Sunday 20 October 2019

Watch: US bishop Michael Curry’s dramatic wedding address prompts mixed reactions

Michael Curry delivered a 14-minute emotional speech in which he extolled the power of love.

Emily Chudy

American bishop Most Rev Michael Curry gave a dramatic address during the Royal wedding that prompted mixed reactions from viewers on social media.

At the service in St George’s Chapel, the bishop opened his emotional 14-minute speech entitled The Power of Love with the words of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

The bishop, the first African-American presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, said: “We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we do that, we will be able to make of this old world a new world. Love is the only way.”

He told the service: “There’s power in love. Love can help and heal when nothing else can. There’s power in love to lift up and liberate when nothing else will.”

The passionate speech had many people reaching for their handkerchiefs, however for some it highlighted the slight culture gap between Americans and Brits.

With Brits having a reputation for a stiff upper lip, some online commentators joked that the royal family were somewhat blindsided by the emotional address.

American actor Josh Gad tweeted: “Watching the Brits watch an American Preacher do his thing in Windsor is giving me life right now. It’s like watching Metallica do a concert at the Old Globe.”

Commentator Hugo Rifkind tweeted: “I love how the entire British royal family is visibly dying of embarrassment because somebody is shouting openly about love at a wedding.”

Jeremy Clarkson was unenthusiastic about the length of the speech, tweeting: “What if this American vicar never stops?”

Meanwhile, Television presenter Alison Hammond claimed Curry was “giving me life”, while actor Miranda Hart said: “This wedding is the best TV show I have ever seen. I have cried, cringed, laughed and cried some more and there was one scene that was awesome ‘but just a bit too long’.”

The Bishop’s address didn’t just inspire fun reactions, however, and some Twitter users pointed out that it was a historical milestone.

Elamin Abdelmahmoud tweeted: “A black reverend preaching to British royalty about the resilience of faith during slavery is 10000000% not what I thought I was waking up for, the royal wedding is good.”

Angela Griffin wrote: “Not sure I’ve ever seen so many people of colour involved in any royal event ever. Feeling quite proud watching with my 10 year old mixed race daughter”

Holly Brockwell said: “It’s impossible to overstate how incredibly significant it is that black culture and traditions are being incorporated into this ceremony and the royal tradition. True progress.”

PA Media

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