Tag Archives: The wedding

A Lesson in reading.

There is little left to say about the wedding. The reviewers set aside cynicism, and apart from sour comment on a few fashion gaffes, they heaped deserved praise on the Middletons, individually and as a family. It is almost impossible to imagine the pressure they were under to perform on the day. And, putting the experienced Royals in the shade, they rose to the occasion to the manor born


The least remarked upon was 23 year old brother James whose reading of the Lesson, a difficult passage from Romans, was remarkable.  Whether coached or well advised, his delivery was compelling as he resisted the temptation to be rushed and spoke with surprising confidence. As one journalist noted “he was (pause) at least (pause) audible (look up, breathe) throughout (pause).”

The ability to pause and to look up is essential if you want to be listened to. In reading the verses he only glanced down when he wasn’t speaking. This meant he held the attention of his audience (pause!) of 2 billion. If he could do it under this pressure, can there ever be any excuse for reading a script in a pitch?


The Bishop of London gave a superb address. He too made no apparent use of his notes and the power of his delivery was a combination of a great voice, pitch and pace, and  his eye contact with his congregation. The Dean, by contrast, chose to read the prayers, which presumably he knows well, keeping his head down as if avoiding the cameras. Not so easy to listen to.