Introducing His Royal Highness The Dutch of Sussex and Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex. The royal wedding brought a classic Hallmark Channel movie to reality Saturday as Meghan Markle became the first biracial American to marry into the royal family. The ceremony watched by millions around the world intertwined Markle and Prince Harry’s culture and has set Markle up to be a trailblazer.
The symbolic ceremony introduced some firsts to the royal family. Markle incorporated pieces of African American culture into the heavily tradition British royal family, but she did it with class and elegance. As the unity of Harry and Markle, each from very different backgrounds, took place a message for people to come together around the world was presented.
The nontraditional ceremony for the royal family not only made history but brought cultural inclusion to the royal family and country. Here are a few moments that stood out.
The dress everyone was waiting to see! Markle’s dress was the biggest anticipation of the ceremony. Markle emerged from the car in a simple and classy dress that resembled the style of Audrey Hepburn. British designer Clair Waight Keller was chosen by Markle to make this historic dress for the biggest wedding of the year. What makes this designer stand out is last year Keller became the first female artistic director at the historic French fashion house Givenchy.
Markle made a bold statement by being the first royal bride to walk into the church alone. She made the decision to walk herself halfway down the aisle and Prince Charles met her at the halfway mark to bring her to the altar. It was a magical moment to see a confident biracial woman as she entered not only the chapel but entering the royal family a strong, confident woman.
The first look the couple shared a moment of love and showed the type of bond that the two have for one another. Prince Harry looked at Markle as if she was the only one in the room. As he should.
The address at the wedding presented the royal family with a style they have never seen. American Bishop Michael Curry is the first African-American to have served as presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church and he delivered a powerful sermon. Curry took us all to church with his message of God’s love for all his children, a reference to slavery in America, and opened with a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love.” It seemed to make royals uncomfortable but it was a beautiful ceremony that incorporated both Harry and Markle’s cultures. Curry continued, “When love is the way, there is plenty of room, plenty of room for all of God’s children. Because when love is the way we actually treat each other well like we are actually family.”
The choir and the song selection took the ceremony to the next level. Following Curry’s address, a black British based choir performed a beautiful rendition of “Stand By Me.” It seemed to be the perfect song as Harry and Markle stood next to each other at the altar. Having that person in your corner standing by you is something both needed before meeting each other and now they are that person for one another.
Can we talk about the 19-year-old cellist? Without a doubt, he stole the heart of people around the world. Twitter quickly sent praises for the talented Sheku Kanneh-Mason. He was the 2016 winner of BBC Young Musician. Back in April, he Tweeted about being asked to perform by Markle herself.
“I’m so excited and honoured to perform at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding. I was bowled over when Ms. Markle called me to ask if would play during the ceremony, and of course, I immediately said yes! What a privilege. I can’t wait!”- @ShekuKM. Sheku may be getting a lot of new American Twitter followers.
The kiss the world was waiting for! It has been a tradition since Princess Diana, Harry’s mother, to hold the kiss until the couple is presented to the world. After exiting the chapel, Harry and Markle had the first kiss as husband and wife in front of special guests that were invited inside the walls of Windsor Castle. The guests consisted of people involved with charities the couple has interacted with. As the couple emerged with their family behind them, the choir sang “This Little Light of Mine.” The couple then climbed into the carriage that would take them through the streets to greet the thousands of people who camped out for this moment.
Leading up to the big day.
After dating for a little over a year, Prince Harry popped the big question to former ‘Suits’ actress Meghan Markle. Queen Elizabeth gave her blessings, marking a change within the monarchy, but the British tabloids weren’t so open to the biracial American divorcee to become their princess. No wedding is complete without a little drama or some juicy gossip, and the royal wedding was no different.
Here are a few things that took place leading up to the big day.
- The British tabloids aren’t holding back when it comes to Markle and her family. Since the announcement of their engagement, hateful and racial remarks have been written about Markle including her mother and father. The Daily Mail wrote noting Markle “appears certain to have slave ancestors with her great-great-great grandparents born in the South before the Civil War” and that Harry’s “ancestors included kings, queens, and earls.” They also called her a “saucy divorcee.” But Prince Harry and the royal family aren’t having it and wrote a statement pretty much standing behind Markle. Harry said he was worried about Markle’s safety and that he is “deeply disappointed that he hasn’t been able to protect her.” He hoped that with the statement back in November the press would stop and reflect before any further damage is done.
- Markle broke a royal family tradition by having her mother ride in the car with her on the way to Windsor Castle. Normally it is the bride alone. Her parents divorced when she was little but wanted to give them both something special in the day.
- Speaking of Thomas Markle, he did not walk Markle down the aisle or attend the wedding. The week leading up was a ping-pong game of him coming, him not coming, then he was coming because it was a “history-making moment.” On Thursday, May 17, Kensington Palace released a statement from Meghan that her father will not be attending the wedding due to his medical situation saying, “he needs to focus on his health.” And the day before the wedding, Kensington Palace released a statement saying Prince Charles, Harry’s father, would walk Markle down the aisle.
- No wedding gift needed for this royal couple. Prince Harry and Markle selected seven charities that people can donate in place of a wedding gift. It is a tradition among the royal family. The charities are some that are near and dear to the couple’s heart.
- The good from Markle marrying into the family lies in what this means for little girls not only in America but blacks in the UK. CNN asked young black girls in the UK what this meant to them that Meghan was marrying into the royal family. They are excited and said it gives them hope that anyone could marry into the family. They also hoped that this would help change some of the racial issues of blacks in the UK live with. The couple’s relationship has helped open the dialogue in the UK and has shown another side to the royal family. The world is changing slowly.
What did you think about the elements of the royal wedding?