K E Y P O I N T S
- Meghan’s bouquet contained Forget-Me-Not flowers picked by Prince Harry, a favourite bloom of his late mother, Princess Diana
- The Most Rev Bishop Michael Curry, the first African-American presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, opened his speech with words from Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr
- Prince Charles stepped in to walk Meghan down the aisle after her own father had to pull out at the last moment
- Meghan wore a sparkling diamond tiara loaned to her by the Queen
- Her veil featured embroidered flora of each of the 53 countries of the Commonwealth
- Guests responded with a loud and clear ‘we will’ when asked if they would support the couple
- The choir covered all bases with rousing renditions of Ben E. King’s Stand By Me as well as the national anthem, God Save The Queen
- Prince Harry was seen murmuring ‘I’m ready for a drink now’ following the ceremony
- Couple urged to share a second kiss as former soldiers yelled ‘Don’t be shy!’
- American royalty was also in attendance, in the form of TV host Oprah Winfrey
S N A P V E R D I C T
Wallis Simpson would be turning in her grave. Simpson was the American socialite divorcee who Prince Edward fell in love with, forcing him to choose between the throne and love. He chose Simpson and abdicated. Eighty-two years later and Markle, also an American divorced celebrity, has married a prince, and seemingly on her own terms.
The ceremony owed as much to her Black American culture as to his white, British Royal one. Yes, the church was in fact the royal chapel where former monarchs including Henry VIII, Charles I, George III, Edward VII and George V, King George VI and the Queen Mother are buried. Yes, bridesmaids were princesses and of course they sang God Save The Queen.
But what will be remembered is the sermon from Rev Michael Curry, the first African-American to lead the US Episcopal church. He has previously spoken out against racism, sexual harassment and in favour of LGBT+ equality. “Love is the way” he told the guests, quoting, alongside the Bible, the black human rights leader Martin Luther King. People commented on the fact that he chose to read from an iPad.
A gospel choir sang “Stand By Me”. The queen’s chaplain Rose Hudson-Wilkin, a black woman, gave an address. Nineteen-year-old Sheku Kanneh-Mason, the first black man to win the BBC Young Musician of the Year Award, in 2016, gave an extraordinary performance. The biggest stars there were Oprah Winfrey and Serena Williams.
Of course the winners of any wedding should always be the bride and groom. Both certainly looked like they had won. But in this one, anyone who cares about a modern, multi-cultural, inclusive and internationalist society also won. And maybe the whole royal family won a little too, because today they feel just a little more relevant than before.
B E S T Q U O T E
There’s power in love. Love can help and heal when nothing else can. Love can lift up and liberate for living when nothing else will. And the love that brings two people together is the same love that can bind them together, Whether on mountaintops of happiness and through valleys of hardship. “Love is strong as death It’s flashes are flashes of fire. Many waters cannot quench love. Love can see you through! There’s power in love.” Rev Michael Curry:
Correction: this article originally said Stand By Me was written by BB King. In fact it was first performed by Ben E. King. This has been corrected. Wallis Simpson was a socialite, not an actress as the original article stated.