Charles suggested gospel music for wedding

Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir performed at the royal wedding.
Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir performed at the royal wedding.

The uplifting gospel music that transfixed the congregation during the royal wedding ceremony was the idea of the Prince of Wales.

Karen Gibson, founder and director of the Kingdom Choir which performed during the wedding, said Charles' office first approached her about the group of singers taking part in the wedding.

"The couple didn't actually ring us at first, the call came from Clarence House. I understand that Prince Charles really likes gospel music," Ms Gibson said.

"The couple were very intentional about what they wanted sung and how they wanted it sung, but the actual idea came from Prince Charles - although they were very happy to have gospel music."

She said about the arrangement of Stand By Me, which was played after the rousing address by US bishop Michael Curry, was "more reflective".

"Even though its a secular song, it's inspired by a spiritual."

While the gospel classic Amen/This Little Light Of Mine was sung as the newlyweds left the church, even some of the crowds listening to the outside broadcast of the wedding service clapped along.

"We want people to get involved, tap their feet, sing along, that's what gospel music is, it's all embracing and inviting."

Sheku Kanneh-Mason, a rising star of the classical music world, played three moving pieces as the couple signed the register.

"It was such an amazing experience actually, and something that I'll remember for a long time," he said.

The 19-year-old musician said of the mixture of music in the ceremony: "I think there was such a wonderful mix of music and all the musicians performing today were fantastic."

Mr Kanneh-Mason said Meghan and Harry requested an arrangement of Ave Maria, and recalled being at the chapel with the couple a few weeks ago to see what the cello would sound like.

Australian Associated Press