Meghan Markle’s royal wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018 has been hailed as the “beginning” of “something different”, as the Duchess of Sussex broke with royal tradition to “curate” her own marriage ceremony. Rather than follow in the footsteps of previous royal weddings, Meghan requested American bishop Michael Curry to give a speech, and invited the predominantly black gospel choir, Kingdom Choir, to sing during the service.
Speaking to the Channel 5 documentary ‘Fergie and Meghan: Inconvenient Royals’, royal historian Dr Anna Whitelock said: “I think there’s every sign that the marriage of Harry and Meghan marked the beginning of something different, or at least Meghan wanted to curate things in her own way.”
Journalist Tiwa Adebayo continued: “For Meghan, being a woman of colour, having a gospel choir that were mostly black and having a black minister as well, whilst that might not seem political and perhaps it shouldn’t be seen as political, it absolutely was a political choice and I think she was trying to send a very clear message.
“She wasn’t going to be leaving behind who she was.”
Meghan Markle married Prince Harry on May 19, 2018 in a televised service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor.
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The couple had first met in the summer of 2016 after they were introduced through a mutual friend.
For their wedding service, Meghan Markle played an active role in overseeing the arrangements and steered away from royal tradition by incorporating elements that reflected her position as an American woman of colour.
The couple had requested Bishop Michael Curry to deliver a sermon on their special day and invited a gospel choir to sing during the service.
Michael Curry is the first African-American bishop of the Episcopal Church and is known for his work in addressing racial issues, LGBTQ rights, and promoting social justice.
The couple had also invited Kingdom Choir, a London-based gospel choir, to perform during the service.
The predominantly black choir sang a rendition of ‘Stand By Me’, whilst the couple were sitting down. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry had first met the group after they performed at the closing ceremony of the 2017 Invictus Games.
In another break from tradition, the Duchess of Sussex walked herself down the first section of the aisle. As her father, Thomas Markle, had been unable to attend, Meghan walked alone until the Prince of Wales met her to walk her through the quire.
After her wedding to Prince Harry, Meghan became a full-time working member of the Royal Family, until the couple’s departure in 2020.
The couple currently reside in Montecito, California, with their two young children.