Meghan Markle marks milestone of her first official event with the Queen at Westminister abbey service
|National Post 13 Mar 2018 at 08:26|
After being invited to join the Queen at one of the most important events of her year, Meghan Markle is sure to have wanted to make a good impression.
The former actress, who will marry Prince Harry on May 19, appeared to have been swotting up ahead of her first official engagement with Her Majesty, joining in confidently with the National Anthem to pay respect to her future grandmother-in-law and her new British home.
Ms Markle, who grew up in America and has worked in Canada, put her revision for the British Citizenship Test to good use as she enthusiastically sang the words to God Save The Queen and two hymns in the highly significant Westminster Abbey service.
Her attendance at the service marked a major milestone for the bride-to-be: the first time she has taken part in an official event with the Queen.
The day is also of deep importance to the Queen, celebrating the Commonwealth and its members she holds dear.
The Royal family were out in force at yesterday’s service, with the Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, Duke of York, Princess Royal and Countess of Wessex showing their enthusiasm for the “Commonwealth connection”.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Ms Markle arrived together, taking prominent seats for the televised spectacle.
US actress Meghan Markle (R), fiancee of Britain’s Prince Harry receives a posy of flowers from a young girl after attending a Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey in central London, on March 12, 2018. Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II has been the Head of the Commonwealth throughout her reign. Organised by the Royal Commonwealth Society, the Service is the largest annual inter-faith gathering in the United Kingdom. Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP
Prince Harry and Ms Markle have already spoken of their passion for the Commonwealth, using their engagement interview to spell out their hopes for engaging with its young people.
The Prince said yesterday was a “pretty special occasion”.
The Queen arrived moments later, to greet key members of the 2,000-strong congregation.
Ms Markle, who has confirmed she hopes to become a British citizen, joined her future family in the National Anthem at the start of the service.
She also sang along confidently to Lord Of All Hopefulness and Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer. During the service Theresa May gave a Bible reading, Portsmouth Gospel Choir sang Bridge Over Troubled Water and Dr Andrew Bastawrous, an eye surgeon who has turned a smartphone into an examination tool to combat avoidable blindness in developing countries, gave the reflection.
Britain’s Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Britain’s Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, US actress Meghan Markle and her fiancee Britain’s Prince Harry attend a Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey in central London, on March 12, 2018. Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II has been the Head of the Commonwealth throughout her reign. Organised by the Royal Commonwealth Society, the Service is the largest annual inter-faith gathering in the United Kingdom. PAUL GROVER / AFP
After Ms Markle nodded gently along with songs, including one by Liam Payne, the former One Direction band member, Prince Harry appeared to share a private joke.
Among the 2,000-strong congregation was Joseph Muscat, the prime minister of Malta, Baroness Scotland, the Commonwealth Secretary-General, ambassadors, high commission-ers, senior politicians from across the UK and Commonwealth, faith leaders and more than 800 schoolchildren and young people.
After the Queen greeted performers with a beaming smile and left, the Duchess of Cambridge and Ms Markle bent down to accept posies from schoolgirls, before joining their partners to speak to waiting pupils.
“The service was beautiful, especially the choir and the music,” Ms Markle told a visiting teacher, adding that it was “great to see people from all over the world so well represented”. She said she was “very, very excited” about her wedding.
In February 2011, the then-Kate Middleton received widespread praise for surprising members of the public during a visit to Anglesey with a near–perfect rendition of the Welsh National Anthem.
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