Kensington Palace has revealed new details about the music for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s wedding service.
A royal wedding is always cause for celebration, but the union between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle has us particularly excited, thanks to the pioneering nature of the couple who have taken huge strides in modernising the royal family.
It’s become increasingly apparent over recent weeks that the Suits actress and her groom-to-be are intent on doing things their way: not only do their royal wedding invitations break tradition by acknowledging Markle’s “Ms” status, but they also chosen their flowers to pay tribute to the late Princess Diana, as well as issued a request for all wedding gifts to be made in the form of a donation to a selection of charities, each of which holds a very special place in the couple’s hearts.
Markle and the prince have also chosen against inviting any political leaders to the event. Instead, only personal friends of the couple will be inside Windsor Castle for the event on 19 May – along with 1,200 members of the public, young and old, who have shown examples of strong leadership, or particularly served their communities.
And, of course, they’re swapping the traditional fruit wedding cake in favour of an “unconventional” organic lemon elderflower number.
Now, the couple have shared some further details about the music they have selected for their wedding service at St George’s Chapel.
One of those poised to perform at the event is 19-year-old cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, the winner of BBC Young Musician Award 2016.
The teenager released his debut album, Inspiration, earlier this year and he’s performed at the Baftas twice – making him the only musicians to have ever been invited to perform two years in a row.
Prince Harry first watched Sheku perform last year at an event in London in support of the work of Antiguan charity the Halo Foundation. And it’s not just Harry who’s a fan of the teen musician: Markle is, too – so much so that she phoned him personally to invite him to perform at her upcoming nuptials.
“I was bowled over when Ms Markle called me to ask if I would play during the ceremony,” Kanneh-Mason shared on Twitter.
“I’m so excited and honoured to perform.”
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 I would play during the ceremony, and of course I immediately said yes!!! What a privilege. I can’t wait! https://t.co/TU0lyKloCD— Sheku Kanneh-Mason (@ShekuKM) April 24, 2018
Gospel conductor Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir – a collective of outstanding singers drawn from various denominations in the South East area of England – will also perform at the service.
The choir aren’t just famed for their powerful voices, though: they have been widely praised for their tireless charity work, too. They have organised several highly successful school workshops, as well as major outreach projects in areas such as Hull, Nottingham, Lincolnshire and Hackney.
And, over the years, the Kingdom Choir has worked with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, an elderly song-writing group and youth offenders – not to mention raised funds in connection with Christian Aid, too.
Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir. The Choir is made up of a group of British artists dedicated to creating a sound that demonstrates the community they share, and has been performing both nationally and internationally for over 20 years. pic.twitter.com/tae19p6G6E— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) April 24, 2018
While they have performed at a number of weddings in the past, the group are understandably very excited to sing at Markle and Harry’s big day.
“We are extremely excited to be taking part in such a historic moment, and know that it is one that we will always treasure,” a spokesperson for the choir wrote on Twitter.
“We’d like to take this opportunity to wish the couple all the very best for their coming union and thank them once again for their kind invitation.”
We are extremely excited to be taking part in such a historic moment, and know that it is one that we will always treasure. We’d like to take this opportunity to wish the couple all the very best for their coming union and thank them once again for their kind invitation. pic.twitter.com/A81g7hcAsG— The Kingdom Choir (@TheKingdomChoir) April 24, 2018
The Choir of St George’s Chapel will also perform at the event, directed by the chapel’s Director of Music, James Vivian.
“The Choristers, Lay Clerks, Organists and I are very much looking forward to this exciting day and are pleased to be performing at the service music chosen by the couple,” said Vivian.
An orchestra of musicians will be conducted by Christopher Warren-Green and made up of musicians from the Philharmonia Orchestra, the English Chamber Orchestra and the BBC National Orcehstra of Wales.
Soprano Elin Manahan Thomas, trumpeter David Blackadder and organist Luke Bond will also perform at the service.
It remains to be seen who will provide the live entertainment at the couple’s reception – although it sadly won’t be the Spice Girls. Which may come as somewhat of a surprise to some, as, earlier this year, Mel B claimed that the former girl group had been invited to the May wedding during an appearance on The Real.
“I don’t know if I should have said anything,” she said, before adding that all five group members — herself, Emma Bunton, Melanie Chisholm, Victoria Beckham and Geri Horner (née Halliwell) — were invited.
When asked by co-host Loni Love if the one-time group would be performing, a flustered Mel looked down at her cards and said nothing while the hosts erupted in shrieks.
“I’m going to go. I’m going to be fired,” Mel said.
Mel C has since dismissed her former bandmate’s claims, saying: “I haven’t got [my invite] yet… I think she was joking.”