Weddings are always fraught, even if they are not one’s own, and especially when they are as public and imbued with metaphor and meaning as this one.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle married on May 19, 2018. The couple’s decision to wed on a Saturday went against tradition, as royal weddings usually take place on a weekday. On the morning of the wedding it was announced that the Queen has conferred a Dukedom on Prince Henry of Wales. His titles will be Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel. Prince Harry is thus His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex, and Markle has become Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex.
The marriage of Prince Harry and Markle took place in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle at 12pm. The royal wedding was an extraordinary mix of tradition and modernity, of centuries of history and up-to-the moment flourishes.
They became the 16th royal couple to celebrate their marriage at Windsor Castle since 1863. The Queen granted permission for the ceremony to be held in the place of worship, which seats approximately 800, and core aspects of the wedding, including the service, music, flowers, decorations and reception, were paid for by the royal family. One week prior to the ceremony, the Queen signed the Instrument of Consent - the official document granting her grandson permission to marry his fiancé.
The entire royal family was here, along with a complement of English aristocrats and important personages. Music for the service included a number of well-known hymns and choral works under the direction of James Vivian, director of music at St George’s Chapel which turned out be stately and beautiful. The setting was awe-inspiring. The cake - a lemon elderflower bake that incorporated the bright flavours of spring - was made by Violet Bakery's Claire Ptak, and the flowers - branches of beech, birch and hornbeam, and white garden roses, peonies and foxgloves from the gardens and parkland of the Crown Estate and Windsor Park - were arranged by Philippa Craddock.
There was a flotilla of clergymen, an extraordinary mélange including the archbishop of Canterbury and — in a striking inclusion in this most ancient of places — the head of the Episcopal Church, the Most Rev. Michael Curry.
Markle’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. Both rings were crafted in the Cleave workshop, and were carried to the chapel by the Duke of Cambridge, in his capacity as best man.
After the couple were married, they undertook a carriage procession from St George's Chapel through Windsor town returning to Windsor Castle along the Long Walk. Alexi Lubomirski then took the official photographs at Windsor Castle.
Sir Elton John performed at the lunchtime reception for the newlyweds, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Prince Harry asked Sir Elton to perform at the reception which was hosted by Her Majesty The Queen.
- Bhavya Bhatia