Prince Harry, Meghan Markle seal their wedding with a kiss
Andrew Matthews/WPA Pool/Getty Images(WINDSOR) — Meghan Markle, now Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex, has married her prince.
Markle, 36, wore a white wedding dress designed by Clare Waight Keller, the first female artistic director at French fashion house Givenchy, at her wedding to Prince Harry, the sixth in line to the British throne.
She was escorted up the steps of St. George’s Chapel by two of the page boys — Brian and John Mulroney, the 7-year-old twins of Markle’s close friend, Jessica Mulroney, and her husband, Ben Mulroney.
Markle’s new father-in-law, Prince Charles, walked Markle from the quire — the area of St. George’s Chapel where the clergy and choir sit — to Harry. The procession in the nave, the central part of the church, included the Dean of Windsor, Markle’s bridesmaids and page boys.
Harry, 33, dressed in military uniform, held the hand of his bride, whose face was at first covered by a veil held in place by Queen Mary’s diamond bandeau tiara, lent to Markle by Queen Elizabeth.
Harry arrived at St. George’s Chapel with his brother, Prince William, who also served as best man.
Markle arrived at Windsor Castle with her mother, Doria Ragland, 61, who wore a mint green dress. The mother and daughter traveled to Windsor Castle in a chauffeured Rolls Royce.
Ragland, seated near the Mulroneys and Charlie van Straubenzee, one of Harry’s best friends, was seen tearing up as she watched her daughter at the altar.
Absent from the wedding service was Markle’s father, Thomas Markle Sr. Markle confirmed in a statement that her dad, who lives in Mexico, would not attend the wedding due to health concerns.
Harry’s royal relatives — including Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William and Princess Kate — were seated near the altar.
The influence of Harry’s late mother, Princess Diana, was felt when her sister, Lady Jane Fellowes, delivered the reading.
Harry also handpicked several flowers on Friday from the private garden at Kensington Palace, including forget-me-nots, which were Diana’s favorite flower. The couple specifically chose them to be included in Markle’s bouquet to honor Diana’s memory, according to Buckingham Palace.
Prince William and Princess Kate’s children — Prince George and Princess Charlotte — were among the bridesmaids and page boys who surrounded Markle and Harry on their wedding day.
Joining Charlotte and George in the wedding party were Ivy Mulroney, the 4-year-old sister of Brian and John Mulroney.
Jasper Dyer, the 6-year-old son of Harry’s mentor and close friend, Capt. Mark Dyer, was the fourth page boy.
The page boys wore a miniature version of the Blues and Royals frockcoat.
“The uniform draws its insignia from the Blues and Royals, which is an old Regiment of The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry,” according to Buckingham Palace. “Both are also wearing Blues and Royals frockcoats for the wedding day.”
Two of Harry’s goddaughters — 3-year-old Florence van Cutsem and 2-year-old Zalie Warren — and two of Markle’s goddaughters — 7-year-old Rylan Litt and her 6-year-old sister, Remi Litt — were also bridesmaids.
The bridesmaids’ dresses were also designed by Clare Waight Keller in the Givenchy Haute Couture Atelier in Paris, according to Buckingham Palace. Their white leather Aquazurra shoes are each monogrammed with their initials and the wedding date, a gift from Markle as a “keepsake of the special day.”
Markle and Harry said their wedding vows in front of around 600 guests, including Oprah Winfrey, Elton John, Serena Williams, Idris Elba, James Corden, James Blunt, George and Amal Clooney, and David and Victoria Beckham.
The Right Rev. David Conner, the dean of Windsor, conducted the wedding service. The Most Rev. Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, who baptized and confirmed Markle, officiated the couple’s marriage vows.
The U.S.-based Most Reverend Michael Bruce Curry, the 27th Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church, delivered a soul-stirring wedding address that quoted Martin Luther King Jr.
It was announced before the wedding that Henry would be conferred a dukedom by the queen, officially taking on the title Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel. Markle’s official title will be Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex.
The last American to marry into Britain’s royal family was Wallis Simpson, who married the Duke of Windsor in 1937.
Markle and Harry have made their wedding their own, choosing to fill St. George’s Chapel with floral displays of white garden roses, foxgloves and peonies — Markle’s favorite bloom — as well as local branches of beech, birch, and hornbeam, designed by florist Philippa Craddock.
Markle personally asked a 19-year-old cellist, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, to provide music for the service, along with an organist and trumpet players, a full orchestra and a soprano. A U.K.-based gospel choir, the Kingdom Choir, led by Karen Gibson, sang Stand By Me.
Following the hourlong wedding service, Harry and Markle left St. George’s Chapel in a carriage procession that left Windsor Castle via Castle Hill and continued along High Street through Windsor Town before returning to Windsor Castle on a route called the Long Walk.
Harry and Markle invited 2,640 people onto the grounds of Windsor Castle to see the wedding carriage procession as it departed.
Members of the public were selected from different regions of the U.K. with a special emphasis on those who have served their community.
The couple also invited 100 students from two local schools in Windsor that have a strong affiliation with Windsor Castle, as well as 200 individuals who take part in charities and organizations for which Harry serves as royal patron.
A royal love story
Harry proposed to Markle in November at Nottingham Cottage, the two-bedroom home the couple shares at Kensington Palace.
The couple made their first public appearance as an engaged couple on Nov. 27, 2017, the day their engagement was formally announced.
Markle is a divorcee whose first marriage — to film producer Trevor Engelson — ended in 2013. This is the first time Harry is getting married.
The couple were introduced in the summer of 2016 by a mutual friend who set them up on a blind date.
Just four weeks after their first date, Harry and Markle spent five days camping out “under the stars” in Botswana, they said in their first post-engagement interview.
Their relationship crisscrossed the globe, with Markle visiting Harry in London and Harry traveling to visit Markle in Toronto, where she filmed the TV drama Suits.
Four months into the relationship, Harry’s communication secretary issued a statement to condemn the “wave of abuse and harassment” the palace said Markle had been subjected to in the press.
The statement noted the “racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments.”
Markle is biracial — the daughter of a white father and African-American mother. She was raised by both parents, who are divorced, in the Los Angeles area.
Markle went on to an acting career, with her most notable role in Suits. She has said her marriage marks a “new chapter” in her life where she’ll be working with Harry “as a team,” and no longer acting.
In the months following their engagement, Harry and Markle embarked on a tour of the United Kingdom, introducing Markle to her new home and the charities that Harry supports.
Markle, who was known for her humanitarian work prior to meeting Harry, will join him, Prince William and Princess Kate as a patron of the Royal Foundation.
“We’re a fantastic team,” Harry said in November of his relationship with Markle. “We know we are, and we hope to over time try and have as much impact for all the things that we care about as much as possible.”
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