How Prince Harry and Meghan Markle said their I do's in fairytale ceremony

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Prince Harry and Meghan celebrate their third wedding anniversary. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Prince Harry and Meghan celebrate their third wedding anniversary. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)

You've got to hand it to the royals - they know how to pull out all the stops to stage a wedding that the whole world will still be talking about years down the line.

THE CHURCH

There were elements of new and old throughout the hour-long ceremony.

The sermons

While the wedding was officiated by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and conducted by the Right Reverend David Conner, it was charismatic American bishop Michael Bruce Curry who was the star of the show.

The 65-year-old was the suggestion of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who’s described him as “a stunning preacher”.

His fiery sermon – which he read off an iPad – had social media in a meltdown. In a nod to Meghan’s African-American heritage, he quoted a slave song and drew on the words of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King, with excerpts from his Power of Love speech.

Meghan and Harry reverand
Reverend Michael Curry hails from Chicago and is the first black presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church of the United States. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)

“We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we discover that, we will be able to make this old world a new world. Love is the only way. There’s power in love. Don’t underestimate it. Don’t even oversentimentalise. There is power, power in love.”

His passionate delivery was a breakaway from the usually understated sermons delivered in the Church of England, and observers remarked several members of the royal family appeared to be “stifling giggles”.

But it drew praise from around the world too, especially from African Americans. “It was a perfect blend between Meghan’s culture and the royal culture. As an African-American woman, [I thought] it was made in heaven,” said Karen Long from Houston, Texas.

Who is Reverend Michael Curry?

1. He hails from Chicago and is the first black presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church of the United States, which falls under the Anglican umbrella, as does the Church of England.

2. He was ordained as a priest in 1978.

3. He’s spoken out on issues including social justice, immigration policy and marriage equality.

4. The Episcopal Church is one of just two Anglican churches that allow gay marriage. The other is the Scottish Episcopal Church.

THE MUSIC

The Choir of St George’s Chapel

Guests were treated to several traditional hymns sung by the St George’s Chapel choir. Conducted by James Vivian, the choir consists of 23 boys from St George’s School in Windsor and 12 lay clerks.

Founded in 1348, the choir sings throughout the week in the chapel and performs at venues throughout Europe.

The Kingdom Choir

The 20-strong Christian gospel group, who hail from southeast London, proved to be a surprise hit with their moving rendition of the 1961 soul classic Stand By Me, and the hymn This Little Light of Mine.

Gospel conductor and founder Karen Gibson said the group were honoured to sing at the wedding. “It will be a moment we’ll always treasure.”

In 2000 the choir won BBC Radio 2’s Minstrels in the Gallery competition and in 2002 they were nominated for best UK Choir at the Oasis Awards.

They’ve performed on TV, in adverts, at corporate launches and at iconic venues such as the Royal Albert Hall and St Paul’s Cathedral.

Meghan and Harry choir
UK gospel group The Kingdom Choir, led by Karen Gibson, sang the soul classic Stand By Me and the hymn This Little Light of Mine. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)

The cellist

Sheku Kanneh-Mason is the gifted cellist who performed while the couple were signing the registry. The 19-year-old – who’s the 2016 winner of the BBC’s Young Musician competition – was a student at the prestigious Royal Academy of Music and has a busy international career.

He says he was bowled over when Meghan called. "Of course I immediately said yes! What a privilege to be able to play the cello at such a wonderful event."

ST GEORGE’S CHAPEL

In keeping with their desire for a smaller, more intimate wedding, Meghan and Harry were drawn to this 800-seater chapel tucked away inside the walls of Windsor Castle rather than the imposing Westminster Abbey where William and Kate wed in 2011, which holds up to 2 000 people.

The chapel has been the venue for many royal weddings – the first one in 1863 when King Edward VII wed Queen Alexandra.

More recently Peter Phillips (40), the son of Harry’s aunt, Princess Anne, married Canadian Autumn Kelly there in 2008.

It was also the site of a televised blessing ceremony between Harry’s father, Prince Charles, and his second wife, Camilla Parker Bowles, following their civil marriage ceremony at Windsor’s Guildhall in 2005.

chapel
The chapel has been the venue for many royal weddings – the first one in 1863 when King Edward VII wed Queen Alexandra. (PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images)

The chapel hosted the nuptials of Harry’s cousin Princess Eugenie (28) when she wed her wine merchant fiancé, Jack Brooksbank (32) in October 2018.

Within the chapel are the tombs of 10 monarchs, including Henry VIII and Charles I. Harry’s great-grandparents King George VI and the Queen Mother were also laid to rest there, as was Queen Elizabeth’s younger sister, Princess Margaret and more recently, Prince Philip.

It’s also the planned burial site for the queen.

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