THE ROYAL WEDDING
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been proclaimed husband and wife after pledging their love to one another at a fairytale wedding at Windsor Castle. After a service watched by an estimated global TV audience of 1.9billion, the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex emerged from the historic church set in the grounds of St George’s Chapel, beaming with delight.
Having walked his now daughter-in-law down the aisle, Prince Charles reduced guests to tears at the afternoon reception with a speech about his ‘darling old Harry’.They later left for the evening reception in ultimate style – taking a silver blue Jaguar E-Type Concept Zero, which was originally manufactured in 1968 and has since been converted to electric power to Frogmore House in Windsor.
The car’s number plate bore the date of the wedding – E190518 – and Prince Harry proved he was the perfect gentleman as he opened the door of a vintage car to let his bride step in, as he drove her to their private evening reception in a scene akin to a James Bond film.
Earlier, at the top of the vast West Steps, where the West Door was decorated with hundreds of cream and white flowers and green foliage, Harry and his bride stopped and kissed to the delight of cheering onlookers. An estimated more than 100,000 well-wishers lined the streets of Windsor to cheer the newlyweds as they started their married life with a tour in an open-topped Ascot Landau carriage.
The Queen’s grandson and the American former actress, who is now an HRH and a member of the British royal family, said their vows in front of 600 guests including the monarch and more than 30 members of the Royal family. Ms Markle wore a stunning elegant white gown – with a white veil and boat neck – was created by British designer Clare Waight Keller, the first female Artistic Director at French fashion house Givenchy. Prince Harry and his best man the Duke of Cambridge are both wearing the frockcoat uniform of the Blues and Royals.
As they met at the altar, Prince Harry told his bride “you look amazing”, to which Meghan replied “thank you”. The couple tenderly held hands and exchanged smiles during the wedding ceremony.
Ms Markle’s delicate veil was five metres (16ft) long and made from silk tulle, with a trim of hand-embroidered flowers in silk threads, with two of her page boys carrying the ends as she made her way up the steps. Her hair was styled in an up do and she wore the glittering Queen Mary’s Diamond Bandeau tiara, loaned to her by the Queen. The pair set off on an open-top carriage ride through the streets of Windsor where an estimated more than 100,000 well-wishers had descended on the town for the royal nuptials.
As they paused on the steps, a smiling Ms Markle looked up at her new husband and asked: “Do we kiss?” Harry replied with a discreet: “Yeah.” The new Duke and Duchess travelled in the Ascot Landau waving to the thousands of royal fans lining the streets and up the Long Walk, with Ms Markle exclaiming “wow” at their rapturous welcome.As the horse-drawn carriage returned to Windsor Castle ready for a lunchtime reception in the magnificent St George’s Hall, Prince Harry quipped: “I’m ready for a drink now.”
Ahost of stars were invited to join the happy couple in the chapel including US chat show queen Oprah Winfrey, tennis champion Serena Williams, actor George Clooney and his barrister wife Amal Clooney, Sir Elton John, David and Victoria Beckham and actor Idris Elba. Prince Harry and Ms Markle gazed into each other’s eyes as they exchanged vows. The Duke of Cambridge, in his role as best man, stepped forward to deliver the rings, with the couple smiling as they placed the bands on each other’s hands.
Unlike his brother, Prince Harry has chosen to wear a wedding ring.
Loud cheers could be heard from outside St George’s Chapel as the Archbishop of Canterbury proclaimed the couple husband and wife. Prince George and Princess Charlotte did not follow directly behind Harry and Meghan as they made their way back up the aisle, like the other bridesmaids and page boys.
Instead, the youngsters held the hand of their parents the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as they made their way out of the chapel. Ms Markle has become the first mixed race person in modern history to marry a British senior royal. She found fame in the US legal drama Suits playing the character Rachel Zane, and a number of her former co-stars, including Patrick J Adams and Gabriel Macht, were there for her big day.