The Palace told us to expect a wedding "guided by tradition, allowing everyone to celebrate what makes Royal Weddings so special, but also one which reflects the personalities of Harry and Meghan", a "fun and joyful" celebration involving members of the public. The royal couple more than delivered on that promise.
We saw our first glimpse of the bride this morning when a radiant Meghan made the journey with her mother Doria from the Cliveden House Hotel where they spent last night. Doria, who affectionately calls her daughter "Flower" beamed as they made the journey to Windsor. One can only imagine how proud she must be feeling today. The two enjoy a fantastic relationship.
Meghan once said: "We can just have so much fun together, and yet, I'll still find so much solace in her support. That duality coexists the same way it would in a best friend." There is no one Meghan would have wanted to share those moments with more than her mother and the memory will last a lifetime for both of them.
With Prince Harry's connection to the military, it was a given the armed forces would provide support at his wedding. Members of the Household Cavalry formed a staircase party at St George’s Chapel as part of the wedding. The State Trumpeters and a Captain’s Escort from the Household Cavalry also provided ceremonial support. Streets within the precincts of Windsor Castle were also lined by members of the Windsor Castle Guard from 1st Battalion Irish Guards, and by Armed Forces personnel units Harry is associated with.
The groom and his best man arrived at the Chapel's West steps, wearing their Blues and Royals uniforms, to rapturous applause. The princes looked delighted as they saw the people gathered in the Castle precincts. Harry and Meghan asked Lord Lieutenants to invite 1,200 people to join the celebrations, including young people who have shown strong leadership and those who have served their communities. Other guests included 100 pupils from two local schools, 610 Windsor Castle community members and 530 Members of the Royal Household and the Crown Estate.
Doria was elegant in a custom dress and day coat designed by the creative directors of Oscar de la Renta, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim. Doria's custom hat was designed exclusively for her by British milliner Stephen Jones, OBE, whom the Palace said Meghan has worked closely with since moving to the UK.
Oprah was in attendance.
The star studded guest list included Serena Williams, Elton John, Idris Elba, members of the Suits cast.
George and Amal Clooney were also in attendance. Amal was the best dressed guest for me - she looked stunning in Stella McCartney.
The Middleton family.
The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh arriving. It was terrific to see Philip in such good spirits.
Page boys and bridesmaids arriving with Kate.
The Duchess of Cambridge and Jessica Mulroney arrived with the bridal party.
Bridesmaid Princess Charlotte :)
A stunning arrival from the bride.
Our first look at the gown.
The bride was accompanied by a bridal party of no less than ten bridesmaids and page boys all under eight-years-old. The Mulroney twins were on hand to assist with the veil.
Adorably attired and impeccably behaved, the group included Prince George and Princess Charlotte; Prince Harry's godson Jasper Dyer, the son of his longtime mentor Mark Dyer; Harry's goddaughters Zalie Warren and Florence van Cutsem. The van Cutsems have been close friends of the princes since their schooldays. Meghan's goddaughters Remi and Rylan Litt, the daughters of close friend Benita Litt from LA, and best friend Jessica Mulroney's twin boys John and Brian and daughter Ivy completed the party.
Meghan was met at the Quire by Prince Charles.
It is said the two have formed a very close bond in recent months and Charles was honoured to walk Meghan down the aisle.
A particularly memorable moment was the expression on smitten Harry's face when he greeted Meghan. He turned to her and said, "you look amazing. I missed you".
Harry lifts Meghan's veil.
A video of the moment.
Doria looked so proud and emotional throughout the ceremony.
One of many beautiful moments during the service.
Florist Philippa Craddock did a superb job in creating a floral wonderland inside St George's Chapel. The displays were created using locally sourced foliage, much of which was taken from the gardens and parkland of the Crown Estate and Windsor Great Park.
Philippa used a selection of flowers and plants that are in season and blooming naturally in May, including branches of beech, birch and hornbeam, as well as white garden roses, peonies and foxgloves. The designs reflected the wild and natural landscapes from which many of the plants will be drawn. Ms Craddock described the process as "highly collaborative" and "fun" adding the final result "represented them as a couple".
It was filled with romantic looks.
The service was conducted by the Dean of Windsor, the Rt. Revd. David Conner. The Most Revd. and Rt. Hon. Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, officiated as the couple made their marriage vows. The Most Reverend Michael Bruce Curry, the 27th Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church, gave the address.
More from the Mail Online:
'The Most Rev Bishop Michael Curry, the first African-American presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, gave an address titled the Power of Love at the service in St George's Chapel. He opened his speech with the words of Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr, who said: 'We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we do that, we will be able to make of this old world a new world. Love is the only way.'
The bishop then added: 'There's power in love. Don't underestimate it. Don't even over-sentimentalise. There is power, power in love.' The Episcopal Church is the US offshoot of the Church of England and forms part of the broader Anglican Communion. Meghan was baptised into the Anglican Church, which is headed by Harry's grandmother.
Bishop Curry told the service: 'There's power in love. Love can help and heal when nothing else can. There's power in love to lift up and liberate when nothing else will.' Such power could be seen in the service, he continued, saying: 'Two young people fell in love and we all showed up.'
Harry and Meghan listening to the sermon.
When the time came to choose the venue for their wedding Windsor was Harry and Meghan's immediate choice. It's a "very special place" for the couple and they have spent quite a bit of time there since the early days of their relationship. Prince Harry was christened and attended Easter Sunday services there as a child. They cited "centuries of tradition" and the "beautiful grounds surrounding the castle" as factors in their decision.
More on the castle:
Windsor Castle is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world. Founded by William the Conqueror in the 11th century, it has since been the home of 39 monarchs. Today the Queen spends most of her private weekends at the Castle. It is the sixteenth Royal Wedding to take place there since 1863. Past brides include Princess Alexandra of Denmark, Lady Helen Taylor, the Countess of Wessex, and most recently Autumn Phillips.
St George's Chapel within the grounds of Windsor Castle is one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in England. Construction of the present chapel began in 1475 under the reign of Edward IV. When visiting make sure you look up and admire the stone ceiling, which was added by Henry VII. The chapel is the spiritual home of the Order of the Garter, the senior order of British Chivalry established in 1348 by Edward III. Within the chapel are the tombs of ten monarchs, including Henry VIII and his third wife Jane Seymour, and Charles I. Among the many monuments in the Chapel, look out for the spectacular marble memorial by Matthew Wyatt to George IV's only child, Princess Charlotte, who died in childbirth in 1817.
Prince Harry's mother, the late Diana, Princess of Wales will not have been far from his mind throughout the day. It was incredibly important to both him and Meghan to involve his mother in the day and they were both "honoured" all three of her siblings were in attendance and asked her sister Lady Jane Fellowes to give the reading. The Palace said "Lady Jane was helping to celebrate the memory of the late Princess".
Lady Jane Fellowes gives a reading from the Song of Solomon #RoyalWedding pic.twitter.com/SQSj692LGT— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 19, 2018
The carefully selected music featured a number of well-known hymns and choral works under the direction of James Vivian, director of music at St George's Chapel. The Choir of St George's chapel were joined by cellist Sheku Kanneh - Mason, Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir, The Orchestra conducted by Christopher Warren-Green, soprano Elin Manahan Thomas, the State Trumpeters, David Blackadder and Luke Bond for magnificent performances. Music from Ben E King and Etta James featured, including a particularly touching performance of Stand By Me.
The full Order of Service is available to download here. The Palace said: "Like any couple getting married, Prince Harry and Ms Markle have taken a great deal of care in selecting all elements for their service. This has been a collaborative effort led by Prince Harry and Ms Markle. They have also sought the advice of the Prince of Wales for the orchestral music before the Service begins."
Members of the Royal Family sang a hymn.
The couple commissioned Cleave and Company to make their wedding rings. The company made Meghan's trilogy engagement ring last year. Meghan's was fashioned from a piece of Welsh Gold, gifted by Her Majesty the Queen. Harry's ring is a a platinum band with a textured finish.
As the couple left, Meghan curtsied to the Queen. Unfortunately the cameraman just missed it.
Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Time for a kiss.
The newlyweds were more than happy to oblige.
As the couple made their way down the steps the crowd cheered.
Members of the Royal Family and Doria watched on.
The Prince of Wales escorts both Doria and Camilla.
As the couple stepped into their carriage, they were waved off by family and friends. The Carriage Procession through Windsor was designed to allow members of the public to see the couple, who travelled in the Ascot Landau carriage pulled by Windsor Grey horses.
The Cambridges watch the procession.
The twenty-five minute procession saw the newlyweds travel along Castle Hill, the High Street and into Windsor town centre before returning along the beautiful, tree-lined Long Walk for their reception.
Well-wishers lined the streets.
An overview of the crowds.
A sea of British and American flags.
As expected the Queen conferred a dukedom on Prince Harry as a wedding gift. His titles are Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel. Harry is the 2nd Duke of Sussex. The first duke was Prince Augustus Frederick, sixth son of King George III and Queen Charlotte. The dukedom, conferred on him in November 1801, became extinct when he died 42 years later because he had no legitimate issue. Victoria Arbiter noted he campaigned for the abolition of slavery. Meghan is the first Duchess of Sussex.
The couple's Scottish title will be the Earl and Countess of Dumbarton. George Douglas, a younger son of the first Marquess of Douglas, was created Earl of Dumbarton in 1675. On the death of the 2nd Earl in 1749 the title became extinct and until now has not subsequently been granted as a title. Dumbarton, on the north bank of the River Clyde, was a Royal Burgh between 1222 and 1975. Dumbarton Castle was a Royal fortress even before Dumbarton became a Royal Burgh.
Their title in Northern Ireland will be Baron and Lady Kilkeel. Kilkeel has never previously been granted as a title. It is a small fishing town on the coast of County Down, below the Mourne Mountains. All Baronies have a Nomen Dignitatis and a territorial designation. The title therefore is Kilkeel and the territorial designation is of Kilkeel in the County of Down.
Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex, the Countess of Dumbarton, Lady Kilkee.
It was fashion's best kept secret and we were all left surprised to learn Meghan's stunning wedding gown was designed by acclaimed British designer, Clare Waight Keller. Ms Waight Keller last year became the first female Artistic Director at the historic French fashion house Givenchy. The moment Meghan stepped out of the car there was a collective gasp from those I was watching with; the cut, craftsmanship and seemless simplicity is so very Meghan, and she stayed true to her style whilst incorporating every consideration for her new role and position.
The Palace said:
"After meeting Ms. Waight Keller in early 2018, Ms. Markle chose to work with her for her timeless and elegant aesthetic, impeccable tailoring, and relaxed demeanour. Ms. Markle also wanted to highlight the success of a leading British talent who has now served as the creative head of three globally influential fashion houses – Pringle of Scotland, Chloé, and now Givenchy. Ms. Markle and Ms. Waight Keller worked closely together on the design. The dress epitomises a timeless minimal elegance referencing the codes of the iconic House of Givenchy and showcasing the expert craftsmanship of its world-renowned Parisian couture atelier founded in 1952.
True to the heritage of the house, the pure lines of the dress are achieved using six meticulously placed seams. The focus of the dress is the graphic open bateau neckline that gracefully frames the shoulders and emphasises the slender sculpted waist. The lines of the dress extend towards the back where the train flows in soft round folds cushioned by an underskirt in triple silk organza. The slim three-quarter sleeves add a note of refined modernity.
Following extensive research by Ms Waight Keller in fabric mills throughout Europe, an exclusive double bonded silk cady was developed. Perfect for the rounded sculptural look required, the silk cady has a soft matt lustre whilst the bonding process and pure white colour chosen by Ms Markle and Ms Waight Keller bring a fresh modernity to the dress.
Speaking about Harry, the designer said “He came straight up to me and he said ‘oh my God, thank you, she looks absolutely stunning’." Below, the sketch by Claire Waight Keller.
Born in Birmingham, the designer studied at Ravensbourne College of Art, where she graduated with a bachelor's degree in fashion, followed by a master's degree at the Royal College of Art. She started at Calvin Klein in New York as a stylist for the women's ready-to-wear line, then at Ralph Lauren. Speaking about the commission she said: "It has been an immensely rewarding experience to get to know Meghan on a personal level, one I will forever carry with me. The House of Givenchy joins me in wishing her and Prince Harry every wish of happiness in their future."
The veil is quite simply a work of art. Meghan expressed the wish of having all 53 countries of the Commonwealth with her on her journey through the ceremony. Ms Waight Keller designed a veil representing the distinctive flora of each Commonwealth country united in one spectacular floral composition.
The Palace added:
'The Commonwealth family of nations – of which Her Majesty The Queen is Head –will be a central part of Prince Harry’s and Ms. Markle’s official work following His Royal Highness’s appointment as Commonwealth Youth Ambassador. Ms. Markle wanted to express her gratitude for the opportunity to support the work of the Commonwealth by incorporating references to its members into the design of her wedding dress.
Significant time was spent researching the flora of each Commonwealth country and much care was taken by Ms. Waight Keller to ensure that every flower is unique. The veil is five meters long and made from silk tulle with a trim of hand-embroidered flowers in silk threads and organza. Each flower was worked flat, in three dimensions to create a unique and delicate design. The workers spent hundreds of hours meticulously sewing and washing their hands every thirty minutes to keep the tulle and threads pristine.
In addition to the flora of the Commonwealth, Ms. Markle also selected two personal favourites: Wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox), which grows in the grounds of Kensington Palace in front of Nottingham Cottage, and the California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica) the State flower from Ms. Markle’s place of birth, California.
Symmetrically placed at the very front of the veil, crops of wheat are delicately embroidered and blend into the flora, to symbolise love and charity. A selection of flora distinctive from every state member of the Commonwealth.'
Meghan's choice of designer was not the only element of the day which came as a complete surprise; we were all incredibly eager to see which tiara Meghan would wear. Would she be loaned one from the Royal Vaults? Perhaps a new one? Her Majesty decided to loan her new granddaughter-in-law Queen Mary's Diamond Bandeau Tiara, which was created for her grandmother Queen Mary.
The sparkling diamond bandeau is English and was made in 1932, with the centre brooch dating from 1893. The bandeau, which is made of diamonds and platinum, is formed as a flexible band of eleven sections, pierced with interlaced ovals and pavé set with large and small brilliant diamonds. The centre is set with a detachable brooch of ten brilliant diamonds.
It was made for Queen Mary and specifically designed to accommodate the centre brooch. This brooch was given as a present to the then Princess Mary in 1893 by the County of Lincoln on her marriage to Prince George, Duke of York. Following her death in 1953 it was passed to her granddaughter the Queen.
Look at the sparkle...
Meghan's shoes are based on a Givenchy refined, pointed couture design made of a silk duchess satin.
Prince Harry handpicked several flowers yesterday from their private garden at Kensington Palace to add to the bespoke bridal bouquet designed by florist Philippa Craddock. The spring blooms include Forget-Me-Nots which were Diana, Princess of Wales’ favourite flower. The couple specifically chose them to be included in Meghan's bouquet to honour the memory of the late Princess on this special day.
The Palace said:
'The Bride's bouquet is a petite design, pulled together in a gentle, ethereal, relaxed style with delicate blooms also including scented sweet peas, lily of the valley, astilbe, jasmine and astrantia, and sprigs of myrtle all bound with a naturally dyed, raw silk ribbon. The myrtle sprigs are from stems planted at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, by Queen Victoria in 1845, and from a plant grown from the myrtle used in the Queen’s wedding bouquet of 1947. The tradition of carrying myrtle began after Queen Victoria was given a nosegay containing myrtle by Prince Albert’s grandmother during a visit to Gotha in Germany. In the same year, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert bought Osborne House as a family retreat, and a sprig from the posy was planted against the terrace walls, where it continues to thrive today.The myrtle was first carried by Queen Victoria's eldest daughter, Princess Victoria, when she married in 1858.'
Meghan's earrings and bracelet are by Cartier. The bracelet is the $155,00 Reflection style.
She has worn the Galanterie de Cartier earrings on several occasions.
Clare Waight Keller designed the six young bridesmaids’ dresses in the Givenchy Haute Couture Atelier in Paris. The dresses were designed to have the same timeless purity as Ms Markle's dress. Each one is sculpted in Ivory silk Radzimir, and is high-waisted with short puff sleeves and hand finished with a double silk ribbon detail tied at the back in a bow. The bridesmaids’ dresses include pockets and pleated skirts to create a relaxed and luxurious silhouette. Each also wore white leather Aquazurra shoes, monogrammed with the bridesmaids initials, and the wedding date. The shoes are a gift from Meghan to the young ladies as a keepsake of the special day.
The four page boys wore miniature versions 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. Both also wore Blues and Royals frockcoats for the Wedding Day. The frockcoats are made from blue doeskin, single-breasted in style with a stand-up collar and completed with figured braiding of Regimental pattern. The figured braiding was scaled down for the pages, as otherwise it would have gone above their shoulders. As a special memento, each page had their initials embroidered in gold on their shoulder straps. The pages did not wear hats or white waist belts for practical reasons.
After the procession, the Queen gave a lunchtime reception at St George's Hall for around 600 guests drawn from the wedding service congregation. Guests were served a selection of canapés, including:
The wedding cake was served at the reception. It was designed by Claire Ptak and featured elderflower syrup made at the Queen’s residence in Sandringham from the estate’s own elder trees, as well as a light sponge cake uniquely formulated for the couple.
Elton John performed at the reception, he was a close friend of Diana's and sang candle in the wind at her funeral.
'To drink, guests will be served Pol Roger Brut Réserve non-vintage Champagne, and a selection of wines. A range of soft drinks will also be served, including an apple and elderflower mocktail, made with the same elderflower syrup as used in the wedding cake, and Sandringham Cox's apple juice.
The reception will include the cutting of the wedding cake and speeches from the Prince of Wales, and the Duke of Sussex. The Duke of Cambridge, as Best Man, will act as compere for the Reception.'
ITV reports Prince Harry delivered an emotional speech:
'The tears came during the groom’s speech to the 650 guests who had assembled in St George’s Hall inside Windsor Castle. Harry, at a small lectern, was talking about his new bride and the moment he spoke about love, he became very became emotional.
And, as often happens at weddings, that set off a run of tears on the faces of others in the room. In particular, his new mother-in-law Doria Ragland.'
Shortly after 7 pm, the couple left for the evening reception at Frogmore House.
Several reporters noted the scenes looked like they could be straight out of a Bond movie. They certainly make a very stylish couple :)
The couple travelled in a silver blue Jaguar E-Type Concept Zero. This vehicle was originally manufactured in 1968, and has since been converted to electric power.
A wave from the newlyweds.
I do love the customised number plate.
Meghan looked gorgeous in a bespoke Stella McCartney lily white high neck gown made of silk crepe. Meghan's shoes from Aquazurra are made in silky satin, with nude mesh, with soles painted in baby blue. Her hair was styled by George Northwood.
When asked to name her favourite celebrity wedding dress, Meghan responded: "Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy. Everything goals." I imagine the style of the gown served as inspiration for the flawless McCartney number. It's another fabulous bridal look.
Stella McCartney shared the sketch with WWD.
For 'something blue', Meghan wore Diana's statement aquamarine ring. It is thought it was a wedding gift from Harry.
People reports: "Diana famously wore the emerald cut Aquamarine stunner to an auction of her own clothes at Christie’s in 1997. The jewel is part of a set — the other piece is an aquamarine bracelet, where it’s connected by five strands of pearls. She wore both to a gala dinner in Australia in 1996." A lovely way to honour the late Princess.
It very much looks like Meghan wore the Cartier Reflection earrings. They are part of a set matching her bracelet from the ceremony. They retail for $68,000.
The Duke and Duchess will enjoy a night of dancing and entertainment with 200 of their closest relatives and friends at Frogmore. No doubt it will be a fantastic night.
The Mail reports:
Prince Harry is yesterday said to have praised the 36-year-old former actress, saying she had 'navigated everything with such grace', adding: 'We make such a great team'. He is also said to have told his bride: 'I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with you.'
The wedding reception was a star-studded occasion of Hollywood glamour that was hosted by Prince Charles, featured a house music DJ and concluded with a fireworks display outside an historic 17th century venue.
It is also said to have featured a 'naughty' speech from best man Prince William, a thanks from Meghan to the Royal Family for welcoming her in and an unknown 'surprise' from compere James Corden.
Later on the reception Harry's favourite house tracks 'curated' by DJ Sam Totolee, who also performed at Pippa Middleton's wedding, and a 'drinks of the world' themed bar - and their first dance was said to have been Whitney Houston's I Wanna Dance With Somebody, giving a further nod to Meghan's American heritage.
Also on the menu were candyfloss and 'dirty burgers' as midnight snacks, while one source reported a cocktail featuring ginger and rum was on the menu as a cheeky nod to Harry's red hair, named 'When Harry Met Meghan'. The sit-down dinner was organic, sourced at the request of Prince Charles, and the light-bite canapes were themed 'spring meets summer'. The meal, paid for by the Prince of Wales, ran from 7.30pm to around 10pm.
There were said to have been 'naughty' speeches from William and a joint effort from Tom 'Skippy' Inskip and Tom Van Straubenzee. Meghan is also thought to have thanked the Royal Family for welcoming her in.
Wishing the couple a lifetime of happiness.
It was so touching to see a couple so in love exchanging their vows today. An unforgettable day!
Harry and Meghan's Stunning Official Wedding Portraits
Harry and Meghan with a very happy looking bridal party (I imagine the photographer asked them to say "cheese" moments before this was taken). In the back row: Brian Mulroney, Remi Litt, Rylan Litt, Jasper Dyer, Prince George, Ivy Mulroney and John Mulroney. In the front row it's Zalie Warren, Princess Charlotte and Florence van Cutsem.
The Palace said:
'The images were taken by photographer Alexi Lubomirski in The Green Drawing Room of Windsor Castle, following the carriage procession. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex would like to thank everyone who took part in the celebrations of their wedding on Saturday. They feel so lucky to have been able to share their day with all those gathered in Windsor and also all those who watched the wedding on television across the UK, Commonwealth, and around the world. Their Royal Highnesses are delighted with these official portraits taken by Alexi Lubomirski and are happy to be able to share them today. They would also like to say thank you for all of the generous messages of support they have received.'
A delightful image of Harry and Meghan with the Queen, Prince Philip, Doria Ragland, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Cambridges and the page boys and bridesmaids. The white, green and black colour scheme works wonderfully against the backdrop of the room.
In 1992 the fire at Windsor Castle severely damaged the Semi-State Rooms, including the Green Drawing Room. By good fortune however, the contents of the rooms had been removed at the time. Each room was subsequently restored to its nineteenth-century appearance using the original designs supplied to George IV. This watercolour shows the Green Drawing Room after restoration.
The Green Drawing Room in 1848.
In recent times, the Queen's official 90th birthday portrait with her two youngest grandchildren and five great-grandchildren was shot by Annie Leibovitz in the Green Drawing Room.
Alexi Lubomirski described the commission as an "honour":
“It has been an incredible honour and privilege to document The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's inspiring journey of love, hope and family; from the engagement photos, all the way through to the official wedding and family portraits on Saturday. This has been a beautiful chapter in my career and life, that I will happily never forget."
It's been quite a journey for the pair from the newly engaged Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to TRH The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.