Blessedly, THE DRESS, designed by Sarah Burton, was elegant, relatively simple, with just enough lace detail, and a well proportioned train. Not a meringue in sight! Even the bouquet was suitably prominent without overwhelming. The tiara was the 1936 Cartier halo, her "something borrowed" on loan from the Queen.
The ceremony included 3 literary references by 3 of Britain's internationally renowned poets; Geoffrey Chaucer (14th century), John Milton (17th century), and William Blake (18th century). They are reproduced below. Notably missing are all of the quotations from arguably the greatest work of English literature, 400 years old on May 2, 2011--The King James Version of The Holy Bible. The full program including the Biblical references is here.
Love will not be constrained by mastery;
When mastery 'comes, the god of love anon
Beats his fair wings, and farewell! He is gone!
The Franklin's Tale, The Canterbury Tales Geoffrey Chaucer (1340?-1400) "The Poet of London"
“Whan maistrie [mastery] comth, the God of Love anon,
Beteth his wynges, and farewell, he is gon.”
Excerpt quoted in the original Middle English by the Right Reverend and Right Honourable Dr. Richard Chartres, Lord Bishop of London and Dean of Her Majesty's Chapels Royal, in his address to the married couple. Full text of his sermon here.
"Jerusalem" (1804) by William Blake (1757-1857)
Short poem from the Preface to his epic Milton a Poem
Music, Charles Hubert Hastings Parry (1916)
Arranged by Edward Elgar (1857-1934)
The Third Congregational Hymn of the Ceremony
BLEST pair of Sirens, pledges of Heav'ns joy,
Sphear-born harmonious Sisters, Voice, and Vers,
Wed your divine sounds, and mixt power employ
Dead things with inbreath'd sense able to pierce,
And to our high-rais'd phantasie present, 5
That undisturbèd Song of pure content,
Ay sung before the saphire-colour'd throne
To him that sits theron
With Saintly shout, and solemn Jubily,
Where the bright Seraphim in burning row 10
Their loud up-lifted Angel trumpets blow,
And the Cherubick host in thousand quires
Touch their immortal Harps of golden wires,
With those just Spirits that wear victorious Palms,
Hymns devout and holy Psalms
That we on Earth with undiscording voice
May rightly answer that melodious noise;
As once we did, till disproportion'd sin
Jarr'd against natures chime, and with harsh din
Broke the fair musick that all creatures made
To their great Lord, whose love their motion sway'd
In perfect Diapason, whilst they stood
In first obedience, and their state of good.
O may we soon again renew that Song,
And keep in tune with Heav'n, till God ere long
To his celestial consort us unite,
To live with him, and sing in endles morn of light.
"At a solemn Musick", an ode
John Milton (1608-74)
Music, Charles Hubert Hastings Parry (1887)
During the signing of the Registry, and the Clergy procession to the Great West Door,
one of the choir hymns of the ceremony.
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Your comments, thoughts, impressions, experiences?