On TheAtlantic.com, Sophie Gilbert wonders why so many Americans were fascinated by the Meghan Markle-Prince Harry royal wedding:

More than 29 million got up early on a Saturday to watch Meghan Markle marry Prince Harry in a ceremony that plunged the royal family into the 21st century. Markle, of course, “is the old dream come true,” fulfilling “the fantasy of an ordinary mortal being thrust into royalty”—one that’s been played out in countless fairy tales, from Cinderella to The Princess Diaries. And she’s a biracial, divorced, 36-year-old American feminist—hardly your stereotypical princess. The feverish coverage of every American TV network, and the large audience it generated, suggests that Americans “are almost more infatuated with the idea of inherited privilege” than the British are. But Markle is already shaking up an institution that “has doggedly resisted change.” The spirited wedding sermon from U.S. Episcopal Bishop Michael Curry confronted the legacy of slavery and quoted Martin Luther King. A largely African-American choir sang a soulful version of “Stand by Me.” Millions may have tuned in because of fascination with royal tradition, but what we witnessed was “the redefinition of the word princess.”

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