Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle sealed their wedding vows with a kiss on the steps outside Windsor’s St George’s Chapel, Windsor, England on Saturday, May 19, 2018, cheered on by delighted crowds. Six hundred guests attended the service. In my view, this was one of the best Royal Weddings I have viewed, especially the spiritual aspect and the inclusion of the black race during the ceremony along with the moving highly spiritual musical renditions.
Why didn’t they kiss in the Church
Most weddings are sealed with a kiss in front of family and friends inside the venue. But there’s a reason Prince Harry and Meghan Markle saved their first smooch as a married couple for their chapel exit. That’s because it is not tradition for royal couple’s to kiss in Church during their wedding ceremony. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex kept with that tradition on Saturday locking lips outside St George’s Chapel after saying “I do” at Windsor Castle. In doing so, they followed in the footsteps of Prince William and Kate Middleton and even the late Princess Diana and Prince Charles.
WEDDING PROCESSION NOT SEEMINGLY TRADITIONAL
Prince Charles walked Miss Markle down the aisle, after her father, Thomas, was unable to attend for health reasons. Based on reports, her father watched the proceedings on television and said “my daughter seems happy“. In her vows, Miss Markle did not promise to “obey” her husband but to “love him”, while the prince broke the royal tradition by choosing to wear a wedding ring. Prince Harry’s ring is a platinum band with a textured finish and Miss Markle’s has been from a piece of Welsh gold. Don’t get me wrong, it was a traditional wedding; the dress, the bridesmaids, the vows, the hymns, but it was very different.
VERY INCLUSIVE ROYAL WEDDING
Lady Jane Fellowes; the sister of Prince Harry’s late mother, Diana, Princes of Wales, read a Scripture lesson. What was meaningful about this wedding service was the rich musical presentations in instruments and vocals especially with Karen Gibson and the Kingdom Choir performing Ben E King’s soul classic “Stand by me” a choir of 20 gospel singers. (I refer to it as a service and not ceremony…highly spiritual I must say).
As the bride and groom signed the register, 10 year-old cellist Sheku Kanneh-Masson; who won the 2016 BBC’s Young Musician, performed three pieces by Faure, Schubert and Maria Theresia von Paradis, with musicians from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the English Chamber Orchestra and the Philharmonia. Being a musician, these were perfect selections for the occasion.
Another high point in the Service was the moving presentation by the gospel choir performed by Etta James’ uplifting version of “AMEN/This little light of Mine” as the newly-weds left the Chapel….I have never heard this selection sung at a wedding service before, but quite commendable I must say; the style of rendition was moving and followed with the flow of things with the deep voices of the choir. While I watched, I was moving my feet and body.
POWERFUL SERMON, NOT SEEMINGLY TRADITIONAL
The Most Rev Bishop Michael Curry, the 27th presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, from Chicago, USA gave an address, and the Rt Rev David Conner, Dean of Windsor, conducted the service. The couple sat with clasped hands as they listened to an impassioned address of The Most Rev Bishop Curry who said “There’s power, power in love. If you don’t believe me think about a time when you first fell in love. The whole world seemed to centre around you and your beloved”. His fiery preaching style was a marked departure from the usually conservative tone of a British royal wedding. Harry could be seen saying “Wow” to Meghan as Bishop Curry’s speech ended. Well… there’s power, power in love,” Bishop Curry said in his address closer to the end of his evangelical presentation….a very moving presentation…I thought I was at a Church Crusade in the Caribbean. If I were there, I would have to shout “Hallelujah, Praise God, Amen!!”
Among the guests were Oprah Winfrey, George and Amal Clooney, Serena Williams, David and Victoria Beckham and Sir Elton John. Other celebrities in attendance included tennis star Serena Williams, TV personality James Corden, singer James Blunt, actor Carey Mulligan, and rugby star Jonny Wilkinson. Prince Harry’s uncle, Earl Spencer, the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, and the Duchess of Cambridge’s sister Pippa Middleton and former PM Sir John Major, were also invited. Senior members of the royal family, Prince Charles, the Princess Royal, Princess Andrew and his daughters, Prince Eugenie and Beatrice were among the last to arrive. About 1,200 members of the public – many who are recognised for their charity work – have been invited into the grounds of Windsor Castle for the wedding. The Queen seemed very reflective I must say and in her usual elegant attire in “style”….looking in great shape at 92 years.
OFFICIALS WHO DID NOT ATTEND
Politicians, including Prime Minister Theresa May, were not invited, as it is not a state event. But the former Prime Minister, Sir John Major, is among the invited guests, as he is a member of the Order of the Garter. Being a member entitles him to attend a service of this nature.
TRAVEL ROUTE TO RECEPTION
The duke and duchess travelled through Windsor along a route including Castle Hill, High Street, Sheet Street, Kings Road, Albert Road, Long Walk and back to the castle, where up to 100,000 well-wishers were waiting. The bridal party, including three year-old Princess Charlotte, Harry’s niece, waved enthusiastically as the couple departed from the chapel after a ceremony that was unprecedented in British royal history and watched by millions around the world.
RECEPTION AT ST GEORGE’S HALL
All 600 guests attended a lunchtime reception at St George’s Hall, which was being given and fully paid for by The Queen.
BREAK WITH TRADITION
During this reception, Prince broke the royal tradition by choosing to wear a wedding ring. The wedding represents a historic moment for the royal family as it welcomes an outspoken biracial American divorcee into its ranks. In a reflection of its contemporary nature, the couple chose a modern set of wedding vows, with the text of the formal parts of the service taken from Common Worship, the Church of England’s standard liturgy, first published in 2000. It is thought to be the first time that this text has been used in a royal wedding. There was no promise by Markle to “obey” her husband. Rather, Meghan pledged to “love him, comfort him, honour and protect him”. Harry has chosen to wear a wedding ring, unlike his brother. The presence of Harry’s mother was also subtly felt at the ceremony. “Guide me O thou great Redeemer” was sung at Diana’s funeral, at her memorial service in 2007 and at Kate and William’s wedding in 2011. Harry’s aunt Lady Jane Fellowes; the sister of his late mother, Princess Diana, gave the reading from the Book of Solomon.
PRIVATE RECEPTION NEXT SATURDAY
Next Saturday evening/May 26, 2018, the newlyweds will celebrate with 200 close friends and family at a private reception less than a mile from Windsor Castle at Frogmore House, hosted by Prince Charles. The Royal Family will pay for the wedding, including the service, music, flowers and reception.
WHERE WILL THE NEWLY-WEDS LIVE
Media sources speculate that Harry and Meghan will not be staying for long in Nottingham Cottage, as the couple has spoken about wanting to start a family soon.
After their wedding on May 19, His Royal Highness Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be settling down in their first official home together in a small, modest house in London. Of course, the house also happens to be the historic Nottingham Cottage in Kensington Palace. According to The Express, Clarence House confirmed that this is where the couple will live after their wedding. At 1,300 square feet, Nottingham Cottage is the smallest abode in Kensington Palace, boasting two bedrooms, one bathroom, two reception rooms, a kitchen, living room and small garden out back.
While Harry has lived in Nottingham Cottage since 2013, Meghan moved in after their November 2017 engagement. It was also here that Harry proposed. There is no official word on any other real estate that the couple may own jointly, but rumors have flown about Luckington Court, a $10 million countryside manor in Prince Harry’s childhood hometown that went off the market shortly after the royal engagement was announced.
WHAT IS THE TITLE OF MEGHAN?
Although Meghan Markle is now a princess by marriage, she would not be entitled to be styled as “Princess Meghan. To have princess as a title before your first name, is an honour reserved for women who are born into the Royal Family. So while Princess Charlotte is a princess because of her father’s royal status Princess Diana was actually Diana, Princess of Whales. “Meghan” is now HRH the Duchess of Sussex. Her rank is a princess by marriage of the United Kingdom, Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
WILL THE ROYAL COUPLE TRAVEL TO JAMAICA SOON?
Let us keep our fingers crossed, Jamaica has been selected as a favourite spot for a honeymoon location for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. We could soon see them in our neighbourhood….look out!!!
Contributed by Professor Colin O Jarrett