Ancient ritual and modern romance meet as Prince Harry marries Meghan Markle in a dazzling show of pomp and pageantry

1 / 3
Newlyweds: Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and his wife Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, thrill crowds of well-wishers with a carriage procession after their wedding in Windsor Castle. (AP)
2 / 3
Meghan Markle arrives at the Windsor Castle chapel. (AFP)
3 / 3
Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, with Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. (AFP)
Updated 20 May 2018
0

Ancient ritual and modern romance meet as Prince Harry marries Meghan Markle in a dazzling show of pomp and pageantry

  • African-American Karen Long, who was among the crowds in Windsor, was one of those who appreciated the bishop’s fiery address.
  • Meghan entered the chapel unescorted, offering TV viewers and the congregation a first good look at her hotly anticipated wedding dress.

LONDON: It was a wedding ceremony few would have predicted for a member of the British royal family — a blend of ancient English ritual and African-American culture, infusing the 1,000-year-old British monarchy with a blast of modernity.
Prince Harry and his actress bride Meghan Markle married on Saturday in a dazzling ceremony. 

Inside the medieval chapel at Windsor Castle that 39 English kings and queens have called home since 1066, the sixth-in-line to the British throne and a middle-class American divorcee exchanged vows watched up close by royals and celebrities, and from afar by a global TV audience of many millions.

Wearing a veil, diamond tiara and a sleek dress with a long train, the bride was accompanied up the aisle of St. George’s Chapel by Harry’s father, Prince Charles, before they were proclaimed husband and wife.

The couple kissed on the steps of the 15th-century chapel, before delighting the sea of well-wishers, some of whom had camped for days to witness the spectacular show of British pomp and pageantry, by touring Windsor in a horse-drawn carriage.

The union of Harry, 33, a former royal wild child, and 36-year-old Meghan, whose mother is African-American and father is white, was like no other the royal family has seen.

“We can break the barriers down, it can be done,” said 40-year-old black Briton Yvonne Emanuel, one of the 100,000-strong crowd that thronged Windsor’s streets.

The service was conducted by the Dean of Windsor while Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, declared the couple man and wife, beneath the banners of the knights of the Order of the Garter, the world’s oldest chivalric group dating back to 1348.

The newlyweds will be officially known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex after Queen Elizabeth bestowed the titles on them.

But throughout the wedding, there were significant breaks with tradition, in particular when US Episcopalian bishop Michael Bruce Curry delivered a passionate sermon that was a far cry from the sober tones of the Church of England.

“There’s power in love,” he boomed at a congregation that included celebrities Oprah Winfrey, Amal and George Clooney, and David Beckham.

“Do not underestimate it. Anyone who has ever fallen in love knows what I mean,” said Curry in an energetic address that quoted Martin Luther King.

African-American Karen Long, who was among the crowds in Windsor, was one of those who appreciated the bishop’s fiery address.

“It was a moment for African-Americans,” said Long, who had come from Houston, Texas, with her sister and a group of friends, all dressed as bridesmaids. “The idea that Harry allowed that and acknowledged it — it was the perfect blend between her culture and the royal culture.”

As well as traditional Church of England anthems and delicate English choral music, the ceremony also featured a gospel choir singing “Stand by Me,” the 1960s hit by American soul singer Ben E. King.

Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, 61, accompanied her daughter to the chapel in a vintage Rolls-Royce and shed tears of emotion at several points during the ceremony.

Meghan entered the chapel unescorted, offering TV viewers and the congregation a first good look at her hotly anticipated wedding dress, created by British designer Clare Waight Keller, of the French fashion house Givenchy.

Harry, looking nervous, appeared to say: “Thanks Pa” to his father, and “You look amazing” to his beaming bride.

In further breaks with tradition, Markle, 36, did not vow to obey her husband; while Harry, who is three years her junior, wore a wedding ring — unlike other senior male royals such as his older brother Prince William.


Opening the door to Middle Eastern designers at Dubai Design Week

Updated 14 November 2018
0

Opening the door to Middle Eastern designers at Dubai Design Week

  • This year, five pavilions from Amman, Beirut, Dubai, the Eastern Provinces of KSA and Kuwait City are showing off
  • The Abwab exhibit is just one thought-provoking, Instagram-worthy part of Dubai Design Week

DUBAI: Named after the Arabic word for “doors,” Abwab is an annual exhibition at Dubai Design Week, a creative fair that runs until Nov. 17.

This year, five pavilions from Amman, Beirut, Dubai, the Eastern Provinces of KSA and Kuwait City are showing off their artistic innovations in Dubai Design District, where the event is based.

Two designers were invited from each place to collaborate and produce works related to the theme “Between the Lines.”

The creations are housed in five pavilions at the heart of Dubai Design District, made up of red twigs and newspaper pulp and designed by the firm Architecture + Other Things.

Visitors crowded around the pavilions at the opening of the fair on Tuesday and explored the five spaces with their unique, sometimes perplexing, offerings.

Amman‘s pavilion at the Abwab exhibit is called “Duwar,” roundabout in Arabic, and is described as a representation of the cycle between chaos and order. The exhibit is a walk-through piece featuring moving images on boards suspended from the low ceiling of the circular space. Visitors are encouraged to walk through the dark circular corridor and take in the constantly flashing imagery above them in the piece that was created by multidisciplinary designer Hashem Joucka and architect Basel Naouri.

Beirut’s contribution to the Abwab exhibit is called “Beirut Fillers” and features a series of suspended words in a constructed sensorial environment, complete with audio recordings of the words “euhhh,” “halla2,” “enno” and “fa,” all of which are linguistic fillers commonly heard in Beiruti conversation.  

For its part, the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia is showcasing a fascinating piece of work called “The Sound of the East Coast” that pays homage to the tradition of pearl diving in the area with shaking, jelly-like bowls. The installation even features audio recordings of the traditional song “El Yamal,” often chanted to keep the divers motivated.

While Kuwait City’s offering, called “Desert Cast,” uses locally sourced materials and production methods to explore the idea of identity in the country, Dubai’s piece at the exhibit is called “Thulathi: Threefold” and is marked by a protruding triangular section that breaks the natural form of the rounded pavilion. Each corner of the triangle opens slightly through apertures, revealing video projections and silhouette cutouts.

The Abwab exhibit is just one thought-provoking, Instagram-worthy part of Dubai Design Week, an event that boasts workshops, exhibits and a trade fair.