The Royal Wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

The world watched as the Royal Wedding took place this past weekend at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.  Meghan Markle, being dubbed The American Princess, wed Prince Harry in a gorgeous ceremony on May 19, 2018.  Which royal wedding traditions did they follow?  And more importantly, what did the dress look like?  We have all of the details of this wedding most of us only dream about.

The Location

 

St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle setting of royal wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

 

The wedding took place at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle at 12 pm.  Their choice of a Saturday wedding date is actually against tradition as royal weddings are usually on a weekday.  The couple become the 16th royal couple to marry at Windsor Castle.  Of course, the queen had to grant permission for the ceremony to be held in this place of worship.  The chapel itself seats approximately 800 although only around 600 were in attendance.  That doesn’t compare to the more than 29 million people that watched the televised ceremony, however.

The Dress

 

 

One of the most anticipated moments of the event was that first glimpse of the dress worn by Meghan Markle.  We even speculated a bit on the past style of Markle and how those choices would be reflected in her wedding dress.  She looked stunning in a Givenchy gown designed by British designer Clare Waight Keller.  The 3/4-length sleeves and open bateau neckline were understated yet glamorous.  Sophisticated simplicity at its best!

In a statement from Kensington Palace:

 

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.

 

The dress was only topped by the 16-foot-long silk veil.  The trim of this piece featured hand-embroidered flowers which honored the 53 countries of the Commonwealth.  It was attached to a tiara on loan from Queen Elizabeth II herself.  The crown was actually first worn by Queen Mary who is Prince Harry’s great-great-grandmother.  The only question remains as to if this dress will have an effect on wedding style worldwide.  Will we see a resurgence of sophisticated and glamorous dresses?

The Ceremony

 

 

As you may have read, Markle’s father was unable to attend the ceremony, so Prince Charles escorted her down the aisle.  Breaking tradition, however, she actually walked unaccompanied into the chapel and Charles met her halfway.  She was met at the alter by Prince Harry as well as the Dean of Windsor who conducted the service.  The Archbishop of Canterbury officiated.

The couple selected words from The Marriage Service from Common Worship (2000) for the actual ceremony.  This uses contemporary language – such as the word “you” instead of “thee” and “thou.”  Also, as is common these days, Markle did not promise to “obey” her husband.

There were several celebrities in the crowd at the wedding but this was a small wedding in comparison to other royal ceremonies.  As Prince Harry is sixth in line to the throne, he was not obliged to invite diplomats from across the globe to the celebration.  Who was in attendance?  Oprah Winfrey, tennis champion Serena Williams, actor George Clooney, Sir Elton John, David and Victoria Beckham, and many more familiar faces were in the crowd.

The Rings

But what about those rings?  What could be fitting for a royal couple?  The Queen actually gifted a piece of Welsh gold that was fashioned into a ring for Markle.  Prince Harry’s, however, was created from platinum with a textured finish. Both rings were crafted in the Cleave workshop, and were carried to the chapel by the Duke of Cambridge, in his capacity as best man.

The Flowers

You might have caught a glimpse of some of the flowers for the service.  The setting was enough of a show stopper, but the flowers included branches of beech, birch and hornbeam, and white garden roses, peonies and foxgloves.  These were from the gardens and parkland of the Crown Estate and Windsor Park and were arranged by Philippa Craddock.  Prince Harry personally chose the flowers for Meghan’s bridal bouquet, and he included forget-me-not’s.  These were his mother Princess Diana’s favorite flower.

The Farewell

 

 

A roar of applause greeted the newlyweds as they emerged from the chapel and paused to kiss on the chapel steps.  Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.  The happy newlyweds were seen smiling and waving to the huge crowd that came out to just catch a small glimpse of the action.

 

 

The public’s last look at the couple was during a carriage procession leaving Windsor Castle.  They went from St George’s Chapel through Windsor town returning to Windsor Castle along the Long Walk.  It is reported that approximately 100,000 people turned out for the procession.  There was actually no traditional balcony kiss during this royal wedding, although St George’s does not have a balcony so that could have been part of the reason.

The Reception

In a statement from Kengsingon Palace:

 

Following the service, there will be a reception at St George’s Hall for the couple and the guests from the congregation. Later that evening, the Prince of Wales will give a private evening reception for the couple and their close friends and family.

 

It is also reported that Markle has broken with tradition to give a speech of her own at the wedding reception.  But what about the cake?  Did the couple go traditional with a fruitcake?  American-born baker Claire Ptak, who owns London’s Violet bakery, whipped up a more seasonally appropriate cake of lemon elderflower topping it with buttercream and then decorated it with fresh flowers.

What is next?

 

A view of Windsor Castle

 

But what is next for the couple?  Did they jet off on a luxurious honeymoon?  They are actually putting off their honeymoon for a bit and heading straight to work this week.  You will see them carrying out their first official engagements as husband and wife.

The Duchess has already spoken of her desire to “hit the ground running” in her new role.  And this revelation seems to fit right in with that declaration.   The Duchess has actually been given the blessing of Buckingham Palace to use her position to fight for feminism.  So, we are expecting to hear much more from this royal couple!

So, tell us, did you watch the royal wedding?  What was your favorite part?

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