The day of the royal wedding, we could not keep our eyes off her. What was she thinking, as she sat in the pews of the five-hundred-year-old chapel, enveloped in history and irony? I mean the mother of the bride, Doria Ragland. A millennium of world-shifting encounters—of violence and of romance and of acts in between—produced this scene: the sixty-one-year-old Ragland, an American who teaches yoga and does social work in Culver City, California, sitting in the opposite and equivalent seat to Queen Elizabeth II. They’d agreed on green, the color of beginnings—Ragland in churchy, pastel Oscar de la Renta, the Queen in electric-lime Stewart Parvin. One is a descendant of the enslaved, a child of the Great Migration and Jim Crow and seventies New Age spirituality; the other, the heir to and keeper of empire. Blood had long ago decided what life would be like for both.
Read the entire essay here
Photo credit: AFP