Friday, December 14, 2018 | ePaper

Harry & Meghan’s wedding ceremony was way less traditional than Will & Kate’s

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Tamara Abraham :
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding ceremony yesterday was evidence that it was wholly possible to break free from many of the stuffy traditions associated with the royal family.
From the address by Reverend Michael Curry, to the Kingdom Choir singing “Stand By Me,” it was clear that the couple had put immense thought and care into ensuring that the service represented both of them in equal part.
This was not so evident at the 2011 wedding of Harry’s brother, Price William, to Kate Middleton. Of course, the more traditional structure of William and Kate’s wedding might be a matter of taste, or perhaps propriety: William is the more senior royal and second in line to the throne. Kate is also a member of Britain’s middle to upper class, so the couple’s backgrounds are not so different.
In any case, May 19’s ceremony was unlike that of any other royal’s wedding. It began with Meghan walking down the aisle solo, accompanied by a cluster of small bridesmaids and page boys.
At the halfway point, Prince Charles, took her arm and they walked together towards Harry. Had Meghan’s father been well enough to travel from the US, her entrance may have been more similar to Kate’s, who walked the length of Westminster Abbey with her father.
Kate’s entrance was preceded by formal processions heralding the arrival of the Queen and the clergy. The congregation was then guided through a traditional service including several hymns and readings. In terms of music, the couple had an organist, the London Chamber Orchestra, and singing from of traditional choral music from the Choir of Westminster Abbey and the Choir of Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace.
May 19’s service was conducted by the Dean of Windsor, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s was conducted by the Dean of Westminster. Both couples had their marriage solemnized by the Archbishop of Canterbury. But this is where the similarities end.
The address from the Most Reverend Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church of the United States, electrified St George’s Chapel with a speech celebrating the power of love. Reverend Curry quoted Dr Martin Luther King, Jr, St Paul and more great thinkers during the 14-minute speech.
The Kingdom Choir also treated guests to a show-stopping rendition of “Stand By Me” at the wedding.
According to a press release from Kensington Palace, the Kingdom Choir is a Christian gospel group. “The choir is made up of a group of British artists dedicated to creating a sound that demonstrates the community they share, and has been performing both nationally and internationally for over 20 years,” it read.
Harry and Meghan understood that their wedding was a platform for new talent, and so appointed 19-year-old cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason to perform. Sheku was the winner of the BBY Young Musician award in 2016.
While Pippa’s derrière almost stole the show in 2011, when she was maid of honor, Meghan chose not to have a maid of honor in her bridal party, so as not to have to choose between her best girlfriends. But her closeness to stylist Jessica Mulroney and Benita Litt, a former entertainment lawyer and entrepreneur, was very much in evidence in her choice of bridesmaids and page boys. Twins John and Brian Mulroney, 7, and Ivy Mulroney, 4, are Jessica’s children, while 6-year-old Remi and 7-year old Rylan are Benita's children and Meghan’s goddaughters. The inclusion of Meghan's close friends’ children represents a stark contrast with the bridesmaids who accompanied the Duchess of Cambridge down the aisle in 2011. Kate’s bridesmaids were all connected to William’s side of the family and included his cousin, Lady Louise Windsor, now 13. Grace van Cutsem, now 10, is the daughter of William’s friend Hugh van Cutsem; Eliza Lopes, now 10, is the granddaughter of the Duchess of Cornwall, William's stepmother; and Margarita Armstrong-Jones, now 15, is the daughter of the Earl and Countess of Snowdon.  n

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