast. I treasure it as good memories areforever.
Public approval nationally and internationally was obvious as 110 thousand people came to Windsor to celebrate the Royal Wedding of HRH Prince Harry andMeghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Moreover,worldwide media reporters were present. Millions ofpeople watched it on their televisions or heard on radios as media coverage was constant all day throughout the world. Nevertheless, this article is written to assist the Courts and legal profession with some information relevant to Cultural, Religious and Ethnicissues.
“Love marriage” is usually a Western custom; basedon the concept that “try before you buy and then donot cry”. “Arranged marriage” is mainly an Easterncustom based on conviction that “less you know ofothers, more you stick to one”. It was a pleasure tosee that our beloved Royal family which used to follow the Eastern custom has now chosen to movegradually to the Western custom.
The English have really everything in common withthe Americans except of course language (OscarWilde). It is a true fact that birds of a feather flock together but it is also true that opposite poles attracteach other. In my observation, His Royal HighnessPrince Henry of Wales and Ms Meghan Markle havedifferent personalities, families, upbringings and ethnicities but they are in love and determined to succeed in life together. There is a useful chapter“Cultural conflicts in a mixed marriage” in my book“Transcultural Medicine - dealing with patients fromdifferent Cultures, Religions & Ethnicities.”
All religions bring people from different backgroundstogether worldwide. This wedding was an excellentChristian performance in Great Britain. According toCommon Worship; marriage is intended by God tobe a creative relationship, as his blessing enables husband and wife to love and support each other in goodtimes and in bad, and to share in the care and upbringing of children. For Christians, marriage is alsoan invitation to share life together in the spirit of JesusChrist.
Although in this Royal Marriage, the husband andwife come from different ethnic backgrounds, theyboth are devoted Christians. This unity is their great strength. It is a universal fact that Christianity, asother religions, can override any ethnic gap. The soulrules the body and not vice versa.
Race is a respectable entity, akin to religion, for allpositive thinkers. In Britain, the word ethnicity iscommonly used instead of race. This Royal weddingwas a demonstration of well-intended and achievedracial harmony. The Address was given by The MostReverend Michael Curry, a Black American AnglicanBishop, who mentioned late Martin Luther King withrespect. A song was sung by American and BritishBlack Christian singers together in good faith whichwas very well received by all listeners worldwide.
To the best of my knowledge, it was the first time inhistory that the majority white and minority blackholy men and women together conducted a RoyalWedding. I observed many black public spectatorsand a black BBC1 TV reporter looked very happyand loved the ethnic harmony. All people who werewatching looked happy. This was tonic to humanity.I hope that such history repeats itself in the future.
On basis of my medical knowledge in genetics, Ianticipate, in good faith, that if this Royal couplewould have four children; one would be white, one black and two of mixed complexion. If this occurred,I hope it would be a positive change which wouldbe acceptable by everyone gently in time. Everythingchanges in this universe except this principle(Aristotle).
Superb Crime Prevention
British security service was admirable and its functionat this ceremony is a good example for all countries inthe world. They kept every member of the Royal family away from the direct public contact outside StGeorge’s Chapel such as shaking hands or acceptingflowers. Even police men, who controlled the public,wore gloves. In return, everyone was permitted tokeep their mobile phones and cameras with them.Only the carriage carrying the Duke and Duchess ofSussex, protected by horse guard skilfully, was takenin Windsor castle and all around the centre of Windsor. To the best of my knowledge, no criminal offenceor unacceptable behaviour was reported in press.Media coverage was positive worldwide. This RoyalWedding was such a memorable day all round that itwill stay in our hearts forever.