Prince Harry and Meghan wed at St George’s Chapel in Windsor in an extraordinary star studded, multi-cultural Ceremony.
Meghan Markle has launched her own mini-revolution as she married Prince Harry today in a multi-cultural and US-influenced wedding the likes of which Britain’s royals and the millions watching have never seen before.
The newlyweds shared tears, laughter and a passionate kiss in front of their hundreds of VIP guests dominated by Holywood stars including the Clooneys, the Beckhams, Idris Elba, Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hardy and James Corden.
Elton John, who sang at Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997, performed at the lunchtime reception hosted by the Queen in a poignant nod to Harry’s late mother.
All the senior British royals were also there to support the couple including Her Majesty, Prince Philip, Harry’s best man Prince William and his wife Kate, who brought George and Charlotte but left baby Louis with the nanny.
Today Meghan became the first mixed-race member of the royal family in an extraordinary journey for a girl born in LA to a white father and African-American mother who fought her way through the tough world of showbusiness to land a plum role in the TV series Suits.
Harry and Meghan’s big day couldn’t have been more different than royal weddings of the past, especially because the prince was visibly emotional throughout – and guests suggested it was the most diverse major event in the Queen’s 66-year reign.
The prince had looked tearful when he saw his bride for the first time, grabbing her hand telling her: ‘You look amazing – I missed you’ before tenderly lifting her veil.
The new Duke of Sussex also said ‘thank you, pa’ after his father Prince Charles walked the now Duchess of Sussex down the aisle of St George’s Chapel, Windsor, having stepped in at the last moment for Meghan’s father Thomas.
The former actress, 36, managed to make a tearful Harry giggle as they exchanged vows before being pronounced man and wife by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.
Despite being an Anglican church service it had a distinctly American feel with a US bishop delivering a passionate address that appeared to make some royals snigger and a gospel choir filling the chapel with music from Ben E. King and Etta James.
But there was also much of the great British pageantry that royal fans around the world love – all set in the fairy tale surroundings of Windsor Castle on a stunning May spring day.
Meghan chose acclaimed British designer, Clare Waight Keller – the first female Artistic Director at the historic French fashion house Givenchy – to design her dress. She also wore a Queen Mary diamond bandeau tiara, loaned to her by the Queen.
The couple were waved off and watched by members of the royal family as they left in an open-top Ascot Landau for a carriage procession through Windsor.
Prince George and Princess Charlotte, the oldest children of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, did not follow Harry and Meghan as they made their way back up the aisle.
Instead, the youngsters held their parents’ hands as they made their way out of the chapel.
Fans cheered as the couple were brought down Castle Hill, through the crowded town centre and then back to Windsor Castle along the Long Walk, escorted by a colourful travelling Escort of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment.
Some have been camped out near the castle walls for days, while others arrived as early as 4am to secure a good spot.
After the carriage travelled past, one royal fan, Rachael Carter-Eagleton said: ‘She looked amazing. She shone like a diamond.’
The Queen lent the couple her refurbished Landau carriage, which was built for Queen Victoria, which normally carries the monarch to Royal Ascot.
The ceremony was played through loudspeakers hanging on the side of Windsor Castle, so the crowds gathered on the streets outside can hear but not see proceedings.
During the service, a crowd in Horseshoe Cloister shouted a resounding ‘We will’ as the Archbishop of Canterbury posed the question inside St George’s Chapel as to whether the families and friends of Prince Harry and Meghan would support them in their marriage.