A Service of Prayer and Dedication has been held to celebrate the marriage of The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall.
Around 800 guests attended the service, including HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, Their Royal Highnesses The Duke of York, The Earl and Countess of Wessex and The Princess Royal, and Rear Admiral Timothy Laurence, Prince William and Prince Harry.
Also attending were Major Bruce Shand, Tom and Laura Parker Bowles and other friends and family members. A combination of choral and orchestral music was played during the Service of Prayer and Dedication at St George's Chapel, Windsor. The music, which was chosen by HRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, included some of their favourite pieces such as Bach's Cantata “Nun Komm der Heiden Heiland” and excerpts from Handel's Water Music. Among the musicians who performed at the Service were members of the Philharmonia Orchestra, of which The Prince of Wales is Patron, and the St George's Chapel Choir.
Founded in 1348, the Chapel Choir is made up of 23 boy choristers (all pupils from St George's School situated in the Castle grounds) and 12 Lay clerks singing alto, tenor and bass. The choir sings regularly in the presence of The Queen and other members of the Royal Family, and often tours abroad. A Russian version of The Creed, set to music by Gretchaninov, was sung by Ekaterina Semenchuk, a young Russian contralto who has been specially flown over as a wedding gift from the Mariinsky Theatre Trust of St Petersburg, of which The Prince is Patron and a benefactor.
Ekaterina is a highly acclaimed young singer who was a finalist at the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition in 2001. At the beginning of the Service of Prayer and Dedication, a number of organ and orchestral pieces was played.
These included Farewell to Stromness by The Master of the Queen's Music, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies and which has been specially arranged by Rosemary Furniss for strings. Other pieces included works by Walton, Bach, Handel, Finzi, Grieg and Elgar. As The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall joined the congregation, the orchestra played the Adagio movement of Albinoni's Oboe Concerto in D minor.During the Service, three hymns were be sung, all of which are The Prince's and The Duchess's favourites. They were: Immortal Invisible (tune: St Denio), Love Divine All Loves Excelling (tune: Blaenwern), and Praise My Soul The King of Heaven (tune: Goss). After the concluding blessing, a verse of the National Anthem was sung, followed immediately by a specially commissioned “Celebration Fanfare” by the Welsh composer Alun Hoddinott. The Service concluded with the orchestra playing excerpts of Handel's Water Music and excerpts from works by Bach for organ. The organist for the Service was Roger Judd and the choir was conducted by the Director of Music of St George's Chapel Timothy Byram-Wigfield. The Philharmonia Orchestra was conducted by Christopher Warren-Green. After the service, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall left St George's Chapel, flanked on both sides by representatives of the regiments with which The Prince is associated.
They were followed by HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, and other members of the Royal Family.
Afterwards, Their Royal Highnesses met representatives of the charities with which they are associated. For The Prince, there were representatives from many of the 360 organisations of which he is Patron or President.
These include the 17 core charities founded by His Royal Highness. The Duchess was greeted by representatives from the Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust and the National Osteoporosis Society of which she is President.
Afterwards, HM The Queen hosted a reception in the State Apartments.