The Royals Got Soul

The Royal Wedding of American Meghan Markle to England's Prince Harry.

It was magnificent, beautiful, awesome, incredible, elegant, and right on time. That is, The Royal Wedding, of course.

The romance of Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle was a fairy tale romance, a blind date turned into a storybook fairy tale royal marriage. The wedding was one of the most beautiful ever, perfectly executed, that people will talk about for years to come. Perhaps it was the wedding of the century.

It was contemporary and traditional with the perfect blend. It was a picture-perfect sunshine day as love flowed at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. The groom and his brother, a future king, wore their military uniforms with white gloves.

The mixed-race bride broke the traditional rules. The groom’s father, Prince Charles, presented the bride after her biological father could not make it. She did not invite her half sisters and brother. Ms. Markle just gave a lot of ladies permission to disregard their families if necessary on that special day.

Meghan’s mom Donia Ragland.

That part of her family seems dysfunctional and perhaps had problems with the pomp and circumstance and the media attention of it all. Her mother, Donia Ragland, sat alone, openly crying.

Walking the aisle with a 16-foot train.

Meghan walked halfway down the aisle alone until she reached the arm of her almost father-in-law. It was a statement of her reality. She was poised and beautiful as 10 young pages walked behind assisting with the 16-1/2-foot-long train of her wedding dress. Her dress was simple and elegant, designed by British designer Clare Waight Keller, from the House of Givenchy. (Givenchy designed for the late Audrey Hepburn and Lena Horne.)

The Kingdom Choir sang “Stand By Me”

When the British, 20-year-old Kingdom Choir sang Ben E. King’s standard, Stand By Me, if you didn’t tear up, you have no romantic notion in your bones and we should pray for you. They sounded like angels singing a rhythm-and-blues song turned spiritual. It was the ideal song for the royal wedding, and who would have thought it.

In today’s world, this wedding was needed, to truly show what life is made of.

The bride quite appropriately and certainly brought a new way to a new day for The Royals. There was a lot of blending; we saw a beautiful couple, a royal and a commoner, a Brit and an American, a White man and a mixed woman, unite. The Royal Family just got soulful.

Sheku Kanneh-Mason serenaded the newlyweds.

They also listened to a young man, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, play the cello. Prince Harry heard the 19 year old at a charity event. He was quite impressed and invited him to play at the wedding.

Celebrity guests included Idris Elba and fiancée, Oprah Winfrey, the David Beckhams and the George Clooneys.

The Preacher on Love
And then there was the Most Reverend Michael Bruce Curry, the 27th Bishop of the Episcopal Church. He was born in Chicago, is a graduate of Yale University, and is the first African American to ever serve in that post.

Bishop Curry was splendid as he preached to the world about love, romantic love, the power of love and how love unites. He quoted Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He even remembered slavery. He was superb. His voice and words rose to the occasion, recognizing change and the significance and the reality of the moment.

Bishop Michael Curry, originally from Chicago.

He even reminded himself, as he spoke, that he had to finish so that the couple could get married. He said we come here today because this couple fell in love. He preached for all to hear, and while he may be of the Episcopal faith, he sounded like a Baptist preacher. He even went over time, making some squirm. I personally was waiting for Oprah to shout out loud, because he was the impeccable voice of the Black Baptist minister on a Sunday morning.

And then there was the after story of Prince Harry. He handpicked her floral bouquet, with forget-me-nots from his mother’s garden. How romantic is that?

Princess Diana wanted to modernize the monarchy. She finally did so through her “regular guy” son, Harry. He paid tribute to his mother, in his own special way. And she was very present.

In today’s world, where the headlines and talk shows dominate with the drama of politics and its changing face and the high school shootings, this wedding was needed, to truly show what life is made of.

That is what matters, no matter who you are or where you are, no matter what country you come from, what color you are, no matter what your station of life is. It’s about love for all of us.

Off to the wedding reception!

The royal couple walks into a brand new life, with the world welcoming them at about three billion strong. It was a happy day as thousands waiting for the wedding lined the streets to glimpse the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex in their traditional carriage with the British Army on horses lining the street in full regalia. And when the wedding was over, he took my lady to the party in a special two-seater electric blue Jaguar. They drove off to a brand new day. The Royals got soul.

It was a wonderful way to wake up early on a Saturday morning.

The new Duke and Duchess of Sussex

Hermene Hartman

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