Thy kingdom come: record deal for royal wedding choir

The gospel choir whose soaring performance was one of the highlights of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s royal wedding has landed a record deal with music giant Sony.

The Kingdom Choir, based in Clapham Junction, sang Stand By Me at the ceremony in front of a worldwide audience of two billion. Previously they had performed for a maximum of about 200 people.

Their version of the Ben E. King classic, which will be included on a forthcoming album with original work and other covers, has been watched on YouTube more than 10 million times since the wedding in May.

Today the 35-strong choir reprised their performance in the grounds of Kensington Palace to celebrate signing the landmark deal.

Conductor Karen Gibson, 54, said: “Up until the actual day of the wedding I didn’t believe it was really happening, so no way did I ever think we would ever have such a fabulous opportunity.

“The response has been just unbelievable and surreal. It’s daunting but we’re feeling very blessed and very honoured and very privileged.”

Gibson learned to lead choirs at her Pentecostal church and formed Kingdom for a television appearance in 1995. Today members rehearse twice a week for about three hours, with some commuting from as far away as Bristol and Manchester.

The Kingdom Choir will start recording the album next month and it will be released on November 2. An accompanying concert will take place at Union Chapel, Islington, on Wednesday, November 28.