1. The Dresses
Both of Meghan's dresses were made by female designers. The first – her stunning wedding dress – was created by acclaimed British designer Clare Waight Keller, Givenchy’s first ever female Artistic Director. According to Kensington Palace, Meghan chose to work closely with her on the design because of her "timeless and elegant aesthetic, impeccable tailoring, and relaxed demeanour". The haute couture gown was a minimalist pure white design made from double-bonded silk cady, cushioned by an underskirt in triple silk organza. The boat neck, tailored waist and three-quarter length sleeves led to comparisons with Grace Kelly.
Meghan’s second dress, worn to her evening wedding reception at Frogmore House, was created by Stella McCartney. “I am so proud and honored to have been chosen by the Duchess of Sussex to make her evening gown and represent British design,” McCartney said of the dress – made of lily-white silk crepe and featuring a high, halter-style neck.
2. The Veil
Meghan’s veil, also designed by Givenchy’s Clare Waight Keller, wasn’t just beautiful – it also had a special secret meaning. The 16-foot silk tulle design featured 53 embroidered flowers, representing the distinctive flora of each of the 53 countries in the Commonwealth.
According to Kensington Palace, Meghan specifically expressed her wish to have all 53 countries "with her on her journey through the ceremony."
3. The Tiara
The veil was held in place by an even more spectacular bandeau tiara, which was lent to Meghan by The Queen. Made in 1932, the tiara was originally created for Queen Mary, while the detachable brooch in the centre – made up of ten diamonds – was given to Queen Mary as a wedding present in 1893.
4. The Bouquet
Tissues at the ready… Not only did Meghan’s bridal bouquet include flowers handpicked by Harry himself, from Kensington Palace's private garden, it also featured forget-me-nots – Princess Diana’s favourite flower – as a touching tribute to Harry’s late mother. It was also filled with scented sweet peas, lily of the valley, astilbe, jasmine, astrantia and sprigs of myrtle, and designed by florist Philippa Craddock.
Following royal tradition, the bouquet was placed on the Grave of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey on Sunday. The tradition dates back nearly a century, starting with Queen Elizabeth’s mother, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon when she married the future King George VI (then the Duke of York) in 1923.
5. Meghan’s Walk Down The Aisle
One rule Meghan wasn’t planning on breaking – walking herself up the aisle, before being joined by Prince Charles halfway. Meghan’s father Thomas Markle was due to walk his daughter down the aisle, but after suffering a heart attack and undergoing subsequent surgery three days before the wedding, he wasn’t well enough to fly.
Meghan was widely praised for her ‘feminist’ decision to go solo, and for her decision to omit the promise to “obey” from her vows. Following the wedding, it was also revealed that Meghan would be championing women’s causes as part of her new role as a royal.
6. The Performers
The music at the ceremony certainly had the couple’s stamp on it – with the Palace revealing Meghan and Harry had “taken a great deal of interest and care in choosing the music for their service”. Having made his debut at the BBC Proms last year after being voted the 2016 Young Musician of the year, 19-year-old cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason got a personal call from Meghan Markle to ask if he’d perform at the ceremony. His rendition of ‘Ave Maria’, accompanied by an orchestra drew quite a few tears from the crowd.
Christian gospel group – Karen Gibson and the Kingdom Choir – also stole the show with a performance of ‘Stand by Me’ by Ben E King, just before the couple read their vows.
7. The PDA
Breaking traditional royal protocol again, Harry and Meghan held hands throughout their wedding, starting from the first moment they met at the altar. Their tender physical interaction was also seen during the service – gazing adoringly at each other and stroking hands during certain moments. At the very beginning of the ceremony, Harry also leaned over to his bride and whispered, "You look amazing".
8. The Mother-Daughter Bond
Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland is said to have been her “rock” during the past few weeks, and their close bond really shone through at the ceremony. The 61-year-old – who wore a custom Oscar de la Renta pastel green coat and dress, accessoried with a diamond nose stud – was the only member of Meghan’s family present at the wedding. The pair travelled to the church together in the Queen’s Rolls-Royce Phantom, and Doria looked on at the ceremony from a pew with tears in her eyes.
Doria, a yoga instructor and social worker, is credited with instilling Meghan’s social conscience and interest in charity work – taking her to visit disadvantaged children in Rwanda, see the slums of Jamaica and experience poverty in Mexico when she was just ten. Meghan has spoken publicly about her close relationship with her mother many times, describing her as a "free spirit" and someone she can rely on.
9. Prince Charles
Post royal wedding, we’re feeling a lot more fond of Prince Charles. Showing his chivalrous side, he made both Meghan Markle and her mother Doria Ragland truly feel like part of the family, despite only meeting Doria earlier last week. From walking Meghan part-way down the aisle, to linking Doria’s arm as they exited the church, the Prince of Wales was the perfect gentleman.
He also brought the 600 guests at the wedding reception to tears with an emotional speech, describing how proud he felt to watch his youngest son, whom he still remembers so clearly as a baby, marrying the love of his life – speaking warmly about his "darling old Harry" and the man he has grown into.
10. The Sermon
The address was given by the Presiding Bishop of the American Episcopal Church, Bishop Michael Curry. The reverend gave an impassioned speech about the power of love, opening with the words of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr: “We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we do that, we will be able to make of this old world a new world. Love is the only way.” Rousing, moving and, at times, even amusing – it quickly became the talk of the nation.
11. Meghan’s ‘Something Blue’
Meghan’s ‘something blue’ was another special tribute to Diana, as she wore the late Princesses aquamarine ring to her reception. She also wore a pair of Aquazzura heels in a nude mesh with a baby blue-painted heel, and drove off to the evening event with Harry in a silver-blue convertible Jaguar.
12. Harry’s Wedding Ring
Breaking royal protocol once again, Harry chose to wear a traditional wedding ring – a platinum band which he will wear on his ring finger. Neither Harry’s grandfather Prince Philip nor brother Prince William wear wedding bands, while his father Prince Charles chooses to wear a signet ring on his little finger.
13. The Bridesmaids & Pageboys
Yet another way the happy couple broke royal protocol? Traditionally most, if not all, of the bridesmaids and pageboys pulled from the royal pool. But Harry and Meghan had an even split – with three of the six bridesmaids and two of the four pageboys connected to the bride.
And speaking of the little ones, we can’t not give a mention to the ever-adorable Princess Charlotte and Prince George, who’ve since become the star of countless royal wedding memes for their adorable wedding antics.
14. Kate Middleton
As she usually does at weddings, the Duchess of Cambridge chose to re-wear an outfit so as not to upstage the bride – this time opting for a bespoke, off-white Alexander McQueen coat dress. One of her wardrobe staples, Kate has worn the garment to a number of royal events, including Princess Charlotte’s christening in 2015 and Trooping the Colour in 2016. For Harry and Meghan’s wedding, she paired it with a Philip Treacy hat and a pair of Jimmy Choo heels.
To help make her new sister-in-law’s day go as smoothly as possible, Kate also made sure all the bridesmaids and pageboys stayed in line, leading them into the church.
15. The Monumental Change In The Monarchy
Meghan being welcomed into the royal family is symbolic of our monarchy’s shift towards a more progressive outlook. There was a time when a senior royal having a relationship with a divorcee was seen as disastrous – just 17 years after Edward VIII abdicated in order to marry the twice-divorced Wallis Simpson, Princess Margaret was forced to give up her love affair with Group Captain Peter Townsend. Over half a century later, Prince Charles was able to finally marry his divorced long-term partner Camilla Parker-Bowles because of new ruling from the Church of England, but there was still public conflict surrounding the couple’s union.
But no more! Meghan is also the first American to marry a British royal, the first mixed-race woman and the first “proud feminist”. In short, she’s the royal role model this country needs right now – and we couldn’t be happier.
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