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The Commoner
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Many of us enjoyed the hoopla surrounding the recent royal marriage of Prince William to Princess Kate, but as most of us know, there was a pretty big story lurking under the surface of this romantic event. The future King of England was marrying a commoner. An especially common commoner.

Though I lived in the UK for awhile, I don’t even begin to understand the ins and outs of the royal line. I do know that though there have been many marriages over the last centuries where untitled women married into the royal line, there has been no one as common as Kate to marry a future king since 1660 when Anne Hyde was smuggled in at midnight to marry the man who would become James II. The other untitled women all had royal lines in close proximity to themselves. But the closest Kate comes to royalty is a distant relation to King Edward III who lived in the early 1300s. In other words, she’s about as royal as me.

Kate Middleton does however come from some good solid, hardworking stock. Her great-great-grandfather John Harrison was a coal miner in the North of England. His son, Thomas, escaped the coalmines and became a carpenter and worked his way to London where he raised his family. His daughter, Dorothy, married a successful builder. Their daughter, Carole, grew up to marry a trainee pilot she met while serving as an airline stewardess. Carole and Michael opened an online business that has successfully taken them from middle to upper class allowing them to send their daughter, Kate, to very prestigious schools including St. Andrews University where Kate would one day meet Prince William.

A pretty impressive family, it sounds to me. Worked hard. Pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps. Nose to the grindstone and all that. 

Nonetheless, on the day Prince William announced he was finally engaged to Kate Middleton, all the papers talked about was that the Prince will be marrying a commoner. No matter that she will be the first Queen with a college education. No matter that she carries herself with poise and confidence. No matter that her parents are millionaires. As far as some highbrows are concerned, she is a poor choice because she is not royal.

Royalty by Works

Most of us were taught that hard work is what it takes to succeed. But even the coal miner turned millionaire story of Kate Middleton’s family issn’t enough. As hard as they worked, they could never, ever be rich enough to become royal. “Royalty by works” is as big a failure as salvation by works. 

Two weeks ago, Kate Middleton became a Princess because of only one thing:  He loves her. And when he asked her to be his, she said yes.

Each of us was born a commoner. We were unworthy to live anywhere near the throne.

But there is a moment in many of our lives where we go from commoner to royalty—we become a member of The King’s family.  And it happens for only one reason:  because He loves us.  He asks that we see ourselves through His eyes—as His bride. And He asks us to say yes. 

"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light" (1 Peter 2:9).

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By Joelle Yamada. Copyright © 2011 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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