Recently Prince Harry and Meghan Markle said "I will" becoming the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Thanks to technology, they said their vows in front of millions of people around the world. The Royal Wedding was surrounded by a lot of fanfare and special activities. It was definitely the social event of the year. Whether you want to help your students understand the events surrounding the special day or just want an excuse to watch the Royal Wedding again, there are plenty of ways to bring the events of the special day into your classroom.
The Duke and Duchess chose to omit the words "serve" and "obey" to from the set of vows they chose. The vows they pledged to one another were just one example of many sets of vows that are traditionally used in weddings. Have your students compare traditional wedding vows from different religions, different royal weddings, or even their parents' own weddings. Note similarities and differences and talk about which vows they would choose for their own weddings. To extend the activity you can talk about what it means to make a vow. You may also choose to have students write their own vows.
Give a Fashion Report
The Royal Wedding was full of fancy dresses and elaborate fascinators Show a video of guests arriving to the Royal Wedding and have students practice their speaking skills by providing a play-by-play fashion report as they watch the video or share pictures of the guests and have students describe the outfits they are wearing. Students can be serious or silly, such as comparing Pippa Middleton's dress to a can of Arizona green tea. If you choose to make silly comments, take a moment to remind students to be kind. Comparing a dress to a can of tea is silly, but negatively commenting on a person's physical features or saying something like "she looked fat in that dress" is not.
Discuss Wedding Traditions
The Royal Wedding featured many breaks in tradition. Not only did Prince Harry marry a divorced American actress, but he sported a beard while wearing a military uniform and his father, Prince Charles, walked the bride down the aisle. Weddings are full of traditions. Research some common wedding traditions or have students share common wedding traditions in their culture. Discuss the pros and cons of the various traditions and ask students to share which traditions they want to keep or throw out at their own weddings.
Design a Wedding Program
Prior to the wedding, the palace released an order of procession. This document provided an outline of the events of the ceremony and also included the lyrics to songs and words for prayers that would be used throughout. Traditional weddings also often feature programs given to guests to help them follow the program. Read through the Order of Procession with students and talk about what students notice. Then share with them a shorter version of a wedding program. You can have students shorten the official Order of Procession to create a simpler wedding program or have them design a wedding program for their own wedding or an imaginary wedding. This activty will help students practice writing, summarizing, and help them understand sequence of events.
Review Wedding Vocabulary
During the Royal Wedding, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, served as Prince Harry's best man. Two page boys held Meghan Markle's veil as walked up the steps and into St. George's Chapel. A series of young bridesmaids also walked into the chapel. An archbishop helped deliver the vows. These were just some of the roles involved in the wedding ceremony. Review the different roles involved in a wedding with students. You can also bring in other vocabulary words, such as bouquet (what the bride carries), veil (what is often worn on the bride's head), etc.
The Royal Wedding can inspire a wealth of different research projects. For example, students can research the life history of Prince Harry or Meghan Markle and write a brief biography of each. Students may also want to research royal weddings and learn about what happened during weddings of other famous couples, such as Prince Charles and Princess Diana. Students who already know about the royals may want to research more specifics related to the wedding, such as the history of St. George's Chapel. They could also research places that mean something special to the couple, such as the country of Botswana, where the two have spent a great deal of time camping.
Find Ways to Give Back
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are both known for the work they do for charity. In honor of the Royal Wedding, have your students think of ways they can give back to their communities or give to a special charity. Collect money as a class and write a letter to send to a charity as a donation. Design a community service project and spend some time completing it as a class. Write letters to government officials (if it is allowed in your country) to bring a particular issue to their attention. Have students give speeches or create brochures about issues that are near and dear to their hearts.
During the early moments of the Royal Wedding, hearts were melting as Prince Harry looked at his bride and said, "You look amazing. I'm so lucky." Use his words to inspire students to role play things you might say to someone that you love or to a girlfriend/boyfriend. Then go a step further and have students come up with compliments to share with others in the class.
Young girls often dream of marrying Prince Charming. For Meghan Markle that dream seemingly came true. Get students to share what dreams they have (realistic or crazy). Maybe the Royal Wedding will inspire students to take a leap of their own.
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