section européenne Lycée VINCI à AMBOISE

section européenne Lycée VINCI à AMBOISE

Brexit and the royal wedding: which is the real Britain?

Every ancient nation takes the long walk to modernity in its own roundabout way.


None is as ramrod straight as the Long Walk in Windsor Great Park down which the royal newlyweds were driven through happy crowds on a memorable and sun-kissed Saturday.

National journeys between past and present are more tortuous.

Interruptions, setbacks and turns in the road abound. That’s one reason why the royal wedding should not be oversimplified as a transformative, nothing-more-need-be-said knockout blow for a modern tolerant Britain over the older uptight and status-ridden version. But let’s get real about what happened at the weekend. The racial inclusivity of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding was something new. It was a milestone moment on that long and winding walk to a fairer Britain.



It cannot be overlooked that Saturday’s uplifting events took place in a country disfigured by Brexit. The disjunction is real and painful. The same nation that proved it is now more at ease than ever with the different heritages of its modern self is also the nation that is split down the middle over whether to shut its doors on the world or remain confidently part of it. Part of the Brexit tragedy, Professor Robert Ford argued in our Observer sister paper this week, is that the more, as a people, we think about the migration issue, the more open we have become to a fairer, more liberal view of the subject. On that evidence, and on the evidence of Saturday’s events, this country’s long walk is now at a critical crossroads.

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