Princess Diana’s tribute at the Royal Wedding went beyond an empty seat which people wanted to attribute to

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Speculation about an empty seat, next to Prince William also led to various interpretations as to whether this was a tribute to Princess Diana. Various people went on social media to give a rather emotional ‘link’ to the empty space on the front row. One person, Jason Reeves tweeted that “there’ll be a lot of things said & written about Harry & Meghan’s wedding (and rightly so) but one of the stand outs – for me – was the empty seat right next to William … for Princess Diana”. Others asked whether it was a tribute, while others hoped it was.

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According to Royal reporter Rebecca English “it wasn’t empty for that reason. The seat in front of the Queen is always left empty”. 

But even if the empty chair wasn’t Diana’s , there were many other instances and symbols which were there simply to ‘honour’ the Royal groom’s late mother who died in a tragic traffic accident 20 years ago.

Meghan Markle’s veil, the jewels used for the ring, the bridal bouquet, the floral arrangement, Elton John’s presence and subsequent performance and the hymn were amongst the elements which the newly wed Royal couple used to pay tribute to the late Princess during Saturday’s wedding.

When Harry and Meghan announced their engagement to the world last fall, Harry explained that he proposed with a ring that contained two precious side stones from his mother’s personal collection “to make sure that she’s with us on this … on this crazy journey together”. The choice of all white flowers, according to many, was in honour of Diana’s deep love for the simple colour. Moreover, the entryway to St. George’s chapel was covered in white peonies and white garden roses, which happen to be Diana’s favourite flowers.

A statement issued earlier this week by Kensington Palace stated that Prince Harry and Ms. Markle both feel [honoured] that Princess Diana’s younger sister Lady Jane Fellowes will be representing her family and helping to celebrate the memory of the late Princess on the wedding day”, by reading from the Song of Solomon in the wedding.

The inclusion of the hymn “Guide Me, O Thy Great Redeemer” in the service, which was sung at Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997 was also a tribute to the late mother. The hymn was also sung at Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding in 2011. Like Princess Diana, Prince Harry and Meghan are both avid supporters of several charitable organisations. Instead of asking for gifts for their wedding, the couple asked the public to give to many different charitable organisations instead. Those charities included CHIVA (Children’s HIV Association) and Crisis, a nonprofit dedicated to ending homelessness.

Sir Elton John performed for the newly married couple in recognition of the close connection he has with Prince Harry and his family,” the palace said in a statement in the run up to the wedding. According to People, the singer dedicated his performance of “Tiny Dancer” to Meghan.

For those who analyse narratives, one can also interpret the content of the sermon given by Bishop Michael Curry as a fitting tribute to the character of Princess Diana. Breaking the ‘rigidity’ with which one associates the Royal Family, making statements which can be attributed to general international situations, referring to the ‘notion of love’ in one’s work for the common good, are all elements which somehow can be linked to the late Princess.

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