A piece of classical music that was played at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge has been voted the nation’s favourite music for the big day.
Toccata from Charles-Marie Widor’s Symphony For Organ No 5 topped a poll of nearly 4,000 votes by Classic FM listeners to find the UK’s most-loved wedding music.
Penned by French composer and organist Widor almost 140 years ago, the piece was played in Westminster Abbey on April 29 2011 for William and Kate’s ceremony, as well as eight other royal weddings in the past 60 years.
It is often used as recessional music – as the couple leave the venue.
Ahead of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on May 19, the radio station asked listeners to vote for their favourite pieces of music for nuptial celebrations.
Classic FM presenter Charlotte Hawkins said she is “delighted” that Widor’s piece won the accolade, describing it as a “showstopper” that was also played at her parents’ wedding.
She said: “It can be a tricky one to play though, putting any church organist through their paces, but it ensures that the wedding couple and their guests are sent on their way with a spring in their step!”
Hawkins added: “Classical music has gone hand in hand with weddings for generations.
“There must be millions of people, like myself, who have walked down the aisle on their special day to some of the world’s greatest music.”
In second place on the list is George Frideric Handel’s Arrival Of the Queen Of Sheba from the oratorio Solomon.
The nation’s favourite wedding music was counted down on air by Hawkins during her Sunday afternoon programme on Classic FM on Sunday.
The top 10 pieces of wedding music:
1. Widor – Toccata from Symphony For Organ No 5
2. Handel – Arrival Of The Queen Of Sheba
3. Pachelbel – Canon In D
4. Mendelssohn – Wedding March from A Midsummer Night’s Dream
5. Schubert – Ave Maria
6. Clarke – Trumpet Voluntary
7. Wagner – Bridal Chorus from Lohengrin
8. Grieg – Wedding Day At Troldhaugen
9. Bach – Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring
10. Stainer – Love Divine, All Loves Excelling