Theater of the absurd: No shortage of surprises in royal weddings

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will wed Saturday. | Frank Augstein/AP

What! What!

What’s a wedding without family drama?

I’ll be gobsmacked if I know.

But the apex of theatric trauma is not a Shakespearean play in London.

It’s the theater of the absurd when members of Britain’s royal family make wedding plans.

So brace yourselves! Estranged members of the American side of the royal wedding, who were not invited to come, are now in London.

And the tawdry way the tabloid press has been covering the family of the stunningly beautiful Northwestern University grad Meghan Markle, who marries England’s Prince Harry in Windsor this weekend, is below the belt.

The marriages of royal princes since Prince Charles married Diana Spencer have sounded like the latest installment of the merry wives of Windsor. Prince Andrew (Windsor) used to call saucy, spitfire wife Fergie his “monster.”

This time the wedding soup is seasoned with salt, spice and not very nice.

And the pot is being stirred by a nest of tabloid paparazzi Tse-Tse flies, who stalk the British royals.

The actors:

• An angry Prince Harry, the rascally, good-natured son of the late Princess Diana, furious with the nest of tabloid reporters hovering around Markle’s family.

• An upset Meghan Markle, an actress and divorcee giving up a career (maybe?) and her Yankee citizenship to marry merry Harry and . . . and not having much trouble with the curtsy.

Thomas Markle, a father so hounded by the worldwide press his angina is expected to cause him to miss the event and not walk his daughter down the aisle.

• Two Markle half-siblings — described as “vultures” — furious they weren’t invited to the wedding and saying so.

• And, in a mute role, Harry’s grandmama, Queen Elizabeth, and Markle’s mother have been blessedly quiet throughout the Markle mayhem.


Sneed’s been covering Britain’s royal weddings since 1986, when the red-headed Sarah Ferguson married Prince Andrew — the uncle of Prince Harry and the brother of Prince Charles, the direct heir to the British throne.

It brought back memories.

Their marriage didn’t survive Fergie’s toe dalliance snapped by a royal watcher on a ladder, but her subsequent divorce from Prince Boring netted a no-no invite to future Windsor weddings by the queen.

“It’s okay,” Fergie told me years ago.

“Andrew and I are so close and such good friends, it’s like we are married.”

So let’s talk royal weddings since 1986; they’ve always been a numbers game.

Sneed did not cover Princess Diana’s 1981 wedding to Prince Charles. Only her funeral. But I did cover their courtship one summer on the polo fields of Cirencester, England.

They flirted. Charles toed the ground next to Diana, who kept looking down.

I noticed Prince Charles had a big bald spot at the back of his head he seemed to spray brown. Zzzzz.

The Brit tabloid press was also bored. No news. So after the game was over, they got together and made up a story.

I was there. Trust me.

On April 9, 2005, Sneed covered the wedding of Prince Charles and his mistress, Camilla Parker Bowles, whom Princess Diana claimed was the third person in her crowded marriage.

And yes. It’s True. Comedian Joan Rivers was in attendance at the wedding.

On April 29, 2011, the royal wedding between Prince William and commoner Kate Middleton, whom the tabloid press called “Waity Katie” because she had to wait nearly eight years until he proposed — was a melange of firsts.

• It was the first British royal wedding where friends and family outnumbered official guests.

• Their courtship included co-habitation.

• It was the first time in 300 years a future queen lived outside the royals’ inner circle.

• And, good grief, the bride’s parents actually worked for a living.

And the tabloid press focused more on sister Pippa Middleton’s derriere in her dress than her sister’s gown.

And so it goes in the world of royalty and nonsense.

Can’t wait to see how this all unfolds. And what Barack and Michelle Obama send them as a wedding gift.

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