Meghan Markle’s wedding vows have been revealed. Picture: AFP/Steve Parsons
Meghan Markle’s wedding vows have been revealed. Picture: AFP/Steve Parsons

PALACE’S AWKWARD ERROR: Big mistake in wedding program

INTIMATE details of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding ceremony has been released, revealing the pair will marry in an Anglican service with an American flavour.

An official Order of Service disclosed by Kensington Palace reveals the ceremony on Saturday in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle will be a mix of prayers, classical music, a gospel choir and sweet soul sounds.

But the 22-page booklet has a glaring error in it, just hours before the royal couple tie the knot.

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Thomas Markle, Meghan's father, is still included as the person who will walk Meghan down the aisle to the high altar.

The official Order of Service program has one glaring error.
The official Order of Service program has one glaring error.

The error, it seems, is simply a matter of timing.

"The Order of Service was produced before it became clear that Mr Thomas Markle would be unable to attend the wedding on medical advice," the palace said in a statement to People magazine.

"As a result, some aspects will be different to what has been printed. As previously announced, Ms Markle has asked The Prince of Wales to accompany her down the aisle of The Quire."

The decision for Prince Charles to walk Meghan down the aisle comes after her father, Mr Thomas Markle, 73, was forced to pull out of attending the wedding following a scandal involving staged paparazzi photographs and heart surgery.

The official document also made known what Harry and Meghan will say to one another when exchanging vows - which will exclude the use of the word "obey".

Kensington Palace has revealed intimate details of their wedding ceremony. Picture: AFP.
Kensington Palace has revealed intimate details of their wedding ceremony. Picture: AFP.

The Church of England doesn't allow couples to write their own wedding vows - so both Harry and Meghan will have to stick to the script in front of them.

According to the Order of Service, Prince Harry will say his vows first while standing in front of 600 guests within the chapel.

"I Harry, take you, Meghan, to be my wife," he will begin.

"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."

Meghan will then follow.

"I Meghan, take you, Harry, to be my husband, 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."

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s vows have been revealed. Picture: AFP
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s vows have been revealed. Picture: AFP

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby - who will officiate the ceremony - will then ask Harry and Meghan to exchange rings.

"Heavenly Father, by your blessing let these rings be to Harry and Meghan a symbol of unending love and faithfulness, to remind them of the vow and covenant which they have made this day, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen," Welby will read.

Holding the ring on Meghan's fourth finger on her left hand, Prince Harry will repeat the final part of his vows.

"Meghan, I give you this ring as a sign of our marriage," the Prince will say.

"With my body I honour you, all that I am I give to you, and all that I have I share with

you, within the love of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit."

But when Meghan exchanges her rings to Prince Harry, she'll be following in the footsteps of Princess Diana and Kate Middleton by choosing to omit the traditional promise to "obey" her husband.

"Harry, I give you this ring as a sign of our marriage. With my body I honour you, all that I am I give to you, and all that I have I share with you, within the love of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit."

It is no surprise Meghan Markle will exclude the word ‘obey’ from her vows. Picture: AFP.
It is no surprise Meghan Markle will exclude the word ‘obey’ from her vows. Picture: AFP.

The decision to exclude the word doesn't come as a surprise: Meghan has long been a vocal feminist, working with organisations like One World Vision to learn about the challenges facing women and girls living in Dubai and Mumbai. Meghan also served as an ambassador for United Nations Women.

According to the order, the requirement of wives to use the word "obey" is now widely considered outdated by the Church of England.

Alongside Welby, the service will include the head of the US Episcopal Church, Michael Bruce Curry, who will deliver a sermon. Meghan, who attended a Roman Catholic school, has been baptised into the Church of England, of which Queen Elizabeth II is supreme governor, as she prepares to join the royal family.

The ceremony is based on Common Worship - the most modern of several Church of England service options - and includes prayers and hymns, as well as readings and musical selections chosen by the couple and their family.

Britain’s Prince Harry and his fiancee, US actor Meghan Markle, will marry in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. Picture: AFP
Britain’s Prince Harry and his fiancee, US actor Meghan Markle, will marry in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. Picture: AFP

Kensington Palace said in a statement: "Like any couple getting married, Prince Harry and Ms. Markle have taken a great deal of care in selecting all elements for their service."

The palace said it was "a collaborative effort" between the two, and they also consulted Harry's father Prince Charles about the orchestral music being played before the service begins.

Orchestral selections include works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Edward Elgar, Gabriel Faure and Franz Schubert. The chapel choir will sing works including a motet by 16th-century English composer Thomas Tallis. A London-based gospel ensemble, the Kingdom Choir, will perform the Ben E King soul classic Stand By Me. Jane Fellowes, the sister of Harry's late mother Princess Diana, will read from the biblical "Song of Solomon", an ode to the power of love that contains the words "many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it".

Overnight it was revealed that Prince Charles would walk Meghan Markle down the aisle. Picture: AFP
Overnight it was revealed that Prince Charles would walk Meghan Markle down the aisle. Picture: AFP

Following the ring exchange, Welby will declare Harry and Meghan husband and wife with the words: "Those whom God has joined together let no one put asunder." After guests sing God Save the Queen, Britain's national anthem, the newlyweds will leave the chapel to the strains of an allegro from Symphony No. 1 by 18th-century composer William Boyce, and the gospel sounds of Amen/This Little Light of Mine.

Overnight, it was announced that Prince Charles had stepped in to walk Meghan down the aisle, but she has made the bold choice to complete part of the bridal procession alone.

In what CNN has described as a "striking feminist statement", the US news channel reported that Meghan would walk down the aisle of the nave of St George's Chapel unescorted.

Prince Charles will take her by the arm when she approaches the quire, where the guests will be seated, and will chaperone her to the foot of the altar.

It had been speculated her mother, Doria Ragland, 61, was going to do the honours but Prince Charles has stepped up for the ceremony.

There was early speculation that Meghan Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, might walk her down the aisle.
There was early speculation that Meghan Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, might walk her down the aisle.

In another break from tradition, Charles will step back and Meghan will approach Prince Harry alone. In effect, no one will "give her away".

The unprecedented arrangement, which Meghan came up with herself, would have been the same had her father been well enough to attend the wedding.

Kensington Palace said in a statement on Friday: "Ms Meghan Markle has asked His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to accompany her down the aisle of the Quire of St George's Chapel on her wedding day.

"The Prince of Wales is pleased to be able to welcome Ms Markle to the royal family in this way."

The confirmation comes after a dramatic week for Meghan and the royal family after her half-sister Samantha Markle, admitted suggesting their father pose for staged photographs and said he was facing an "unbelievable" amount of stress and had suffered a heart attack.

- with AP


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