Nthabiseng Maphisa

I am not close to any members of any royal family on earth. I am neither a duchess nor an empress. As far as my knowledge can stretch I am not a princess though I have the dreams, to live like one some day. I am not a countess nor have I ever dated a count. No, there’s certainly nothing regal here. As far as titles go I have spent my life placing the word “miss” in front of my name. Dream as I may I do not think that “Her majesty, the great and awe-inspiring Nthabiseng” will ever stick.

Monarchies are fascinating to watch. They are a piece of ancient and medieval history that has been zapped into the modern world. They have sparkling crowns, fur crimson robes and sceptres made of gold. They have carriages drawn by horses that gallop their way on cobblestones to magnificent castles and palaces. Some have a gross amount of wives and concubines. Others have abdicated the throne for the sake of true love. Some have dynasties that have built great walls while others, so fearful of being unprepared for the afterlife, have built pyramids. As always, some are saints and some are sinners. All around the world, there are remnants of their reigns left for the world to ponder. No greater is there than that of the British royal family. Theirs is a kingdom that has been fraught with tyranny, divorce and an insatiable need for power. It is also a kingdom that is dearly loved by its people. But as time walks its path and empires rise and fall, the relevance of monarchies is being questioned. I am still to discover how it came to be that one family rose to power and now resides in pools of luxury while the rest of the country lies waist deep in tax bills and matchbox houses.

In one month’s time, Meghan Markle will marry Prince Harry. Millions around the world will tune in for hours to feast on this spectacle. As many countries are governed through democracy I am bewildered then that there would be such a fascination, and at times obsession, with any royal family. Is this slice of humanity secretly wishing it were them tiptoeing out of a carriage? No, I would say it is much deeper than this. I would put forward that the wide-eyed and awe-struck faces that will be plastered to TV sets are waiting to witness a glimpse of eternity. They wish to see what a never-ending sovereignty looks like. It is the vision of white lace cascading down a red aisle. It is the echo of church bells being swayed into sound. It is the gentle waft of incense floating across the nostrils. It has the taste of butter icing and vanilla sponge cake. I am not fooled. Beneath the mindless chatter about glitter and designer clothes there is a restless yearning for this grand and auspicious feast to carry on. Meghan will be presented to her groom to be united to him and both to indulge in an everlasting banquet! Perhaps the party won’t last forever but you get the idea. “Oh that it would last forever” they’ll say. They will ponder a joy that will never cease and a banquet to go on for all time. This must surely sound familiar.

When the candles are blown out and the confetti is swept away, the teachers, cleaners, cashiers, flight attendants, waiters and the rest of us “commoners” will switch off our TV sets and return to the ordinariness of our lives. In their eyes we may not be seen as royals. But Jesus Christ holds us close to His heart. It is through Him that we have a great inheritance. We can hope to live one day as princes and princesses of the man who would truly be king.

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