It was the modern fairytale we’d all been waiting for.
With the eyes of the world upon them Meghan Markle and Prince Harry wed on May 19th in a Royal wedding like no other.
The pair first met back in 2016 after being set up on a blind date by a mutual friend (eh hello where can we get a mate like this?!), two dates in London quickly followed before Harry convinced Meghan to join him in Botswana where the couple spent five days camping out under the stars.
Speaking of the initial meeting the Prince said: “I’d never watched Suits, I’d never heard of Meghan before. And I was beautifully surprised when I walked into that room and saw her and there she was sitting there. I was like, ‘Okay, well I’m going to have to really up my game here. And sit down and make sure I’ve got a good chat.”
While there were plenty who doubted that the American, divorced actress was a suitable match for Harry but the couple seemed to realise from the get go that this was something special with Meghan saying: “I think that very early on when we realised we were going to commit to each other. We knew we had to invest the time and the energy and whatever it took to make that happen.”
Harry proposed back in November with a bespoke ring containing diamonds from his late mother Diana’s collection plus a central stone from Botswana to commemorate where they fell in love.
Determined to do things their own way the couple went against tradition by opting to get married on a Saturday – Royal weddings usually take place on a weekday – and from that reading by the flamboyant American preacher, Michael Bruce Cheery (loved the side eye that Kate threw to Camilla) to the gospel choir this was a most multi-cultural affair.
Stunning in an understated Givenchy dress designed by British designer, Clare Waight Keller, Miss Markle, in a nod to femininity and in absence of her father, walked herself down the aisle before being given away by Prince Charles.
Harry’s face was everything as he watched his bride approaching. Clearly moved and emotional he was still as cheeky as ever as he told her: “You look amazing. I’m shitting it!” (thank you lip readers!)
What stood out most was the look of pure love between Harry and Meghan as they exchanged their vows in front of an 800 strong, star studded congregation in Windsor Castle. Meghan’s face – sans highlighter, contouring, pencilled eyebrows and with her freckles on show and all the more beautiful for it – was the picture of radiance from start to finish while Harry just looked like he couldn’t believe his luck.
After the formalities and the exchanging of rings (Meghan’s ring was fashioned from a piece of Welsh Gold, gifted by the Queen, while Prince Harry’s was created from platinum with a textured finish) the couple left the chapel and Harry kissed his new bride, much to the delight of the masses.
The new Duke and Duchess of Sussex then undertook a carriage procession from St George’s Chapel through Windsor town returning to Windsor Castle along the Long Walk before Alexi Lubomirski then took the official photographs at Windsor Castle.
An afternoon reception at St George’s Hall followed for the couple and the guests from the congregation (including the Beckhams, the Clooneys, James Cordon, Tom Hardy and Serena Williams) with Sir Elton John performing for the newlyweds before a private evening reception for the couple and their close friends and family.
Meghan changed into a second frock for the Frogmore House reception, a high-necked Stella McCartney creation accessorised with a huge aquamarine ring that had belonged to Princess Diana. Harry looked dapper in an evening suit and drove his new bride in a vintage Jag.
While details of the reception remain mostly private it has been reported that Meghan broke with tradition by giving her own speech in which she thanked the Royal Family and declared she had found her prince while Harry told his new wife she had ‘navigated everything with such grace’ adding, ‘We make such a great team’. Swooning…
There are rumours that best man, Prince William’s speech was on the naughty side, James Cordon played compere, Idris Elba took a turn as DJ and ‘dirty burgers’ and candyfloss were washed down with a cocktail featuring ginger and rum named When Harry Met Meghan in an apparent nod to the Prince’s red hair.
A firework display rounded off the festivities in the £300,000 glass marquee in the grounds of Windsor Castle with guests reportedly celebrating with their new bride and groom well into the early hours.
Images @theroyalfamily c/o Instagram