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Harry, Meghan, You Could Have Done It Here

By James Utt
By James Utt

I have a sister who is a very fine person but is burdened by a couple of quirks. She is a “cat person” and is enthralled with British royal weddings. Up at 4 a.m., tea in hand to watch two people get married in London. While the Royal Family picks up part of the tab, the taxpayers are on the hook for security. Things like snipers, drones, and undercover police, according to a CNBC report, cost over $40 million.

But the bride is biracial and American and, oh so, pretty. Well, yes, that fits the description of a great deal of women these days. But she is married into the royal family. Ah,  “royal family,” an anachronism left over from earlier ages. Didn’t we Americans fight a war some time ago to be free of royal rule? So many in this country grab glossy magazines with the happy couple on the cover, it makes me wonder if deep down there isn’t a longing for some type of royalty here.

I have nothing against Harry as a person. It is a crushing blow to lose one’s mother at a young age, and he has handled that with grace and dignity. He fought with distinction in Afghanistan, as did thousands of other British “commoners.” But to have his wedding garner such media attention as to push off to the side the mayhem in the Middle East, the violence in our schools, and the bitter partisanship that is crippling our nation, is just too much for this curmudgeon to bear.

It has been many weeks since the wedding, but thoughts keep coming back to me about how things could have been handled differently. Should yours truly have been Harry and Meghan’s wedding planner, I would have offered a more modest proposal. Let’s turn back the clock to May. We are going to get rid of the centuries old pomp and circumstance that worn- out royal family traditions dictate. Come to Laguna Beach and get married! It would have to be a smaller guest list, but you probably didn’t want a huge crowd anyway.  The happy couple will see how beautiful our town is compared to London. Trust me, I’ve been there.

Want to really throw royal wedding protocol into the dust bin of history where it belongs? Then I suggest holding the ceremony on a beach in our fair town. My personal choice would be Crescent Bay Beach. You could get the Queen some Birkenstocks, so she could easily navigate the sand and we would even let her beloved corgis run, or waddle, around without their leashes. Prince Phillip would have to clean up after them. We will only bend the rules so far. The wedding party would have to be in casual beach attire. Frankly, Prince Charles could use a touch of Tommy Bahama.

If Crescent Bay does not suit you, there is always the iconic Main Beach, our “window to the sea,” with its classic lifeguard tower. Or, if you wanted just a touch of elegance, you could choose the Montage and Treasure Island Beach.

Here is a major selling point:  If you got married in Laguna Beach you would not have to eat English food at the reception. Done deal, right? If you tied the knot at Main Beach or even Crescent Bay Beach, you could walk to Las Brisas. Great food and a magnificent view. Or before dinner, you could have a drink at The Rooftop Lounge and watch the sun set, then head over to Sapphire Grill for an equally great dinner. If you are lucky, Michael Minutoli, our town greeter would be on nearby Brooks Street.                                                                                                                      After dinner, there is a wide variety of establishments to hear fine music and dance. Why, Prince Charles himself might feel inclined to bust a move at the Sandpiper.

To wind down the day, I recommend a final pint at The Marine Room. When my wife and I moved to Laguna Beach, we were told, “It is where the locals gather.” If you had gotten married here, we would consider you an honorary local. Plus, we know you would be back to visit often, because we actually have a summer season. Harry, you are married to an American. The child must be taught to surf, not play polo or hunt foxes.

Pack your flip flops and head our way. We promise not to mention the Battle of Yorktown.


James Utt is the author of “Laguna Tales and Boomer W

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