The Royal Wedding has come and gone, and there were a host of musical performances that graced the big day for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as they were wed at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.
There were numerous rumors that global music sensation Ed Sheeran and the Spice Girls would perform, however the rumors turned out to be nothing more than hearsay. Instead, the audience at Windsor Castle was treated to some incredible music from a gospel-singing troop.
They are known as The Kingdom Choir, whose website describes them as: “a unique group of dedicated men and women, who blend Choral discipline with the raw Gospel spiritual sound – drawn from an inner experience.”
The Kingdom Choir won BBC Radio 2’s Minstrels in the Gallery competition back in 2000 and in 2002 they were nominated for the best UK Choir at the Oasis Awards.
They have performed on TV, for various adverts, at corporate launches and venues including Royal Albert Hall, St Paul’s Cathedral, St Martins in the Field and the Millennium Dome, now the O2.
The choir has also previously performed for other well-known dignitaries, including former President Bill Clinton, Bishop Desmond Tutu and the late South African President Nelson Mandela. They have also performed alongside American Gospel artists such as Fred Hammond and Donnie McClurkin along with British acts, including Elton John and The Spice Girls.
It is also not the first time The Kingdom Choir has performed in front of the British Royal Family. In 2002, they were given the nod to perform at the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, which was celebrating her 50 years on the throne.
Kensington Palace said of the them: “The Kingdom Choir is a Christian gospel group based in the South-East England.
“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.”
At the Royal Wedding, The Kingdom Choir performed a classic rendition of “Stand By Me,” generating a moving sentiment that permeated the audience epitomizing the touching moment of the joining of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
The handsome couple, now known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, decided on the Ben E. King 1961 classic for their wedding ceremony, which was attended by more than 600 guests.
The lyrics are as follows:
“When the night has come,
And the land is dark,
And the moon is the only light we’ll see,
No I won’t be afraid, no I won’t be afraid,
Just as long as you stand, stand by me,
So darlin’, darlin’, stand by me, oh now now stand by me,
Stand stand by me, stand by me…”
The song was orchestrated by Karen Gibson, the founder of the choir, as well as The Kingdom Choir’s 20 singers as they stood at the west end of Windsor Castle, wearing different shades of pale pink.
Karen has previously provided the backing vocals for Grace Kennedy and The Beautiful South.
Karen Gibson said of the day: “The Kingdom Choir is truly honoured to be invited to sing at the wedding of Prince Harry and Ms. Markle, and very excited to be taking part in such a historic moment.
“It will be a moment that we will always treasure, and we’d like to take the opportunity to wish the couple all the very best for their coming union.”
She stated: “I started The Kingdom Choir in response to a request from the BBC, who needed a choir for a special programme they were broadcasting.
“I now know that this was not a random incident or by accident, but the beginning of something that has blossomed in purpose and passion.
“The choir continues to grow, with its driving force being worship in the context of family and community.”
The music procession for the royal wedding was led by, James Vivian, St George’s Chapel’s director of music.
Along with The Kingdom Choir, other performers included 19-year-old cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who became an overnight heartthrob on the internet.
The ceremony was recorded live by U.K.-based record label, Decca Records which will go on sale later this month on May 25.