It was a Disney-like magical day in Windsor today as the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle took place at a joyous ceremony at St George’s Chapel.
On March 14, 2018, the Queen gave her formal blessing to Prince Harry and Meghan’s marriage.
Her official consent read:
Just a day after the engagement news was shared, Kensington Palace shared the location of the wedding in a Twitter announcement; St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, home to several royal festivities, including Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla’s blessing in 2005 and Harry’s baptism in 1984.
So, we got the venue revealed immediately after the engagement, but the official date (May 19, 2018) didn’t go public until mid December 2017. It was reportedly both Meghan and Harry chose the venue themself because “It´s a very special place” for them and they spent a lot of time there in the early days of their relationship
The formal wedding invitations were mailed out in late March.
Before the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Palace revealed that it would be 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”, continuing that it would be a “fun and joyful” celebration involving members of the public. I must say – Meghan and Harry both more than delivered on that promise.
The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle took place on May 19, 2018. The ceremony began at 12 p.m. BST (7 a.m. ET), followed by a carriage procession through Windsor at 1 p.m. BST, (8 a.m. ET).
We saw the first glimpse of the bride in the morning when Meghan and her mother Doria made the journey from the Cliveden House Hotel where they spent the night before the wedding.
A little video:
Harry on the other hand came over from Coworth Park, the country house he spent the night in with William before the wedding. The Queen gave Harry permission to get married in his uniform, so that was what he arrived wearing.
Before the wedding, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle asked Lord Lieutenants to invite 1,200 people to join the celebrations outside the chapel, including young people with “broad range of backgrounds and ages, 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.
According to a post she made on Instagram, Oprah originally planned to wear a beige dress, but changed her mind at the last minute when she thought it would look white in photographs. Oprah arriving:
The Beckhams arriving at the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry:
Meghan’s friends Serena Williams and Abigail Spencer inside the chapel waiting for Meghan to arrive
And the bride arrived:
Meghan was joined by her Bridesmaids and Page Boys upon arrival at the chapel. In total, Meghan and Harry selected ten bridesmaids and page boys, with Meghan and Harry selecting five each. (Prince George and Princess Charlotte; Prince Harry’s godson Jasper Dyer, Harry’s goddaughters Zalie Warren and Florence van Cutsem. Meghan’s goddaughters Remi and Rylan Litt, John and Brian and Ivy Mulroney).
Clare Waight Keller designed the six young bridesmaids’ dresses in the Givenchy Haute Couture Atelier in Paris.
Meghan walked through the first portion of the aisle on her own, and then met Prince Charles for the remainder of the walk.
Watch her arrival here:
It was Harry himself who picked the angelic operatic composition, “Eternal Source of Light Divine” by George Frideric Handel, for Meghan’s walk down the aisle. It was performed by soprano Elin Manahan Thomas at the ceremony,
The archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby married Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and Rt Rev. David Conner, the dean of Windsor, lead the church ceremony. Meghan also asked The Most Reverend Michael Bruce Curry, a Chicago-based bishop, to give the address at the wedding.
Meghan and Harry chose floral designer Philippa Craddock to create the church flowers for their wedding. Philippa and her team created the stunning floral installations at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, Meghan’s bouquet and the centerpieces at their reception.
Philippa used foliage from The Crown Estate and Windsor Great Park, along with seasonal plants such as beech, birch, and hornbeam for floral installations. She combined it with white garden roses, peonies, and foxgloves.
Meanwhile, Meghan’s bouquet featured sweet peas, lily of the valley, jasmine, astilbe, astrantia, and myrtle.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle chose Cleave and Company to make their Wedding rings. Meghan’s ring was fashioned from a piece of Welsh Gold, gifted by The Queen while Harry’s ring was a Platinum Band with a textured finish. Both rings were crafted in the Cleave workshop. Both rings were carried to St George’s Chapel by The Duke of Cambridge, in his capacity as Best Man.
Both Meghan Markle and Prince Harry carefully selected the music for their wedding featuring 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 was joined by cellist Sheku Kanneh (who was only 19 at the time) – Mason, Karen Gibson, and The Kingdom Choir, The Orchestra conducted by Christopher Warren-Greench, soprano Elin Manahan Thomas, the State Trumpeters, David Blackadder and Luke Bond. Music from Ben E King and Etta James featured who performed an amazing version of “Stand By Me.”
The order of service 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.”
The 21-page booklet includes details of when the wedding party starts, the history of St George’s Chapel, as well as information on the hymns, songs, prayers, readings, and music.
Just before leaving the church both Harry and Meghan signed the marriage certificate.
On their way out Meghan curtsied to the queen
Watch their first walk as husband and wife:
And now time for a kiss
Let´s talk a bit about Doria stunning in Oscar de la Renta which was made in a striking pale green hue. Five months on from the royal wedding, designers Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia, confessed that Meghan wanted her mum to wear something meaningful to them both. “She wanted to have an American designer represented in the royal wedding because she’s American,” Fernando told Buro Middle East.
More from Vogue:
“Back in January, Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia received a call from Meghan Markle about a wedding day look for her mother Doria Ragland. “She knew she wanted a pistachio or melon look for her mom,” Garcia remembered. The house of Oscar de la Renta has surely dressed many mothers-of-the-bride over the decades, Hillary Clinton included, but royal weddings are another thing entirely. It was a huge coup for the duo, and if it hasn’t immediately resulted in a boost in sales, as Meghan’s own choices do, it has at least raised the designers’ profiles. “I got a lot of new followers,” Kim said.”
Following the ceremony, Meghan and Harry boarded the Ascot Landau carriage and took a route through Windsor, returning to Windsor Castle along the Long Walk.
It was pulled by Windsor Grey horses, which have been used to pull carriages for the Royal family since Queen Victoria.
The Ascot Landau carriage is one of five Ascot Landaus purchased during the reign of Queen Victoria. The carriages are usually kept at Windsor Castle, being used to transport members of the Royal Family on official occasions.
As expected, the Queen conferred a dukedom on Prince Harry as a wedding gift. Kensington Palace announced the news the morning of the royal wedding.
If you want to get specific, their full titles were His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton, and Baron Kilkeel, and Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex, Countess of Dumbarton, and Baroness Kilkeel.
The Queen has traditionally conferred a dukedom to senior male members of the royal family as a wedding gift. Not only is it a lovely gesture, but it also gives their wives the title of Duchess, so they don’t awkwardly have to go by their husband’s first name. (Example: Princess Michael of Kent.)
Read the full statement here:
Now, let’s have a look at the stunning wedding dress again.
Meghan stunned the world with her double-bonded silk Givenchy gown custom-designed by their former creative director Clare Waight Keller. The gown itself, comprised of a simple silk crepe, featured a bateau neckline, structured three-quarter sleeves and a sculpted waistline that fell into a train made of triple silk organza.
Her veil on the other hand paid tribute by including a custom embroidery of 53 flowers, which symbolically represented the Commonwealth and its 53 countries.
The Palace said:
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.”
To top the look, Meghan chose the Queen Mary Bandeau Tiara: a diamond bandeau tiara made in 1932 with a center brooch that dates all the way back to 1893. The tiara was borrowed from The Queen and previously belonged to Queen Mary.
In an immediate statement, Kensington Palace stated, “The dress epitomizes 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.” The statement continues, “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 emphasizes the slender sculpted waist.
Clare herself also chimed in on Instagram to reflect on just how special creating this piece of history was for her as she released sketches of the dress. “A Dream Day accompanying stunning #meghanmarkle on her journey to become the Duchess of Sussex in @givenchyofficial,” she captioned a photo of Meghan on the chapel steps.
Clare Waight Keller was Givenchy’s first-ever female artistic director. She succeed Riccardo Tisci which was announced in March 2017. Clare studied for her BA at Ravensbourne College of Art. She gained her Masters in Fashion Knitwear at the Royal College of Art.
Meghan opted for classic court shoes from Givenchy – the same brand that created her wedding dress. Meghan’s shoes were said to be “based on a Givenchy refined pointed couture design made of a silk duchess satin”.
Meghan’s earrings and bracelet are by Cartier. The bracelet is the $155,00 Reflection style
Meghan’s hair was styled by Serge Normant in an updo with a middle part, while her make-up was made by her long-time friend and make-up artist Daniel Martin.
The wedding reception – Meghan Markle and Prince Harry wedding
Following the Carriage Ride Through Windsor, Meghan and Harry celebrated their nuptials during a private lunch for the invited ceremony guests (around 600 people). The lunch, which was hosted by the Queen at Windsor Castle, featured a lighter menu:
The wedding cake, on the other hand, was on a whole different level:
Kensington Palace first shared the wedding cake plans two months before the wedding, revealing that Claire Ptak, who was raised in California and now owns Violet Cakes in London, was selected to bake it. She knew Meghan from a previous interaction when Meghan interviewed her for The Tig.
A day before the wedding, Kensington Palace shared a video of Claire´s team working on the cake in the Buckingham Palace kitchen:
Harry and Meghan chose a lemon elderflower cake covered in buttercream and decorated with fresh flowers. According to Kensington Palace Claire “focuses on using seasonal and organic ingredients in her cakes.”
And to topcthe lemon elderflower cake, there were Champagne and Pistachio Macaroons, Orange Crème Brûlée Tartlets, and Miniature Rhubarb Crumble Tartlets. Pol Roger Brut Réserve Champagne, a selection of wines, and an apple elderflower mocktail.
The evening reception
Then, there was another private evening reception for 200 close friends and family, hosted by Prince Charles at Frogmore House on the Windsor estate. Thankfully for those of us who (for some reason) were not on the guest list, reports about what went down at the exclusive affairs have emerged.
Shortly after 7 pm, the couple left for the reception.
Meghan reappeared for the cameras changed into the most stunning gown—Harry in a tux—and the couple went in a vintage Jaguar to Frogmore House and drove away for their final party!
By all reports, Prince Charles gave a moving speech, which left the audience in tears. Referring to him as ‘my darling old Harry,’ he was visibly emotional about the marriage of Harry, who he said he still remembered so clearly as a baby.
Also, the groom made a speech. According to Veronica German, head of the Dolen Cymru Wales Lesotho Link, who was invited to the reception through her work, Harry had to keep stopping and restarting his speech, because every time he addressed Meghan as ‘my wife’, the audience descended into cheering and clapping.
It was also revealed that Meghan gave a speech, while they also saw a rather naughty Best Man speech from William. Prince Harry’s close friends, Tom “Skippy” Inskip and Tom Van Straubenzee, also gave a cheeky joint speech,
Despite having their phones confiscated on entry, Troian Bellisario, the wife of Meghan´s suits-husband Patrick J. Adams, did manage to sneak a snap of the slippers given to guests at the after-party to soothe their tired feet after a long day standing in heels. (thoughtful Meghan).
Meghan and Harry chose ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ by Whitney Houston as their opening number.
The evening concluded with a fireworks display.
Meghan stunned at the reception in a bespoke Stella McCartney lily white high neck gown made of silk crepe – Stella shared the sketch.
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
On her finger Meghan wore Princess Diana’s aquamarine ring. Diana wore the emerald cut Aquamarine stunner to an auction of her own clothes at Christie’s in 1997. It was later revealed that it was Meghan’s “Something blue”.
My personal favorite moment of the day was when we saw the first full glimpse of stepping out of the Rolls Royce, and walking herself up those beautiful stairs to enter the Chapel with the adorable page boys holding her veil, in all its glory, and halfway down the aisle BY HERSELF.
And of course when Meghan finally got to Harry and he said the sweetest things! I could definitely tell that he said “You look amazing” but wasn’t able to make out the rest. According to news reports and Twitter, it was “I’m so lucky” while others are saying it was “absolutely gorgeous” or “I’ve missed you”. Either way, I’m dying over it.
Okay, now it´s your turn … what are your opinion about the wedding? We don’t have to agree. Leave a comment below! I’d love to hear your thoughts and insights! xo.