‘Don’t underestimate it, there is power in love. Love is the way’
THERE WAS A SIMPLE GOWN AND A SPIRITED SERMON IN A WEDDING LIKE NONE BEFORE IT, WRITES ANNETTE SHARP
IT will be remembered as a Windsor royal wedding like none before it.
The wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle made history by blending two cultures, merging conservatism with modernity and doing what was once considered unthinkable by conservative royal decree — making a royal duchess of a divorced American actress.
It also touchingly brought the children of divorce — which bride and groom both are — in from the cold in a ceremony presided over by the head of the Church of England herself, Queen Elizabeth, better known to the groom as “Granny”.
Some 600 guests crowded into historic St George’s for yesterday’s 9am service which was conducted by two religious leaders, Britain’s Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and North Carolina Episcopal Reverend Michael Curry, an American with a simple message “Love is the only way. There is power in love — don’t underestimate it.”
The bride, wearing a white gown by British designer Clare Waight Keller, Givenchy’s artistic director, walked down the aisle on the arm of her soon to be fatherin-law Prince Charles, the future King of England — her own father, Thomas Markle, having sent his apologies from Mexico.
Her husband-to-be, Prince Harry, sixth in line to the British throne, was waiting for Markle at the altar in regimental dress attended by his best man, older brother Prince William.
A global television audience of two billion sat glued as the 33- year-old groom turned to his future wife, 36, and said: “You look amazing.”
“Thanks, Pa,” he then offered to his father in morning suit.
Before Britain’s longestreigning monarch and her husband of 70 years, Prince Philip, the couple vowed to have and to hold, to honour and cherish, for better or worse, ’til death us do part as Prince Harry slipped a band of Welsh gold onto his bride’s finger.
The ceremony opened with Handel’s Eternal Source of Light Divine, an ode written for an 18th century queen, before a gospel choir sang American soul singer Ben E. King’s classic Stand By Me, a nod to the bride’s AfricanAmerican roots and her mother Dorio Ragland, the only member of her family to attend.
There were no bridesmaids attending the bride.
Instead Markle, who will henceforth be titled Duchess of Sussex, was attended by a group of 10 young children including Prince George, 4, and his sister Charlotte, 3.
Joining George and Charlotte in the tiny bridal troupe were Prince Harry’s godchildren Florence van Cutsem, 3, and Zalie Warren, 2. Representing the bride were Meghan’s two goddaughters, Remi and Ryland Litt, aged 6 and 7, and the children of Markle’s friend Jessica Mulroney, Ivy Mulroney, 4, and her twin brothers Brian and John Mulroney, aged seven.
The cost of the wedding has remained a
secret but estimates put the total at $60 million, with the royals footing bill.
About 600 invited guests went to the reception hosted by the Queen in the grounds of Windsor Castle. Last night 200 guests
were dancing the night away at a post-wedding function.