THE first woman of colour ever to marry into the British royal family delivered the most ethnically-diverse royal wedding England has ever seen.
Meghan, daughter of a black mother and a white father, planned a stunning wedding service which melded English aristocracy with a gospel choir, a charismatic American preacher, and music from black singer-song writers Ben E King and Etta James.
The stunning bride, descended from slaves and who describes herself as bi-racial and unsure where she fitted in as a child, embraced both sides of her culture in a modern, diverse and inclusive service.
Her equally-beautiful mother Doria Ragland, dressed in Oscar de la Renta and with her hair in
cornrows as she fought back tears, was the first black woman ever to watch her daughter marry into the British royal family.
Chicago preacher the Most Reverend Michael Curry, the first black head of the Episcopal Church in the US, was an instant star, with an impassioned, off-script reading which invoked the words of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Junior, urging the congregation to embrace “the redemptive power of love’’ and calling Harry and Meghan “my brother’’ and “my sister.’’
Respected royal historian Hugo Vickers, writing exclusively for News Corp Australia, said the service represented diversity.
“Today’s service included a gospel choir from Brixton singing Stand by Me, a spirited sermon, replete with much gesticulation, on the subject of love, from a coloured evangelical Bishop from Chicago, and a solo cellist playing to the Nave, who was the first black boy ever to have won the Young Musician of the Year competition,’’ he said.
“I was fairly certain that the inspiration for this came more from the bride than the groom, which is not to say that he did not hugely welcome it.
“And what did it represent? Diversity — times moving on, previously ignored elements of society finally being recognised.’’
Royal biographer and editor of Majesty Magazine, Ingrid Seward said: “The star of the ceremony was certainly the American preacher, The Most Reverend Michael Curry and it was nice to see the royal family smiling and laughing as he made his address. It felt very inclusive.’’
Royal historian Sarah Gristwood told The Sunthat the “amazing service’’ helped take the royal family into the 21st century.
“It was partly the strong American presence and partly the strong black presence,’’ she said.
British commentators were quick to notice the impact the electrifying speech was having on the royal family, with Sky News journalist Mark Austin saying: “Lovely moment as the preacher takes the Royals to the edge of their comfort zone.”
The BBC’s Jeremy Vine said: “The preacher is doing 50 in a 30 zone and it’s brilliant.’’
Source : Ellen Whinnett in Windsor, News Corp Australia Network