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Marriage is a shape-shifting institution. Before people dreamt of white weddings, they dreamt of social advancement, strategic alliances and, if they were lucky, some pleasant company along the way. Then Cupid aimed his arrow at the heart of the establishment, and romance and marriage became as intertwined as the proverbial horse and carriage. Taking the long view, Ellie Violet Bramley asks: What’s love got to do with it?

“I love a great love story, ” Meghan Markle told an interviewer a few weeks before she and Prince Harry announced their engagement. Their wedding, months later, was watched by a global audience that ran into the hundreds of millions. “Two people fell in love and we all showed up, ” read one headline. A more sweeping advertisement for the partnership between love and marriage would be hard to come by: This was the fairy tale of romantic attraction transforming,

  • Words:
    Ellie Violet Bramley

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