Meghan Markle and Prince Harry definitely brought their own modern sensibilities to the royal wedding, whether it was the bride buying her own gown or the lemon and elderberry cake guests will enjoy at the reception later in the day. But some traditions are best kept in place, as the transcript of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's wedding vows show. The couple opted to stick with the classic Anglican vows that brides and grooms use all over the world.
During the ceremony in St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle on Saturday, the couple used the Church of England vows from the Book of Common Prayer, as many royal couples have done before them. The original Anglican vows date back to 1662 and are the ones in which the couple promises to love each other in "sickness and in health" and all of that. They're fairly standard, although the original ones used to be a tad controversial since the bride had to say that she would "love, cherish, and obey" her groom. The groom, however, used to just have to "love and cherish" his bride, without any pinky swearing to obey her.
When Queen Elizabeth got married back in 1947, she included the word "obey," as was customary at the time. However, more modern brides usually decide to edit the word out of the vows, Princess Diana and Kate Middleton included.
Luckily, the most recent version of the Anglican vows was written in 2000, and officially removes "obey" from the wedding vows. However, some brides still choose to include it. Even so, it was unlikely that Markle would decide to add "obey" to her vows given her dedication to human rights and gender equality.
Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the spiritual head of the Church of England, presided over the vows on Saturday.
Transcript Of Prince Harry and Meghan's Declaration
The Archbishop: Harry, will you take Meghan to be your wife? Will you love her, comfort her, honour and protect her, and, forsaking all others, be faithful to her as long as you both shall live?
Prince Harry: I will.
The Archbishop: Meghan, will you take Hary to be your husband? Will you love him, comfort him, honour and protect him, and, forsaking all others, be faithful to him as long as you both shall live?
Meghan Markle: I will.
The Archbishop: Will you, the families and friends of Harry and Meghan, support and uphold them in their marriage now and in the years to come?
All: We will.
Transcript Of Prince Harry and Meghan's Vows
Prince Harry: I Harry, take you, Meghan, to be my wife, to have and to hold from , this day forward; for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part; according to God’s holy law. In the presence of God I make this vow.
Meghan Markle: I Meghan, take you, Harry, to be my husband, to have and to hold , from this day forward; for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part; according to God’s holy law. In the presence of God I make this vow.
Transcript Of The Giving Of Rings
Prince Harry: Meghan, I give you this ring as a sign of our marriage. With my body I honour you, all that I am I give to you, and all that I have I share with you, within the love of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Meghan Markle: Harry, I give you this ring as a sign of our marriage. With my body I honour you, all that I am I give to you, and all that I have I share with you, within the love of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Markle was raised by an Episcopalian father and a Protestant mother, and attended a Roman Catholic school growing up, according to Page Six. Although it's not technically necessary to get baptized into the Church of England in order to marry into it, Markle did get baptized ahead of her wedding in March. She was also confirmed during the same ceremony, which is why she was able to take communion at her wedding, according to W. Kate Middleton did the same before her marriage to William back in 2011.
In all, the wedding ceremony was a perfect blend of old and new traditions, and the couple's vows were the perfect example of that. Meghan and Harry will surely be making some new traditions of their own going forward.