Windsor: Prince Harry, 33, the grandson of Queen Elizabeth II, married Meghan Markle, 36, an American actress, at the majestic St George’s Chapel in iconic Windsor Castle. Each has a new title. Harry is now the Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel. Markle will be known as Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Sussex.
Oprah Winfrey was there. So was Elton John, Serena Williams, and the Clooneys and the Beckhams. The dress was by Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy. The big moment was the rousing sermon by the Most Rev. Michael Curry.
In the scheme of things, this particular marriage is not all that important. Harry is only sixth in line to the throne. But Markle is a highly unusual royal bride: She’s American, divorced, three years older than Harry, had a high-profile career and is biracial. It’s a new day for the monarchy.
The royal couple exchanged their vows and rings in the presence of 600 guests, which included the likes of Meghan’s close friend Indian actress Priyanka Chopra and other celebrities like George and Amal Clooney, David and Victoria Beckham and Sir Elton John.
After their marriage ceremony, Prince Harry and Meghan emerged from the chapel Household Cavalry lining the steps and shared their first kiss as a married couple. The crowd cheered wildly on witnessing the much-awaited scene.
It was an extraordinary mix of tradition and modernity, of centuries of history and up-to-the-moment flourishes.
Harry and Meghan became the sixteenth Royal Couple to celebrate their Marriage at Windsor Castle since 1863.
Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, arrived earlier as the only member of Markle’s family to attend the wedding. After an hour-long ceremony, which included hymns and readings, the newly-weds set off to take a tour of Windsor city centre in a traditional open-top Ascot Landau horse-drawn carriage.
An estimated 100,000 people lined the streets of Windsor, around 26 miles from London, hoping to catch a glimpse of the happy couple.
Around 30 members of the royal family including the Queen and the 96-year-old Duke of Edinburgh, who is well enough to attend after undergoing a recent hip operation, were part of the formal wedding party.
The Most Rev Bishop Michael Curry, the 27th presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, from Chicago, gave a rousing address invoking Martin Luther King Jr’s words at the wedding and the Rt Rev David Conner, Dean of Windsor, conducted the service.
As the bride and groom signed the wedding register, 19-year-old cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason – winner of the 2016 BBC’s Young Musician – performed three pieces – by Faure, Schubert and Maria Theresia von Paradis, with musicians from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the English Chamber Orchestra and the Philharmonia.
Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir performed Ben E King’s soul classic Stand By Me’ during the service. The gospel choir also performed Etta James’ uplifting version of Amen/This Little Light of Mine’ as the newlyweds leave the chapel.
The couple announced their engagement in November 2017, during which Harry said the stars were aligned when the beautiful actress, best-known for her role in the TV series Suits’, tripped and fell into his life.