Yep, a wedding really can bring religion into your life – soon Meghan will know what it’s like to be in hell.
Perhaps guests should only buy wedding presents made of plastic, in case the warring relatives end up chucking them at each other? But if there are casualties it’s okay, because Meghan’s parents, Doria Ragland and Thomas Markle snr, met on the set of the daytime soap General Hospital. Which could also explain the family’s penchant for sensational plot twists and larger-than-life characters.
We’ve been here before, of course. On the eve of Kate Middleton’s wedding, her drug-dealing pimp uncle from Ibiza made the headlines. At the time, Kate’s mum’s brother, Gary Goldsmith, was the tattooed proprietor of La Maison de Bang Bang – a concept I would have enjoyed seeing courtiers explain to the Queen.
Is it any wonder, then, that psychologists rate wedding planning with bereavement on the stress-ometer? Weddings are also a social minefield because you’re basically throwing together a lot of strangers who have nothing in common. It’s like serving oysters and custard on the same plate. An aisle separates clans during the ceremony, but at the reception families just have to grind together, like teeth.
Perhaps the big white wedding should go the way of other archaic traditions, like human sacrifice – which, interestingly enough, also takes place on an altar. But before Meghan rips up her guest list and simply elopes, I hope someone reminds her that every family flock has at least one black sheep – even Her Maj. Yep, the Queen’s uncle, Edward VIII, was a Nazi sympathiser and her daughter-in-law Fergie’s toes were photographed in the mouth of Texan businessman John Bryan – to name but two royal rejects.
I actually think it’s a relief to have embarrassing relatives at the wedding because it makes the rest of us look sensible and presentable. In fact, if you don’t have a bad apple in your family tree, I suggest grafting on an extra branch. Most families are dysfunctional in some way, but embarrassing rellos sure put the fun into dysfunctional.