Prince Harry and Meghan Married at Windsor
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have become husband and wife in a moving ceremony at Windsor Castle.
An emotional-looking prince and his smiling bride exchanged vows and rings before the Queen and 600 guests at St George’s Chapel.
Ms Markle, wearing a white boat-neck dress by British designer Clare Waight Keller, was walked down the aisle by Prince Charles.
At the altar, Prince Harry told her: “You look amazing.”
Now married, the couple will be known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
The guests, many of them A-listers, included Oprah Winfrey, George and Amal Clooney, David and Victoria Beckham and Sir Elton John, who later performed at the wedding reception.
Ms Markle’s sculpted dress was designed by Ms Waight Keller for French fashion house Givenchy.
Most striking was a diamond bandeau tiara, loaned to her by the Queen, and a trailing five-metre silk veil embroidered with the flowers of each country in the Commonwealth.
Her 10 young bridesmaids and page boys – including Prince George and Princess Charlotte – rose to the occasion.
However, the excitement became too much for one of the younger ones who started crying just before Ms Markle entered the chapel.
Prince Charles walked Ms Markle down the aisle, after her father, Thomas, was unable to attend for health reasons.
Mr Markle, 73, reportedly watched the ceremony from California.
He told the US celebrity website, TMZ: “My baby looks beautiful and she looks very happy.”
Ms Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, stayed with her daughter overnight before accompanying her to the chapel.
Dressed in a pale green Oscar de la Renta dress, with a neat hat, an emotional-looking Ms Ragland sat alone on the bride’s side of the chapel for some time.
As the witnesses were called away to sign the register, Ms Ragland appeared to accept an outstretched hand from Prince Charles with some relief.
In her vows, Ms Markle did not promise to “obey” her husband, while the prince has broken with royal tradition by choosing to wear a wedding ring.
Prince Harry’s ring is a platinum band with a textured finish and Ms Markle’s has been made from a piece of Welsh gold.
‘Power in love’
The Most Rev Bishop Michael Curry, the president of the US Episcopal Church, gave an address, the Rt Rev David Conner, Dean of Windsor, conducted the service and the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, officiated.
“There’s power, power in love,” Bishop Curry said.
“If you don’t believe me think about a time when you first fell in love. The whole world seemed to centre around you and your beloved. Well… there’s power, power in love.”
Lady Jane Fellowes, the sister of Prince Harry’s late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, gave a reading.
Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir performed Ben E King’s soul classic Stand By Me during the service.
As the bride and groom signed the register, 19-year-old cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason – who won the 2016 BBC’s Young Musician – performed three pieces by Faure, Schubert and Maria Theresia von Paradis.
He was accompanied by musicians from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the English Chamber Orchestra and the Philharmonia.
The gospel choir also performed Etta James’ uplifting version of Amen/This Little Light of Mine as the newlyweds left the chapel.
After the service, the duke and duchess travelled through Windsor along a route lined by tens of thousands of well-wishers.
The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead said more than 100,000 people visited the town on Saturday.
The wedding cake is to be served at the Reception. It was designed by Claire Ptak and features elderflower syrup made at The Queen’s residence in Sandringham from the estate’s own elderflower trees, as well as a light sponge cake uniquely formulated for the couple. #royalwedding pic.twitter.com/kt5lE4tEn9
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 19, 2018
All 600 guests were invited to a lunchtime reception at St George’s Hall, hosted by the Queen.
Ms Markle is expected to break with tradition for royal brides and make a speech, along with her husband and new father-in-law. The best man, the Duke of Cambridge, will act as compere.
Guests were treated to a performance by Sir Elton John and were served langoustine canapés, Windsor lamb and champagne and pistachio macaroons. Instead of a formal sit-down dinner, food was served in bowls.
The reception also included the cutting of the lemon and elderflower-flavoured wedding cake.
Other celebrities attending were tennis star Serena Williams, TV personality James Corden, singer James Blunt, actor Carey Mulligan and former England rugby player Jonny Wilkinson.
Prince Harry’s uncle, Earl Spencer, the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, and the Duchess of Cambridge’s sister Pippa Middleton, were also invited.
Politicians, including Prime Minister Theresa May, were not invited, as it is not a state event.
But the former Prime Minister, Sir John Major, was among the invited guests, as he is a member of the Order of the Garter.
About 1,200 members of the public – many who were recognised for their charity work – were invited into the grounds of Windsor Castle for the wedding.
Among them was 13-year-old Leonora Ncomanzi, who was overjoyed when she got a wave from the bride herself.
“Meghan waved at me! When she was in the carriage, she saw me and waved – we’ve got it on video,” she said.
And Pamela Anomneze, in her 50s, said it had been a “wonderful feeling” to catch a glimpse of the Queen.
On Saturday evening, the newlyweds will celebrate with 200 close friends and family at a private reception less than a mile from Windsor Castle at Frogmore House, hosted by Prince Charles.
The Royal Family will pay for the wedding, including the service, music, flowers and reception.