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After Much Anticipation, Royal Wedding Day Arrives


Maybe you heard - Prince Harry wed Meghan Markle, an American, today inside the grounds of Windsor Castle outside of London.


UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Will you take Harry to be your husband? Will you love him, comfort him, honor and protect him and, forsaking all others, be faithful to him as long as you both shall live?


SIMON: A number of royal traditions were broken today. We go now to our man Frank Langfitt, who's outside of Windsor Castle. Frank, thanks for being with us.


SIMON: What jumped out for you, my man?

LANGFITT: Well, there was a lot of stuff. I mean, this was not your grandfather's royal wedding. I'm sure everybody back in the states probably noticed...

SIMON: My grandfather didn't have a royal wedding, but go ahead. OK.


SIMON: Yours didn't either, as I recall.

LANGFITT: I think it just - it was such a change from what we've seen in the past, even the one in 2011, let alone Princess Diana's wedding. And the ceremony was fascinating because there were these cultural contrasts and a lot of symbolism. You know, it started off very British - bride stepped out of a Rolls Royce Phantom, the the St. George's Chapel, it's cloudless skies. But once it got going, the ceremony had these very American, feminist and African-American touches. And one thing is what seemed a feminist statement is Meghan Markle basically walked halfway down the aisle on her own where she was met by Prince Charles, Harry's dad, the future king, and walked the rest of the way to the altar. Bishop Michael Curry - he's a presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church in the States. He gave a really passionate and some people felt a very long sermon on the power of love. It wasn't the sort of restrained sermon we're used to seeing at these kinds of events. He quoted Dr. Martin Luther King. He grabbed the - he gripped the lectern so hard at points the candles shook. And let's listen in to what he said.


MICHAEL CURRY: When love is the way, we will let justice roll down like a mighty stream and righteousness like an everflowing brook. When love is the way, poverty will become history. When love is the way, the Earth will be a sanctuary.

SIMON: Well, I know the hair is standing up on the back of my arms. How did it go over where you were?

LANGFITT: Well, it is not what you usually hear at royal weddings. And depending on where you were, it really depends on how you responded to it. If you're watching inside the chapel, you had people who were looking open-mouthed. The duchess of Cambridge - she's the former Kate Middleton, will eventually become the queen, she's - gave a couple of sideways glances. And I was talking to a guy named Tony Appleton (ph). He's a town crier. He was listening outside, and here's what he had to say.

TONY APPLETON: Well, he just went on and on. He went on. He was taking over the wedding. He was taking over the wedding. Tomorrow, in the press, he will be slated - big time. I think he went off of the subject of marriage. He went into religion a bit too much, you know, which is fair enough. I just think he went in, you know, and people were getting fed up. I promise you.

LANGFITT: Yeah, he had a lot of criticisms there. I got to say, though...

SIMON: The guy's a bishop. I mean, they go on. What do you mean? Go ahead.

LANGFITT: I know. What was really - even complaining there was too much religion. I know. What's really interesting, though, is that some people here really did like it. Younger people liked it, certainly. I have a black preacher friend back in the states. He thought it was fabulous. So it speaks very much the cultural differences between Brits and Americans, which is, of course, going to be a part of this marriage.

SIMON: And there were some American soul in this ceremony.

LANGFITT: There was.

SIMON: In the music, wasn't there?


SIMON: There was the kingdom choir.


UNIDENTIFIED CHOIR: (Singing) So, darling, darling, stand by me.

SIMON: That's them, if I'm not mistaken. Let's give a listen.

LANGFITT: That's them.


UNIDENTIFIED CHOIR: (Singing) Stand by me. Stand by me.

SIMON: Well, I thought it was an absolutely wonderful ceremony from what I was able to see. Frank, you must feel just great to have been there.

LANGFITT: It was great. And it was really fun to watch them come by, cloudless skies, the carriage. It's very well done. Of course, the British royal family, they are great at these things. But this, you know, this ceremony had a few twists, so it was quite interesting.

SIMON: Yeah, I like these guys, I got to tell you. NPR's Frank Langfitt, thanks so much for being with us.

LANGFITT: Happy to do it, Scott. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Scott Simon is one of America's most admired writers and broadcasters. He is the host of Weekend Edition Saturday and is one of the hosts of NPR's morning news podcast Up First. He has reported from all fifty states, five continents, and ten wars, from El Salvador to Sarajevo to Afghanistan and Iraq. His books have chronicled character and characters, in war and peace, sports and art, tragedy and comedy.
Frank Langfitt is NPR's London correspondent. He covers the UK and Ireland, as well as stories elsewhere in Europe.
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