Meghan and Harry Are Having a Gospel Choir Sing This 1961 Classic Hit During the Royal Wedding
Beyond witnessing Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's first kiss as husband and wife, royal wedding guests are in for a few romantic treats
Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir will sing the American R&B classic from the West End of St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, according to the Order of Service, which was released by the palace on Friday.
The performance will be a warm-up of sorts for the bride and groom, as Gibson and the choir will belt the moving tune before the Archbishop of Canterbury leads Harry and Meghan’s vows. Guests will remain seated during the number, which will follow Bishop Michael Bruce Curry’s address.
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Told from the perspective of a person in an unshakeable romance where the couple is stronger together, “Stand by Me” begins with the romantic lyrics, “When the night has come / And the land is dark / And the moon is the only light we see / No, I won’t be afraid / No, I won’t be afraid / Just as long as you stand, stand by me.”
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Gibson and The Kingdom Choir — an award-winning gospel group comprised of 20 singers — will likely bring their signature soulful sound to the number, if their previous performances are any indication.
A fixture on American radio and playlists since its release in 1961, “Stand by Me” was originally performed by singer-songwriter Ben E. King, who wrote the song with the successful songwriting team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller (“Jailhouse Rock,” “On Broadway,” “Spanish Harlem.”) The song went on to be covered by the likes of Otis Redding, John Lennon and Florence + The Machine.
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In addition to the Order of Service reveal on Friday, Meghan and her mom, Doria Ragland, checked into Cliveden House Hotel, where she’ll spend her last night as a single woman and a commoner before the royal wedding, and Prince Harry and Prince William did an impromptu walkabout outside of Windsor Castle to greet royal well-wishers.
Earlier on Friday, Meghan’s mom Doria met with Queen Elizabeth for the first time for tea at Windsor Castle, PEOPLE confirmed. Prince Philip was also in attendance, along with Harry and Meghan.