Are Harry & Meghan Breaking With Tradition With This Wedding Choice?

Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are inviting an American bishop to give the address at their wedding — and he’s not just any bishop. Kensington Palace announced today that the two have invited The Most Reverend Michael Bruce Curry, the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, to deliver the address at their wedding.
Curry’s an unorthodox pick that carries some political implications. He’s American, for one, but he’s also the first Black presiding bishop in the Episcopal Church, and he’s previously acted in support of social justice issues, as well as immigration policy and marriage equality. The couple have never met Curry before and don’t appear to have a previous relationship with him. Curry was born and is based in the Chicago area, though, which is where Meghan’s alma mater Northwestern University is located.
Inviting Curry is a bit of an unusual move for the royal family, who studiously avoid getting involved in politics and haven’t historically been known for the most positive race relations (which is an understatement). But Harry and Meghan might not be the kind to shy away from politics — unlike big brother Prince William and Kate Middleton, who pointedly avoid getting involved in political conversation.
Curry became the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, the American counterpart to the Church of England, in 2015. In his previous parish ministries across the U.S., he’s worked with the Crisis Control Ministry, which aims to help low-income community members, and the Absalom Jones initiative, designated to support Black parishioners. He’s also campaigned to invest in inner-city neighborhoods and led the creation of family day care providers and community educational centers.
"The love that has brought and will bind Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle together has its source and origin in God, and is the key to life and happiness," Curry said upon accepting the royals’ invitation. "And so we celebrate and pray for them today."
Curry is joining a lineup of Anglican officials overseeing the ceremony. The Dean of Windsor, The Right Reverend David Conner, will be conducting the service. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Reverend and Right Honorable Justin Welby, will officiate when Harry and Meghan recite their vows. The archbishop also baptized Meghan in March ahead of the wedding.
Welby tweeted out his support for the pick and congratulated Curry, urging his followers to pray for the royal couple. “I'm thrilled that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have asked Bishop Michael Curry to preach at their wedding,” Welby wrote. “@PB_Curry is a brilliant pastor, stunning preacher and someone with a great gift for sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.”
Curry will be speaking at the ceremony at Windsor Castle next Saturday, May 19.
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