The moment Oprah Winfrey arrived, it was clear that this wasn’t going to be a traditional Royal Wedding.
But then again, we already knew that. In a revolutionary first for the House of Windsor, the bride was American, and bi-racial. She identifies as a woman of colour.
So it makes sense that she has American friends attend her wedding. And that some of those American friends – like Oprah and Serena Williams – are non-white Americans; like the bride.
And yet…it seems that some people were wholly unprepared for black representation at Windsor Castle.
Sure, they expected mother of the bride Doria Ragland, who was resplendent in the peaceful, joyous aura that surrounded her.
But perhaps they didn’t expect the all-black gospel choir that sang Ben E King’s Stand by Me; even though their presence made perfect sense. The Kingdom Choir (a black Christian group that is based in southeast London and specialises in gospel music), and its leader, the renowned gospel singer Karen Gibson, were a wonderful blend of Meghan’s heritage and her British future.
And very different to the Church’s traditional choirboys seen at other Royal weddings.
— BBC (@BBC) May 19, 2018
Meghan’s heritage was also represented by 19-year-old cello soloist, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, the first black musician to win the BBC’s Young Musician Award in its 38-year history. And of course, Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin, chaplain to the speaker of the House of Commons, who led prayers.
The wedding was a blend – it was balanced – because two people from two backgrounds were getting married. And they both wanted to be represented.
Some had the foresight to identify that before the day. For example, the BBC recognised the historic occasion and reflected it in their coverage, by including specifically selected black broadcasters and commentators.
But then there were many others who just didn’t get it at all. I read an opinion claiming that Meghan “made a point” at her wedding. But Meghan was not “trying to make a point.” She was including elements of herself, her history, her culture – her identity – in her wedding.