Meghan Markle Eschews Traditional Wedding Vow

Meghan Markle surprised the world on Saturday, and royal wedding attendees, by making a modernized version of the traditional wedding vow to Prince Harry.

Markle married Prince Henry of Wales early on Saturday morning. In the week leading up to the big ceremony, many wondered whether the feminist actress would make use the centuries-old wedding vow and promise to "obey" her new husband, or use a more updated term.

In the end, Markle appears to have settled on modernizing the language. She followed in the footsteps first laid down by Prince Harry's mother, Princess Diana, in her wedding vows in 1981. She removed the word "obey" from her vows, though the next two royal brides after her said it. In 2011, however, Kate Middleton chose to omit it again.

The vows used in deeply traditional weddings come from the church's Anglican Book of Common Prayer, which dates back to 1662. In them, the groom promises "to love and cherish till death do us part," while the bride vows to "love, cherish and obey" her husband.

These days, most weddings use those set down in the Common Worship book, which was introduced in 2000. They no longer include the word "obey."

"I, (bride/groom name), take you, (groom/bride name) to be my wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward; for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part," they read.

Markle was baptized in the Church of England back in March to prepare for her fast-approaching nuptials. Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby confirmed the actress. He and Markle have reportedly developed a "close bond."

As a child, Markle was raised in the Episcopalian faith. However, she went to a Catholic high school in Los Angeles. Technically she was not required to be baptized before Saturday's wedding, but she announced her plans to do so shortly after the engagement was made official.


Reports on the royal vows varied wildly throughout the week leading up to the ceremony. On Wednesday, news outlets were all but certain that she would stick to the traditional vow and promise to "obey." However, by Friday afternoon, it had become clear that she wouldtake a modernized approach.

Markle has described herself as a feminist on several occasions. Her commitment to the advancement of women is clear. She works with organizations such as World Vision, the Myna Mahila Foundation and One Young World to advocate for women's rights around the globe.