From the first glimpse of the bride in her gorgeous wedding gown to the romantic kiss outside the chapel and the lavish parties afterwards, here are all the details from the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tied the knot on the 19th of May, 2018. It was a glorious sunny day without a cloud in the sky and the streets of Windsor were sparkling! Thousands of meters of handmade bunting and union jack flags were proudly displayed throughout the town where thousands of people eagerly awaited the royal wedding ceremony at the grandiose St George’s Chapel. The couple put their own mark on the event and there are so many fabulous ideas worth stealing!
Here Comes The Bride…
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The night before the wedding, the bride stayed at the 5-star historic hotel Cliveden House in Berkshire with her mother Doria Raglan. Her wedding gown was top secret until she stepped out of the 1950 Rolls-Royce Phantom IV. Prince Harry was the last one to see it! “You look amazing”, he whispered when she approached him in the chapel.
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The guest list was a blend of royalty, Hollywood celebrities, members of charity foundations and other people who were important to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The suits, the dresses and the glamorous hats (which were obligatory for all the female guests) were simply breathtaking! Some of the best-dressed celebs include Amal Clooney who stole the show in a yellow Stella McCartney dress and a matching hat by Stephen Jones, Lady Kitty Spencer wore a Dolce & Gabbana dress and a Philip Treacy hat, Carrey Mulligan in a floral dress by Erdem, Sofia Wellesley in a Valentino gown, Abigail Spencer in a polka dot dress by Alessandra Rich, Piryanka Chopra who sported a two-piece outfit by Vivienne Westwood at the ceremony and then changed into a glittering Dior dress for the second reception, the Duchess of Cambridge who wore a primrose yellow wool silk tailored coat by Alexander McQueen styled with Jimmy Choo shoes and a Philip Treacy hat, and of course, the Queen who wore a lime green and lavender silk ensemble by Stuart Parvin and an Angela Kelly hat.
The Wedding Gown
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A blend of modern and traditional, the dress created by the British designer Claire Waight Keller for Givenchy was ideal for the occasion. Embellishments-free double bonded silk cady was glossy and pure and the cut perfectly accentuated the waist and the shoulders. The skirt featuring a long train was supported by an underskirt in triple silk organza while the modern touches included slim three-quarter sleeves and the open bateau neckline.
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The focus was on the elaborate bridal veil made from five metres of silk tulle and designed to represent distinctive flora of 53 Commonwealth countries. It featured hand-embroidered three-dimensional flowers which took hundreds of hours to make. Other bridal accessories included Queen Mary’s diamond bandeau tiara lent by the Queen, stud earrings by Cartier, a bracelet by a French jeweller and shoes crafted from silk duchess satin.
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To complement the dress and the veil, Meghan had a small, but very romantic bridal bouquet rich in symbolism. Florist Philippa Craddock created a mix of sweet peas, lily of the valley, astilbe, jasmine and astrantia, but Prince Harry added a few blooms himself! To give a nod to his late mother Princess Diana, he included forget-me-nots and also popped in sprigs of myrtle because it is a long-standing tradition for royal brides. Once put together, the bouquet was bound with a ribbon made of raw silk.
The Groom’s Attire
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According to an old tradition, male members of the British royal family always wear uniforms at their weddings. Everybody expected him to wear one, but many were also keen to find out whether he will shave his signature ginger beard or not.
The prince arrived at St George’s Chapel with his brother, the Duke of Cambridge who was also his best man. Both of them were wearing frockcoat uniforms of the Blues and Royals and each of them was tailored at Dege & Skinner on Savile Row. And no, the groom didn’t shave his signature beard for the occasion.
The Bridal Party
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The bridal party was another mystery that remained unresolved until the wedding day. Markle didn’t have a maid of honour or even her bridesmaids. Instead, she was accompanied by 6 flower girls and four page boys who totally stole the show! Her entourage included Prince George and Princess Charlotte, Prince Harry’s godchildren - Florence van Cutsem, Zalie Warren and Jasper Dyer, Markle’s goddaughters Remi and Rylan Litt and three children of Jessica Mulroney – Ivy and twins Brian and John.
The little ones escorted the bride down the aisle and it was a dramatic and endearing moment that caught everyone’s eye. Two page boys were holding her veil, while the others walked behind them. The girls wore Givenchy flower girl dresses which were paired with mini floral crowns and personalised leather Aquazurra shoes monogrammed with their initials. The footwear was specially chosen by the bride and it was her unique gift to the flower girls.
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The couple had decided to host their ceremony at the stunning St George’s Chapel established in 14th century by King Edward III. Featuring extraordinary stained glass windows, ornate ceilings, carved oak stalls and garter banners, the chapel is a fine example of the English Perpendicular Gothic architecture, and the space was beautifully enriched with the overflowing floral displays of white garden roses, foxgloves, peonies and branches of beech, birch and hornbeam created by florist Philippa Craddock.
It was a happy and uplifting wedding ceremony which touched hearts of billions of viewers across the world! The service was conducted by Right Reverend David Conner, the Dean of Windsor and the highlights include the sound of fanfare that announced bride’s arrival, Harry and Meghan’s declarations, ceremony reading by Diana’s sister Lady Jane, Fellowes, the speech about love given by the Most Reverend Michael Curry, gospel choir performing ‘Stand by me’ and exchange of rings and vows. At the end of the ceremony, the Archbishop of Canterbury joined couple’s right hands and proclaimed them husband and wife. It was the moment when they had become the Duke and Duchess of Sussex! The wedding rings for the bride and groom were crafted by the royal jewellers Cleave and Company. She received one made from a piece of Welsh Gold which was gifted by the Queen, while he got a platinum band with a textured finish.
The Kiss & The Procession
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The most anticipated moment of the day was the big kiss! After the ceremony, the couple headed towards the west doors of the chapel and paused for a moment at the West Steps to perform the picture-perfect newly-wed kiss which ended up on so many front covers of newspapers and magazines all over the world!
Then they embarked on a 25-minute journey through the heart of Windsor in an open Ascot Landau carriage pulled by specially trained Windsor Grey horses as the crowds cheered and waved to the happy couple.
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The first royal wedding reception for 600 guests hosted by the Queen was held at the St George’s Hall immediately after the ceremony. The guests were sipping Pol Roger Brut Reserve Non Vintage Champagne, a selection of wines and a range of soft drinks including delicious apple and elderflower mocktails.
Canapes were top-notch and included Scottish Langoustines wrapped in smoked salmon with citrus crème fraiche, grilled English asparagus wrapped in Cumbrian ham, garden pea pannacotta with quail eggs and lemon verbena, heritage tomato and basil tartare with balsamic pearls, poached free-range chicken bound in a lightly spiced yoghurt with roasted apricot, croquette of confit Windsor lamb, roasted vegetables and shallot jam, and warm asparagus spears with mozzarella and sun-blush tomatoes. A selection of food bowl included fricassee of free-range chicken with Morel mushrooms and young leeks, pea and mint risotto with pea shoots, truffle oil and parmesan crisps as well as ten hour slow roasted Windsor pork belly with apple compote and crackling.
The wedding cake by Claire Ptak was made from elderflower syrup produced at the Queen’s residence in Sandringham, light sponge cake uniquely formulated for the couple and a filling crafted from Amalfi lemon curd and elderflower buttercream. The cake was decorated with Swiss meringue buttercream and 150 British seasonal blooms. Other desserts included champagne and pistachio macarons, orange crème brûlée tartlets and miniature rhubarb crumble tartlets.
Intimate evening reception hosted by Prince Charles for only 200 of couple's closest friends and family members took place at the Frogmore House. Newly married Duke and Duchess of Sussex were spotted in front of the Windsor Castle around 7 PM driving in a silver-blue Jaguar E-Type Concept Zero. The car was originally built in 1968 and converted to electric power and the registration plate featured their wedding date! The bride changed into her second outfit – the lily-white high-neck collar gown made of silk crepe and designed by Stella McCartney, while her shoes by Aquazurra were crafted from silky satin with nude mesh and pastel blue soles. And that’s not all! We spotted an emerald cut aquamarine ring on her right hand from Princess Diana’s jewellery collection and we assume it is her husband’s wedding gift! Of course, Harry also changed his outfit and wore a black tie suit for the reception.
The second reception was much less formal than the first one and couple had the chance to relax and have a great time with their family and friends. It was a festival/carnival themed soiree inspired by Prince Harry’s favourite London nightclub, Mahiki. The menu was all-organic, the speeches were pretty laid-back (the bride herself gave one) and drinks were inspired by different destinations around the world. There was even a special ginger and rum cocktail named ‘When Harry met Meghan’! After a sit-down dinner, the couple and their guests danced the night away to the tunes played by DJ Sam Totolee. Their first dance song? It was Whitney Houston’s ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’. The party ended with spectacular fireworks above Frogmore House.