Presiding Bishop Michael Curry will preach in St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, on May 19 for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The Dean of Windsor, David Conner, will conduct the service, and Archbishop Justin Welby will preside.
The invitation from the couple to Bishop Michael Curry is a departure from tradition for British royal weddings. While previous royal weddings have involved clergy from other Christian churches saying prayers for the couple, sermons are usually preached by senior clergy of the Church of England.
“The love that has brought and will bind Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle together has its source and origin in God, and is the key to life and happiness,” Bishop Curry said. “And so we celebrate and pray for them today.”
Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle have asked that The Most Reverend Michael Bruce Curry, the 27th Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church, give the address at their wedding : https://t.co/a14L7JGcAd #RoyalWedding pic.twitter.com/njqCaN55Gr
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal)
Prince Harry was born in September 1984 and was baptized at St. George’s Chapel three months later. After completing his formal education, he spent a gap year in Australia and South Africa before training for military service. He served with the British Army in Afghanistan as an officer in the Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons of the Household Cavalry, in the U.S.-led operation to remove the Taliban from power following the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.
His service in Afghanistan came to an end after his presence there was revealed by an Australian magazine, but he returned there a few years later in a deployment with the Army Air Corps. In 2014, he launched the Invictus Games for injured ex-service personnel; and is patron of a number of organizations, including the HALO Trust, which works to remove mines from Qasr el Yahud, the site on the west Bank of the River Jordan at the traditional site of the baptism of Jesus.
Meghan Markle was born in August 1981 in Los Angeles. Her parents, Doria Ragland and Thomas Markle, divorced when she was 6. In her acting career, she has appeared in a number of roles, including in the films Get Him to the Greek, Remember Me, and Horrible Bosses.
She is best known her portrayal of the character Rachel Zane in the hit legal drama series Suits. Her character, a paralegal who trained to become an attorney, was the love interest of fake lawyer Mike Ross. Markle married Trevor Engelson in 2011, but the couple divorced in 2013, long before she met Prince Harry.
The couple have met with Welby on a number of occasions as part of their preparations for the wedding, and Ms. Markle asked Welby to baptize her. It has been widely reported that she was baptiszd and confirmed at St. James’s Palace in London in March.
“It was very special,” Archbishop Welby told ITV News. “It was beautiful, sincere and very moving. It was a great privilege. … You know at the heart of it is two people who have fallen in love with each other, who are committing their lives to each other with the most beautiful words and profound thoughts, who do it in the presence of God.”
Previous royal weddings have involved a range of preachers. When Queen Elizabeth married Prince Philip in Westminster Abbey in November November 1947, the service was conducted by the Dean of Westminster, Alan Don, while the wedding was officiated by Archbishop Geoffrey Fisher. The sermon was preached by the Archbishop of York, Cyril Garbett.
Prince Harry’s mother and father, Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, took the unusual decision of marrying at St. Paul’s Cathedral in 1981. They were married by the Archbishop Robert Runcie, who also preached. In 2005, after Diana’s death, Prince Charles married his second wife, Camilla, now Duchess of Cornwall, in a civil ceremony at Windsor Guildhall, followed by a Service of prayer and dedication at St. George’s, Windsor, conducted by Archbishop Rowan Williams. There was no sermon in that service.
Prince Harry’s older brother, Prince William, married his wife, Catherine, at Westminster Abbey in 2011. The Dean of Westminster, John Hall, presided over the service, while Archbishop Rowan Williams conducted the wedding. The Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, Dean of Her Majesty’s Chapels Royal, preached.
Adapted from ACNS