The Look of Love Between Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Reminds Me of My Daughter

Parents magazine editor-in-chief, Liz Vaccariello, describes her first memory of locking eyes with her daughter in the nursery as one of hope and possibility. 
Joana Lopes/Shutterstock

Much has been written since May about the royal wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Allow me to chime in with a perspective of my own.

This column is not about how the event marked a new era of integration—how it was a melding of countries and cultures, races and lineages, he a redheaded royal who’s sixth in line for the British throne, she a biracial feminist whose American mother descended from slaves.

It’s not about the way Harry seems obsessed with holding her hand—did you notice how he hands off her hand to his other hand if they switch sides while working a crowd?—and wears his wedding ring, breaking tradition with other husbands of the House of Windsor.

And it’s not even about Princess Charlotte’s wave, the other charming children in the bridal party, or the visual of a black princess riding away from Windsor Castle in a horse-drawn carriage—just a few of the other things that caused chills and coos.

For me, it was all about the way they looked at each other as the ceremony rolled along. The melting gaze of Harry, full of adoration and awe, as his bride walked down the aisle. And the look in Meghan’s eyes, strong and soft at the same time, as she listened to her groom repeat his vows. It was a look that said: I adore you, I respect you, and I will be devoted to your happiness forever.

Naturally, I thought of my own wedding. But the look actually took me back to a night some 13 years ago when I first locked eyes with one of our daughters, Sophia, whom I held in my arms as she struggled to nurse.

We all have them, don’t we? Times we could swear our child was looking into our soul? I remember Sophia’s eyes, the exact minute on the clock (3:09 a.m.), and that my anxiety about feeding disappeared. I felt instead, for the first time, a connection.

I’ve been trying to figure out why my mind jumped from the expressions at a royal wedding to an eye lock in my nursery, and I’ve realized both moments were about hope and possibility. The feeling that a whole life lies before the two of you and you’ll face that together.

It’s a look that reflects your dreams and expectations and the knowledge that neither of you will behave perfectly but that you’ll bring your very best to the effort, and that’s your promise to each other.

It’s a look that says you’re mine and I’m yours, and I am scared but devoted, and please, God, let that be enough. It’s the look of love.

I invite you to e-mail me at liz@parents.com. You can also follow me on Instagram and Twitter.

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