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American preacher Michael Bruce Curry managed to steal the show at the Royal Wedding.
Delivering an animated sermon during Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s big day, 65-year-old Curry became the first African-American in history to lead the Anglican Episcopal Church in 2015 and is well-known for his unique and melodramatic style.
Curry was born in Chicago in 1953 and was educated in Buffalo, New York state.
In his autobiography, Curry reveals that both his parents were the descendants of slaves and sharecroppers.
As well as his inimitable style, Curry is known to be outspoken on several political issues.
He backs gay marriage and often speaks on social justice issues such as immigration.
— Gav Murphy (@cymrogav) May 19, 2018
He opened his energetic speech with the words of Dr King, a devout Christian whose faith shaped his struggle against racial injustice in the US, hailing his views on love as “right”.
“We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we discover that, we will be able to make of this old world a new world. Love is the only way,” Bishop Curry quoted.
He then said: “There’s power in love. Don’t underestimate it. Don’t even over-sentimentalise. There is power, power in love.”
He added: Love can help and heal when nothing else can. There’s power in love to lift up and liberate when nothing else will.”
Such power could be seen in the service, he continued, saying: “Two young people fell in love and we all showed up.”
The Episcopal bishop’s role in the service was seen as a nod to the actress’s US roots as she married into the British royal family.
Meghan was born in Los Angeles, California, to an African-American mother and was baptised into the Anglican Church ahead of her wedding to Prince Harry.
The Archbishop of Canterbury described Curry as “a brilliant pastor, a stunning preacher and someone with a great gift for sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.
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The royal wedding also featured the uplifting sounds of a gospel choir singing the soul classic Stand By Me and a song popular in African-American churches.
St George’s Chapel’s lofty heights normally reverberate to traditional choral music but the Kingdom Choir, directed by its founder Karen Gibson, is expected to put on an inspirational performance.
The gospel choices are likely to be down to Meghan Markle, who appears to have brought the sounds of her American homeland to the Gothic chapel.
Ms Gibson, who will lead her group during the service, has said: “The Kingdom Choir is truly honoured to be invited to sing at the wedding of Prince Harry and Ms Markle, and very excited to be taking part in such a historic moment.
“It will be a moment that we will always treasure and we’d like to take the opportunity to wish the couple all the very best for their coming union.”