The wedding between Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle, the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex, took place May 19, 2018, at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. Everything about the wedding was beautiful, from Meghan’s dresses to the rendition of Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me” by Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir to the A-list attendees.
We’re breaking everything down, including all the details on the ceremony, traditions, nods to Princess Diana and more. What was your favorite part of the Royal Wedding?
The Duchess of Sussex’s wedding dress has been designed by the acclaimed British designer, Clare Waight Keller. Ms. Waight Keller last year became the first female Artistic Director at the historic French fashion house Givenchy. Ms. Markle expressed the wish of having all 53 countries of the Commonwealth with her on her journey through the ceremony. Ms. Waight Keller designed a veil representing the distinctive flora of each Commonwealth country united in one spectacular floral composition #RoyalWedding
Meghan wore two dresses; one for the ceremony and one for the reception. The first dress was Givenchy Haute Couture by Clare Waight Keller. The veil, which represented all 53 countries of the Commonwealth with hand-embroidered flowers, and shoes were also Givenchy. Her earrings and bracelet were Cartier. The tiara came from Queen Elizabeth herself: the Queen Mary Diamond Bandeau, which features diamonds set in platinum and was made in 1932.
Her second dress was a bespoke Stella McCartney silk crepe gown with Aquazzura shoes. She also donned an aquamarine cocktail ring from Princess Diana’s collection.
Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue
A classic wedding tradition, there were many things Meghan wore to symbolize each part. Her dresses filled the “Something New” part. The tiara she borrowed from the Queen and Princess Diana’s aquamarine ring worked as “Something Old” and “Something Borrowed.” The aquamarine ring also worked for “Something Blue.” There are even rumors that a piece of fabric from one of Diana’s dresses was sewn into the reception dress, which would also work for “Something Old.”
The A-list attendees
Among the 600 guests to the ceremony, there were plenty of well-known celebrities. The A-list guests included George and Amal Clooney, David and Victoria Beckham, Priyanka Chopra, Serena Williams, Tom Hardy, Elton John, Oprah, Meghan’s Suits co-stars: Patrick J. Adams, Gabriel Macht, Gina Torres, Abigail Spencer, Sarah Rafferty, Rick Hoffman and many, many more.
It’s no shock that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding broke tradition in many ways. For starters, Meghan is previously divorced. Members of the Royal Family weren’t allowed to marry divorcees up until recently. The cake was also a major rule-breaker. Typically, royal wedding cakes are multi-tiered (Will and Kate’s had eight tiers) fruitcakes. Harry and Meghan opted for a lemon and elderflower cake with buttercream, which was made by Claire Ptak. In a tradition that no one wanted to be broken, Meghan’s father did not attend the wedding due to health issues. Instead, she began the procession by herself then Prince Charles walked her down the rest of the way.
A multicultural wedding
Due to Meghan’s heritage (her mom is black and her dad is white), there were plenty of multicultural and inclusive nods. There was a beautiful sermon all about love delivered by Bishop Michael Curry, the presiding bishop of the American Episcopal Church. He even opened with a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. Since the bishop is from Chicago, this also represents bringing together the British and American cultures.
In other ways the wedding was inclusive, the Kingdom Choir, who performed “Stand by Me,” was mainly comprised of women of color. A young, black cellist, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, also performed. He’s the first black person to win BBC’s Young Musician in 2016 and was given the opportunity of a lifetime when he performed three songs during the ceremony. An African orphan who Prince Harry had befriended in 2004 even received an invite to the royal fete.