‘Meghan in disguise’ breaks chart record: Composer accused of being Duchess of Sussex undercover at the Coronation celebrates 1,000 weeks in the classical charts
The composer who was the subject of wild speculation that the Duchess of Sussex snuck into the King’s Coronation is celebrating 1,000 weeks in the classical charts.
Sir Karl Jenkins, whose ‘haunting’ work Tros y Garreg was played during the ceremony, caught the eyes of viewers with his distinctive look earlier this month.
But days after the event, the 79-year-old confirmed he was in fact not Meghan in a large white wig and glasses, or a thief dressed in disguise trying to steal the crown jewels.
Sir Karl, who is perhaps best known for composing the song Adeimus, told viewers that he has had his distinguished moustache since the age of 18.
He has today broken chart records by reaching over 1000 weeks in the UK Official Classical Artist Albums Chart with his work The Armed Man.
The piece, composed in 1999 and commissioned by the Royal Armouries to mark the millennium, is also known as the ‘Mass for Peace’ and is an oratorio based on the 15th century French poem, ‘L’homme armé’.
The world premiere of The Armed Man took place in the year 2000 at the Royal Albert Hall in London, conducted by Sir Karl himself, and featured The National Youth Choir of Great Britain with Julian Lloyd Webber as the cello soloist.
Since then, it has received close to 3000 performances across the globe, including a performance at Lincoln Center in New York on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, again conducted by Sir Karl.
The studio recording, featuring the London Philharmonic Orchestra, along with the National Youth Choir of Great Britain, was originally released in September 2001.
The work has since featured regularly in the ‘Classic FM Hall of Fame’, having just charted at its highest ever position at No.5. Karl Jenkins becomes the highest-ranking living composer in this year’s poll.
Sir Karl Jenkins says, ‘When I wrote The Armed Man: a Mass for Peace in 1999, little did I imagine that in 2023 we would be celebrating 1000 weeks in the UK classical chart and nearly 3000 performances worldwide.
‘I am deeply honoured that it has touched so many people over the years; thank you to The Royal Armouries and Classic FM who commissioned me to write it, and to all those who have performed it and listened to my recording.
‘I’m sad to say there has been no let-up in war and conflict since I dedicated the piece to the victims of Kosovo, but we continue to make music in remembrance of those who have perished and in the hope that humanity can find a way to heal.’
Sir Karl’s work Tros Y Garreg, an arrangement of a Welsh folk song drawn from his harp concerto Over the Stone, was performed as part of the music programme preceding the Coronation service, with the Official Royal Harpist Alis Huws as soloist.
The work was commissioned by His Majesty when Prince of Wales, and its inclusion was in recognition of The King’s long standing and deeply held relationship and affiliation with Wales.