Monday, May 21, 2018

The Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

The most anticipated royal event of 2018 took place on Saturday, as His Royal Highness Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales tied the knot with Miss Rachel Meghan Markle at St. George's Chapel, Windsor, in a ceremony watched by a television audience of over 18 million in the UK, 29 million in the bride's homeland of the United States, and a global audience estimated in the hundreds of millions. Over 100,000 people jammed the streets of the small town of Windsor, dominated by the ancient 1000-year-old Windsor Castle, to catch a glimpse of the bridal couple. It was a ceremony lauded by the press as "modern" and "groundbreaking", with nods to both the "old world" traditions of Harry's background and the "new world", multicultural, and Hollywood side brought by Meghan. 

Drama unfolded in the days before the ceremony concerning Meghan's father, who eventually decided not to attend, but this did not place a damper on the overall events. It was a spectacularly sunny day as the 36-year-old bride, renowned for her acting career on the TV legal drama Suits, rode by car alongside her mother, Doria Ragland, from Cliveden House to Windsor Castle. The groom and his brother, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, entered St. George's Chapel after the arrivals of the extended members of the Royal Family. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh arrived at 11:52 AM, while the Duchess of Cambridge arrived by car with the pages and bridesmaids; chief among them being her children Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

Miss Markle arrived at St. George's Chapel and made her way up the steps on her own. She was greeted by her future father-in-law, the Prince of Wales, who offered to walk her down the aisle after her father announced he would not be attending. Presiding over the ceremony was David Conner, Dean of Windsor, with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, performing the marriage ceremony. Harry's maternal aunt, Jane Fellowes, one of the sisters of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, gave a reading, while the Most Reverend Michael Curry, the primate of the Episcopal Church in the United States (the American branch of the Anglican Church), delivered a rousing fourteen-minute sermon. In a break with royal tradition, both the bride and groom exchanged rings, rather than just the bride receiving a ring as has been customary. Following the signing of the wedding registry, the newlyweds made their way back down the aisle and emerged at the steps of St. George's to rapturous applause. They boarded a landau and treated the spectators lining the streets of Windsor to a carriage procession, which culminated with a gorgeous ride down the famous "long walk" leading up to the George IV gateway of Windsor Castle. A luncheon was given at the castle by Her Majesty the Queen, while the Prince of Wales hosted a reception for close friends and family later that evening at Frogmore House on the Windsor estate.

Earlier that day, the Queen announced that Prince Harry was being created Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton, and Baron Kilkeel, titles that Meghan also holds since becoming his wife. The newlyweds are now officially known as Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

The Duchess of Sussex wore a gown from the designer house of Givenchy, with a sixteen-foot veil trailing her, embroidered with floral emblems of all fifty-three countries of the Commonwealth, and anchored by Queen Mary's diamond bandeau tiara. The tiara was made in 1932, with its centerpiece being a spectacular brooch dating back to 1893 when it was presented as a wedding gift to the Duke of Sussex's great-great-grandmother, Princess Mary of Teck, for her marriage to the Duke of York (later King George V).


Being sixth in line to the throne, the wedding of the Duke of Sussex did not hold as much significance for the state and the dynasty as the 2011 nuptials of his brother, the Duke of Cambridge. For these reasons, foreign leaders were not invited, and neither did any members of European royal families attend. Nevertheless, the prince's popularity and his role as a senior member of the Royal Family, being that he is a son of the future king, meant that public interest would be high. It must be said that of all the guests at the wedding, the one who put on the most admirable displays of gallantry was the groom's father, the Prince of Wales. His decision to escort the bride down the aisle in the absence of her father was gentlemanly all on its own, and this was emphasized to an even greater extent with the way he treated Meghan's mother. When he and Miss Ragland accompanied the bridal couple to sign the wedding registry, the Prince gallantly held out his hand and escorted her out of her seat, and then offered his arm to Miss Ragland as the congregation made their way out on the steps of St. George's following the conclusion of the ceremony. If there has ever been any doubt about the manners and kindness of the Prince of Wales, then the behavior of His Royal Highness towards his new in-laws on Saturday should dispel any such notions. He deserves widespread admiration for the manner in which he conducted himself on his son's special day.

We here at About Royalty wish the Duke and Duchess of Sussex many years of happiness and the hopes that they will create a happy and healthy family together.










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