TANMANJEET SINGH DHESI MP has praised Prince Harry’s fiancé, Meghan Markle, for speaking out about issues including women’s rights and racism, as the royal couple are set to wed in four weeks.
The Labour politician’s constituency in Slough, Berkshire, neighbours Windsor which is hosting the star-studded ceremony on May 19.
Around 600 people have been invited to the service at St George’s Chapel, including singer Elton John, David and Victoria Beckham, and Markle’s actress friend Priyanka Chopra, according to reports.
Dhesi told Eastern Eye the bride is an inspiring figure as Markle spoke about her mixed-race background, her struggles to get acting work and the racist abuse she has experienced.
He said: “Meghan Markle has been a breath of fresh air for the Royal family. Some of the issues she has taken on board from a young age, she is very much a social activist.
“Having campaigned on social justice and women’s rights, it is great that somebody so socially aware and active is going to be a member of the Royal family.”
Dhesi, the first MP to be elected who wears a turban, celebrated his 13th wedding anniversary this year with wife Manveen. The couple have two young sons.
He joked that his Punjabi wedding was not on the scale of the royal nuptials. “Punjabi weddings are normally quite large gatherings; extended family, people stay close whether its second, third, fourth, fifth cousin.
“It is memories to cherish. It seems a long time ago now given we have two children. There were hundreds of guests. Extended family, their relations, friends; that’s how things roll within the Punjabi community.
“I don’t think we can compare with the royal wedding; it will be on a much grander scale. I wore traditional, very ornate dress – not as ornate as the missus – rather than suit, shirt and tie. We had a wonderful time.”
Inspiring Britons have been sent invites to watch outside the chapel when Prince Harry and the American actress get married. These include schoolboy Darram Kooner, 15, part of Wolverhampton Youth Council, who has raised issues including racism and mental health in parliament.
Dhesi said: “It’s wonderful to give those community activists the chance to be involved. Many would not have been in that occasion in a formal setting. That’s a wonderful gesture by Harry and Meghan.”
Dhesi said he will be watching the ceremony on TV like billions of viewers around the world.
The Cambridge University graduate joked: “I haven’t been invited; I’m not important enough.”
He added: “There will be a lot of interest all over the world. I’ll probably watch it on TV with other members of my family.”