Royal Wedding

Date Published: Friday, 29 April 2011

HRH Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton have opted for a traditional-language version for their marriage service at Westminster Abbey. It is believed this decision was made indirectly to honour this year's 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, as HRH The Prince of Wales is patron of the King James Bible Trust, which was established to celebrate the Authorised Version's 400th year.

Three of the country's top clergy will officiate at the royal wedding. The Dean of Westminster, the Very Rev Dr John Hall, a Trustee of the King James Bible Trust, will conduct the service, the Bishop of London, the Right Rev Richard Chartres, vice-patron of the King James Bible Trust will preach and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, will solemnise the marriage.

James Middleton, the bride's brother, will give The Lesson, reading Romans 12: 1-2, 9-18.

The couple have chosen to use the Series One (1966) Book of Common Prayer for the ceremony.

English musical heritage will very much dominate the ceremony. The bride will walk up the aisle to a coronation anthem 'I Was Glad' by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry from Psalm 122, which was composed for the crowning of Prince William's great-great-great grandfather Edward VII at Westminster Abbey in 1902.

Classical compositions by Elgar, Britten and Vaughan Williams will feature during the ceremony, plus the hymn Jerusalem and the English melody Greensleeves.

Two choirs, one orchestra and two fanfare teams will perform the music at the wedding service. These include The Choir of Westminster Abbey, The Chapel Royal Choir, The London Chamber Orchestra, The Fanfare Team from the Central Band of the Royal Air Force and The State Trumpeters of The Household Cavalry.

Nog Sawdon, of the King James Bible Trust, says, "The Trust is delighted at the prospect of its version of the Bible being heralded at such an important occasion as the wedding of HRH Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton. We wish the couple, two very modern people being bound together by this impressive 400-year-old Bible, much happiness in their marriage and thank them both for providing a rite of passage to the King James Bible for a further 400 years."

Image: © Mario Testino

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