Much of the splendid wedding ceremony at Westminster Abbey was centered on God, as expected. This was of course evident in the prayers. But the music, so wonderfully played and sung, was God-centered with a clear nod to the great British composers: Edward Elgar, Ralph Vaughan Williams and William Walton. Even the two modern pieces by Mealor and Rutter were clearly religious pieces. Mealor has stated: “My new piece, Ubi Caritas for the Royal Wedding, takes its text from the sixth century Christian hymn that was normally sung at the service for the washing of the feet on Maundy Thursday. The words, originally in Latin, mean: “Where charity and love are, God is there. Let us come together in God’s love and let us love each other with a sincere heart. The meaning of the words, in my mind, is two-fold: firstly, a prayer about love and, secondly, about service. After all, Jesus came to serve, and the young couple are about to enter a long period of service to the nation. I wanted to capture these two themes in my piece.”
After the ceremony there was of course all the color and pageantry associated with the procession from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace. The bride and groom in the 1902 state landau, was accompanied by a military escort. A touching image was given by the newly wed couple whenever they returned a royal salute and when they passed the war dead memorial, the Cenotaph. The Duke of Cambridge saluted and the Duchess of Cambridge inclined her head in a reverent bow. The streets, hung with Union Jacks, were filled with enthusiastic crowds.