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The British Monarchy is here to stay and no matter how you feel about them, they are still very relevant and very influential. We’ve seen the Kate Middleton effect and I am sure it will be no different with Meghan Markle.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bi9clxZA66i/?taken-by=kensingtonroyal

 

The recent wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle marks a very significant change of tide within the royal family. In order to stay relevant, the Monarchy must evolve, and yes, traditions are very comforting but the break from tradition during the royal wedding itself has ingested a breath of fresh into what can sometimes feel a little stuffy.

Before Meghan met Harry she spent quite a lot of time working with different charities around the world, using her celebrity to raise awareness. In 2017, she wrote an article for Time Magazine titled “How Periods Affect Potential,” about the way menstruation can hinder a woman’s potential if she doesn’t have access to tampons and pads.

Markle said in the piece:

“I traveled to Delhi and Mumbai this January with World Vision to meet girls and women directly impacted by the stigmatization of menstrual health and to learn how it hinders girls’ education. One hundred and thirteen million adolescent girls between the ages of 12-14 in India alone are at risk of dropping out of school because of the stigma surrounding menstrual health.”

She’s also worked with World Vision’s Clean Water Campaign in Rwanda in 2016 and shortly after wrote a personal essay for ELLE UK about her experience as an advocate for the United Nations, in the essay she says, “This type of work is what feeds my soul. The degree to which I can do that both on and off camera is a direct perk of my job.”

 

Photo/ World Vision

In fact, her philanthropic tendencies began at the tender age of eleven when she stood up for gender equality after seeing a sexist ad on TV for Ivory Dishwashing Liquid,  Markle wrote letters to Hillary Clinton, Linda Ellerbee, Gloria Allred, and the company responsible for the ad. Markle received replies from all three women, and the soap company changed the wording in the commercial. What Meghan did landed her on the cable show ‘Nick News’ in 1993.

 

 

Prince Harry has had the quite the ride, he’s been quoted as saying the death of his Mother Princess Diana caused total chaos in his life. After seeking help he’s become a true voice for people who suffer from mental illness.

He also seemed to throw himself into charity work. He founded the Invictus Games, having served in the British Army for ten years, is passionate about promoting the welfare of those who are serving or who have served their country in the Armed Forces.

And most notably to ME, is the work he does to help orphans in Lesotho, southern Africa with his charity called  Sentebale.

 

 

In 2015, he spent a great deal of time in parts of Africa, working closely with conservation experts to learn about environmental education programmes and also spent time with a team of rangers in Kruger National Park, South Africa, who are the first to respond to reports of poaching attacks on Elephant and Rhino.

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Prince Harry has released this personal photo taken during his summer visit to southern Africa. Here Prince Harry shares his story behind the photograph… "By this point many people will have heard of ‘Hope’, a young female black rhino that was brutally wounded by poachers in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. This was the second operation to try to save this animal’s life. Some poachers use a dart gun and tranquilize the animal so as to not have to fire a shot that would be heard. They then hack their face off while the animal is paralysed before running off with the horn. Local communities saw her stumbling through the bush and then alerted the authorities. Thanks to Dr William Fowlds and his team, Hope survived and is making a speedy recovery. I stared into her eyes while operating on her and thought at first that it would have been better and fairer to put her down rather than put her through the pain. Afterwards I was told of another female called Thandi who was in a similar state in 2012. She now has a baby calf called Thembi." Every single rhino matters. If you want to help have a look at: www.wildernessFoundation.co.za Photograph ©Prince Harry

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The wedding itself has not been without controversy, the price tag, the relevancy of the monarchy, the fact that’s it’s a diverse couple, you definitely can’t please all the people all the time.

But I think the bigger picture is some of the choices they have made within the boundaries of their wedding, which have been really really good ones.

In an era where we have people on both sides of the climate change debate (breaking news, climate change is real and its happening because of humans) are doing too much talking and not enough doing, it’s refreshing to see a young couple with a hell of a lot of influence opt for earth-friendly alternatives:

 

THE CHARITIES 

The couple chose charities which represent a range of issues that they are passionate about, including sport for social change, women’s empowerment, conservation, the environment, homelessness, HIV and the Armed Forces. Many of these are small charities, and the couple are pleased to be able to amplify and shine a light on their work.

You can see a full list of the charities here.

I obviously love them all but are paying closer attention to Surfers Against Sewage, a national marine conservation and campaigning charity, which inspires, unites and empowers communities to take action to protect oceans, beaches, waves, and wildlife.

 

I think this choice will bring an unprecedented global spotlight to their work.

 

The other charity we love is The Wilderness Foundation UK, which promotes the benefits and enjoyment of wild nature. Through the great outdoors, the charity helps build resilience in vulnerable teenagers, introduces rural employment to urban youth, and brings science to life.

 

The work done in this space is crucial to the survival of our planet and highlights the issues facing wildlife and ocean conservation today.

 

THE FLOWERS 

Where possible, Philippa Craddock uses flowers and plants that are in season and blooming naturally in May, including branches of beech, birch, and hornbeam, as well as white garden roses, peonies and foxgloves. Local, sustainable flowers is not something that comes to mind very often, but when you think about number pesticides used and the distances flowers travel, it’s a big footprint.

Related Post: 5 Places To Find Locally Grown Flowers 

Craddock is also partnered with drop4drop – an independent charity based in Brighton, whose passionate team are on a dedicated mission to help alleviate the World Water Crisis.  Over the next, they will raise enough money to fund their first water well, which will provide an entire community with access to a sustainable source of clean drinking water.

 

THE CAKE 

According to the palace, the couple asked Claire Ptak, owner of London based culinary gem Violet Bakery, to make a “lemon elderflower cake that will incorporate the bright flavours of spring” rather than the more traditional fruitcake. Ptak, who was raised in California, focuses on using seasonal and organic ingredients in her cakes. The cake features elderflower syrup that’s grown on The Queen’s residence. The cake is decorated with Swiss meringue buttercream and 150 fresh flowers, mainly British, and in season, including peonies and roses.

This decision highlights some of the values this couple holds regarding food provenance, sustainability, and seasonality. It also aligns with the work Prince Charles has been doing with organic food since the 90’s. When he first began his business  Duchy Originals, he was laughed at, but it seems he has the last laugh, his organic food range, has grown to encompass 230 products, sold in 30 countries from Australia to Japan. Sales of traditional oaten biscuits – the first item in the Duchy brand, made from oats harvested on his Highgrove estate – have reached 70 million in total.

 

THE SECOND DRESS 

The stunning, sexy, gorgeous, white halter neck reception gown designed for the Duchess Of Sussex is created by ethical fashion designer Stella McCartney.

McCartney is a pioneer in sustainable fashion and choosing her sends a really powerful message, one that compliments the strong message this young couple will bring to environmental awareness.

Of the trend towards sustainability, McCartney has said: “I hope that I am joined by more people, and I think it’s unavoidable that it will be part of the curriculum for consumption because the next generation need a planet to live on and they deserve no less.

“It’s doable. I’m here showing everyone you can actually do it and hopefully, there is no compromise. That’s the mindset you need to get around. You can actually have it all.”

By the way, Oprah was wearing one of Stella’s dress too. SWOON!

 

THAT CAR! 

Ferarri founder Enzo Ferrari declared it “the most beautiful electric car in the world”. I have to agree. At first glance, it just oozes elegance and romance but when you look a little closer, there is a pretty awesome story behind the E-type Jaguar Concept Zero.

The sports car was originally manufactured in 1968 and has since been converted to electric power with LED headlamps to boot! And it retails for a whopping £350,000!

It’s powered by a lithium battery and the inside has been described as “positively 1960s” with a ‘modern classic’ makeover, complete with carbon fibre dashboard and touchscreen control panel.

Tim Hannig, Director of Jaguar Land Rover Classic, was quoted as saying, “E-type Zero combines the renowned E-type dynamic experience with enhanced performance through electrification. This unique combination creates a breathtaking driving sensation. We’re looking forward to the reaction of our clients as we investigate bringing this concept to market.”

Yesterday it was revealed there is a secret meaning behind the registration plate on the car’s number plate read ‘E190518’ – which is a tribute to the newlywed’s wedding date.

 

A few last words, I recognize the large environmental footprint of a wedding of this caliber, flying all the guests to the UK from all over the world, not so eco for sure.

Plus the waste generated from the people watching, I am sure was pretty big as well.

The point of this article is to highlight the good things that this couple is doing. Things that will bring attention to issues that we are facing today. Issues like the importance of wildlife conservation, issues like plastic pollution in the ocean and issues of diversity and gender equality.

It’s going to be exciting to see what comes next!

Why Harry And Meghan’s Eco-Friendly Wedding Choices Matter

 

 

Candice Batista

Candice Batista is an award winning Environmental Journalist and one of Canada’s leading eco advocates. Her career spans national and international media outlets, where she has used her background in environmental studies and media & communications to produce and report on various environmental and climate issues for primarily television and digital audiences including Huffington Post, The Globe & Mail, The Weather Network, CityTV, Rogers Television, The Pet Network, iChannel, and CTV, where she is currently the National Eco Expert for the stations number 1 daytime talk show, The Marilyn Denis Show.
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