WEDDING JOY AND DRAMA
From honoring their moms to choosing the cake, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle make their dream day ultra-personal The venue
All the romantic details — and last-minute snafus — of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s amazing nuptials.
Even future princesses get pre-wedding jitters. In the days before she was set to exchange vows with Prince Harry at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on May 19, Meghan Markle was feeling anxious. “She’s nervous,” a royals insider told Life & Style before the wedding. “But she’s more excited than anything else. Meghan can’t wait to marry Harry.”
As she and her groom put the finishing touches on their history-making day, they shared more details with a thrilled British public. From the locally grown flowers, nearly 500-year- old venue and nontraditional cake to the special roles created to honor their mothers, Meghan, 36, and Harry, 33, thought of everything to make the day 100 percent their own. “Meghan was obviously concerned about any lastminute hiccups, but Harry helped to ease her mind, telling her she has nothing to worry about,” says the insider. “He kept reiterating that the most important thing is that they have fun and enjoy themselves!”
It wasn’t easy for Meghan to stop stressing. The week before the wedding, her divorced parents, Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland, were scheduled to arrive in Windsor, England, and spend time getting to know Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles, Prince William and Kate Middleton, and more royal family members. But Meghan’s relationship with her dad is so rocky, the insider says she was afraid he wouldn’t even show up — or that a family fight could get so intense, it would wind up derailing the entire ceremony.
When she wasn’t worrying, Meghan spent the days before the nuptials attending to a ton of details, like making sure her handmade designer dress — widely reported to be a $135,000 Ralph & Russo gown — fit flawlessly. “She had a final fitting right before she walked down the aisle,” says the insider. “Being a perfectionist, she wanted to look absolutely stunning on her big day.”
Though Harry picked William as his best man, Meghan didn’t want to follow American tradition and choose one of her close friends as a maid of honor. Instead, she’s following British protocol: Her bridal party is made up of child bridesmaids and page boys expected to include Harry’s niece, Princess Charlotte, 3, nephew Prince George, 4, and cousin Mia Tindall, 4, the daughter of cousin Zara Phillips.
But Meghan did buck tradition by insisting that her mom, a social worker and yoga teacher, have a major role. So when the palace announced that her dad would walk her down the aisle of the church — decorated with branches of beech, birch and hornbeam along with white garden roses, peonies and foxglove — it also revealed that Doria would formally accompany Meghan on her car ride down the city’s Long Walk to St. George’s Chapel. “In a wedding, the mother doesn’t have a role,” notes
Harry and Meghan chose to ride through Windsor streets after the ceremony in an Ascot Landau carriage pulled by Windsor Grey horses.
Dickie Arbiter, a former spokesman for the queen. “Meghan is making sure her mother does.” And to honor his late mother, Princess Diana, Harry insisted on inviting all three of her siblings, including Lady Jane Fellowes, who was asked to give a reading during the hour-long ceremony.
To reassure uneasy Meghan, little was left to chance. London florist Philippa Craddock made sure to have a backup bouquet on hand, and Claire Ptak of London’s Violet bakery made two versions of the lemon-and- elderflower-flavored sponge cake decorated with buttercream icing and flowers for the reception at St. George’s Hall. Unlike Meghan, Harry “wasn’t the slightest bit nervous” before the wedding, the insider says. “He was counting down the days. Harry’s friends are thrilled he’s met the woman of his dreams and have never seen him happier!”