Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, St. George’s Chapel of Windsor Castle
Like a fairytale – the prince and his showgirl, sealed their love with a kiss as the world watched.
American television actress and star of the television show Suits, Meghan Markle married Prince Harry in a historic royal wedding. As many as 100,000 British nationals and foreign visitors were present to watch the wedding while 29.2 million Americans were riveted to their TVs. The ceremony took place at the historic St George’s Chapel of Windsor Castle, which was built in the 14th century and has seen a series of royal weddings since the time of Queen Victoria.
Members of the British royal family, British stars like Sir Elton John, football legend David Beckham and designer Victoria Beckham and actor Idris Elba rubbed shoulders with American celebrities Oprah Winfrey, tennis champion Serena Williams, actor George Clooney and his barrister wife Amal Clooney.
Harry and Meghan first met on a blind date in early July 2016. They were set up by a mutual friend (whose identity they have still not revealed) and after months of speculation, an announcement of their engagement was made by the palace in November 2017.
The historic wedding at Windsor Castle will be remembered for more than being just a royal affair. While Meghan Markle will not be the first bi-racial royal (Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz married King George III and was England’s queen from 1761 – 1818), the wedding ceremony was enriched by the bride’s heritage and marked the beginning of a new, more modern era in the royal family.
It began when the bride entered St George’s Chapel alone – rather than being given away by her father – and was met halfway by Prince Charles, her future father-in-law. After much-fevered speculation about The Dress – Meghan emerged resplendent in a white, bateau necked gown by Givenchy’s first female creative director Clare Waight Keller. The lack of fuss, with much emphasis given on the structure and seams of the dress (the fabric, a special blend was woven specifically for the dress) was made to please a future royal with subtle, sophisticated tastes.
Meghan wore Cartier jewellery plus the Queen Mary bandeau tiara over her hair which was in a low, center-parted chignon. The tiara, Meghan’s “something borrowed” from the Queen, held the five-meter-long veil in place.
Prince Harry wore his Blue and Royal frockcoat uniform, single-breasted and made of blue doeskin. It had a white buckskin belt with sword sling.
Departing from the usual, Rev. Michael Curry delivered the sermon during the Royal wedding and the lively, unprecedented speech about love and modernity featured many nods to the African American experience. A gospel choir sang the Ben E. King song “Stand By Me,” and the couple exited to the rousing civil rights anthem “This Little Light of Mine.”
The wedding ceremony was followed by a black-tie wedding dinner staged at Frogmore House and hosted by Charles for 200 of the couple’s closest friends and family. The married couple arrived at the evening reception in a silver-blue Jaguar E-Type Concept Zero. The car’s number plate bore the date of the wedding – E190518 – and Prince Harry was the perfect gentleman as he opened the door of the car to let his bride step in, as he drove her to their private evening reception.
The bride’s reception attire followed the same aesthetic as her wedding gown – designed by Stella McCartney, it was a bespoke lily white high neck gown made of silk crepe. She wore shoes from Aquazurra in silky satin, with nude mesh, the soles painted in baby blue. Meghan also chose a stunning aquamarine ring that once belonged to Princess Diana—one of the many tributes the couple included in the big day.
While some of the 200 dinner guests at Frogmore House were enjoying the evening’s festivities at Frogmore House, some of the cast of Suits – the hit US television show Meghan starred in – staged their own event: a karaoke evening.
The royal couple requested that instead of wedding gifts, their favorite charities be supported and their list of preferred institutions and organisations included Chiva (Children’s HIV Association); Crisis; the Myna Mahila Foundation; Scotty’s Little Soldiers – a charity for bereaved armed forces children; StreetGames; Surfers Against Sewage; and The Wilderness Foundation UK. Also, the flower arrangements that surrounded the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on their wedding day were rounded up into bouquets and sent to a variety of charities and hospices once the wedding was over. The flowers carried special significance even before they were donated after this week’s nuptials. Among the different kinds of plants were white garden roses, beloved by the late Princess Diana. Meghan’s wedding bouquet included a reference to her late mother-in-law as well, featuring forget-me-nots, another one of Diana’s favorite.