Prince Harry and Meghan Markle—or as they’re now known, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex—were married in front of their friends and family, God and millions of people watching in their pajamas at home on Saturday. The pair’s one-hour ceremony at St. George’s Chapel was a star-studded, stunning affair, but even with all the distractions (the dress! the fascinators! the Oprah!), there were likely a few things from the Church of England ceremony that you may not have expected. Like the discussion of the couples’ sexy times.
Meghan was baptized in the Church of England so while these ceremony moments may not have come as a complete surprise to the American bride, they may have caught viewers a bit off guard. With a few touches from the couple, it may have even thrown the Royal Family off guard, with Meghan and Harry’s ceremony definitely deviating from what we’ve come to expect from royal weddings.
DELIGHT IN THE TENDERNESS OF SEXUAL UNION
The full line read by the Dean of Windsor is “The gift of marriage brings husband and wife together in the delight and tenderness of sexual union and joyful commitment to the end of their lives.” Giggity. This line was not included in Will and Kate’s wedding and was the first indication and Harry and Meghan were going to stray slightly from the traditional Church of England ceremony.
Although the word ‘obey’ is usually included in wedding ceremonies in the Church of England, Meghan followed in Princess Diana and Kate’s footsteps and had the word omitted from her vows.
THE MUSIC HAS BEEN UPDATED
Music plays a huge role in the Church of England ceremonies, with music at Harry and Meghan’s wedding performed by the Choir of St. George’s Chapel. Harry and Meghan followed in Kate and Will’s footsteps by featuring classical pieces, with both couples including works by Bach, but Meghan and Harry deviated from traditional royal weddings by also including more modern music. Following the stirring address by Reverend Michael Curry, Meghan and Harry opted for the non-religious Ben E. King standard “Stand By Me.” While Kate and William exited Westminster Abbey to the traditional “Crown Imperial,” Harry and Meghan opted for Etta James’ version of “This Little Light of Mine.”
The Church of England’s vows keep things in line with most Christian weddings, with the couple repeating “I HARRY, take you, MEGHAN, to be my wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward; for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part; according to God’s holy law. In the presence of God I make this vow.” And vice versa. Cue the happy tears.
Following the pair’s vows, the Archbishop joins the right hands of the couple and says, “Those whom God has joined together let no one put asunder.” FYI, asunder means to divide, a word we likely haven’t heard since William and Kate’s vows seven years ago. It just sounds really fancy.
ONE MORE SEXY LINE
Who knew the Church of England would be so pro-sexy times? Close to the end of the ceremony, the Archbishop says, “Blessed are you, O Lord our God, for you have created joy and gladness, pleasure and delight, love, peace and fellowship.” This was another line you won’t find in most Church of England services and it wasn’t used at Will and Kate’s wedding. Giggity times two.
Although the Church of England typically practices the receiving of communion during marriage ceremonies, it doesn’t happen during royal weddings.
MEGHAN KEPT HER FLOWERS
Traditionally, royal brides leave their bouquets at the grave of the ‘Unknown Warrior,’ which is located in Westminster Abbey. Since Meghan and Harry opted for a more intimate setting at St. George’s Chapel, Meghan will be skipping the tradition and hanging onto her flowers.
PRINCE WILLIAM WAS THE ‘BEST MAN’
Royal weddings traditionally don’t have a Best Man, but a ‘supporter.’ Prince William was the first to break this tradition by naming Harry his best man, a move that Harry reciprocated. Church of England weddings usually include a Maid of Honour for the bride, but Meghan skipped the tradition instead of picking one person from her close group of friends.
GOD SAVE THE QUEEN
It only makes sense that the Church of England wedding service would include the reciting of God Save The Queen, especially when the Queen is in attendance. And yes, she’s the only person who doesn’t sing along. It would be a bit odd if she did. This practice isn’t commonly found in commoner weddings in the Church of England, but it is done in royal weddings, including Will and Kate’s ceremony, as well as Harry and Meghan’s.
Missed anything, or just want to relive it all again? Watch the one-hour etalk prime-time special “etalk Presents – Harry & Meghan: Happily Ever After,” recapping the highlights and unforgettable moments of the historic day, airing Saturday, May 19 at 7 p.m. ET/PT on CTV and CTV GO.