News Americas, LONDON, England, Sun. May 20, 2018: Caribbean nationals like billions around the world were enthralled with the Royal Wedding Saturday between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. But one Caribbean national and two with roots to the region got to share in the big day News Americas has found while the flowers of 12 Caribbean nations were carefully stitched into the bride’s veil. Here’s what Caribbean nationals should be celebrating, and the world should know.
1: Karen Gibson, founder of The Kingdom Choir has Caribbean roots.
Talking head and millions on social media are still stunned at the phenomenal performance of Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir and their cover of Benny King’s ‘Stand By Me’ as well as ‘Amen’ as the couple made their way out of historic St. George’s Chapel and on to the steps to greet guests in the lower ward of Kensington Palace.
It was the first time a black choir has performed there and at a Royal Wedding. The Kingdom Choir was not a Harry/Meghan pick, but Prince Charles’ idea. He is reportedly a gospel fan according to Tina Brown and his idea and invite came from Clarence House.
Gibson’s roots are distinctly Caribbean. Her parents were born in the CARICOM nation of Guyana but she was born in the UK in 1963 and was educated at Walsingham Girls School.
She is the founder and director of the award-winning South-East, England-based Christian gospel group.
The choir members are:
Nicole Di Gioacchino
Fans on twitter were full of praise.
“That was the most beautiful version of Stand by Me I ever heard! Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir did an amazing job!, tweeted Noreen Mulcahy while Jordan Cieciwa suggested: “Put this version of “Stand By Me” by Karen Gibson and the Kingdom Choir on iTunes for $2.99, give the $24billion to charity.”
2: Cellist Extraordinaire Sheku Kanneh-Mason’s Roots Also Extend To The Caribbean
While social media fans cannot get over the performance of cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, missing from the dialogue is the fact that his roots run straight to the Caribbean.
Kanneh-Mason’s father, Stuart Mason, was born on the Caribbean island. He and his wife, Sierra Leonean, Kadiatu, are themselves classical musicians who taught their family of 7 to play.
The entire UK-based Kanneh-Mason family of siblings is musical and also appeared on Britain’s Got Talent and were deemed ‘The Most Talented Family in the World’ by well-known judge, Simon Cowell.
Sheku, 19, came to fame in Britian after he won the BBC Young Musician 2016 title and made his BBC Proms debut the following year. He released his debut album, ‘Inspiration,’ earlier this year.
“Who fell in love with Sheku Kanneh-Mason today?,” Decca Record asked on Twitter while vintage Black Glamour tweeted: “The awesome young British cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and his mini ‘fro made me think of the great British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1872-1912).”
3: The Queen’s Chaplain who said a prayer after the couple was married is Caribbean-born.
Rev. Rose Hudson-Wilkin, who delivered a prayer from the nave at the wedding ceremony after Harry and Meghan were declared husband and wife, was born in in Montego Bay, Jamaica. She was educated at Montego Bay High School, an all-girls secondary school in Montego Bay. Since November 2014, the 57-year-old has been Priest-in-Charge of St Mary-at-Hill, City of London.
Additionally, she holds the roles of chaplain to the Queen, chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons and priest vicar at Westminster Abbey. She was previously vicar of Holy Trinity Church, Dalston and All Saints Church, Haggerston.
4: The flowers of 12 Caribbean nations were carefully stitched on to the bride’s veil.
According to a press release from the Palace, the Duchess of Sussex “expressed the wish of having all 53 countries of the Commonwealth with her on her journey through the ceremony.”
The Caribbean countries represented as part of the 53 nations in the Commonwealth were:
Antigua and Barbuda
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and
Trinidad and Tobago.
Givenchy’s artistic director, and the designer of her wedding gown, Claire Waight Keller, designed a veil “representing the distinctive flora of each Commonwealth country united in one spectacular floral composition.”
The breathtaking veil measured five meters long and was made from silk tulle with a trim of hand-embroidered flowers in silk threads and organza. Workers who created the statement-making piece washed their hands every 30 minutes to keep the tulle and threads absolutely pristine.