Meet the Duke and Duchess of Sus­sex

Stamford Advocate (Sunday) - - Front Page -

WIND­SOR, Eng­land — The son of Bri­tish royalty and the daugh­ter of mid­dle-class Amer­i­cans wed Satur­day in a ser­vice that re­flected Prince Harry’s royal her­itage, Meghan Markle’s bira­cial roots and the pair’s shared com­mit­ment to putting a more di­verse, modern face on the monar­chy.

Bri­tish re­serve criss­crossed with Amer­i­can verve in a ser­vice that broke molds and cre­ated new ones. Choir­boys and a gospel choir; the arch­bishop of Can­ter­bury and the African-Amer­i­can leader of the Epis­co­pal church; a horse-drawn car­riage and flow­ers hand-picked by the groom.

The wed­ding was a global event, thanks to Harry’s sta­tus as a se­nior Bri­tish royal and Markle’s celebrity af­ter star­ring on the U.S. tele­vi­sion se­ries “Suits” for seven years. Yet it seemed some­how so per­sonal — and they both beamed like a cou­ple who couldn’t take their eyes off each other.

In a rous­ing ser­mon that high­lighted a bit of a cul­ture gap between out­go­ing Amer­i­cans and re­served Brits, the Most. Rev. Michael Curry of the U.S. stirred the con­gre­ga­tion from its fairy-tale rev­erie, quot­ing Martin Luther King in a ser­mon that had some reach­ing for han­kies and oth­ers shift­ing in their chairs.

Join­ing the cou­ple were a pha­lanx of celebri­ties, many of whom shared their wish to change the world. Oprah Win­frey, Idris Elba, El­ton John, Ge­orge and Amal Clooney, Ser­ena Wil­liams, James Cor­den and David and Vic­to­ria Beck­ham all watched from rows of seats in the Gothic mas­ter­piece that is St. Ge­orge’s Chapel at Wind­sor Cas­tle.

The Bri­tish weather was sunny and balmy, bathing the an­cient stones of Wind­sor Cas­tle in a beau­ti­ful spring light.

Many in the throng who waited out­side also em­braced the trans-At­lantic sym­bol­ism of the mo­ment. Sher­a­ton Jones, 22, who is from Cal­i­for­nia but study­ing in Bri­tain, de­scribed it as a meld­ing of cul­tures.

“It was very touch­ing, it’s two dif­fer­ent cul­tures kind of com­ing to­gether, it was just so sur­real,” she said.

In the United States, this royal wed­ding was em­braced for its di­ver­sity and in­clu­siv­ity.

“This was black his­tory,” said Joy Wid­geon, who at­tended a house party in Burling­ton, N.J., with her 6- and 8-yearold daugh­ters. “AfricanAmer­i­cans were front and cen­ter at the royal wed­ding. This was the first time, and hope­fully it won’t be the last. I am here for it.”

Harry also in­vited bud­dies from his 10 years of mil­i­tary ser­vice — which in­cluded two tours of duty in Afghanistan — and from many of the char­i­ties he sup­ports, which have fo­cused on help­ing wounded vet­er­ans and en­cour­ag­ing a more open dis­cus­sion of men­tal health is­sues.

To kick off the fes­tiv­i­ties, Queen El­iz­a­beth II hon­ored her red-headed, 33-year-old grand­son with a new ti­tle: the Duke of Sus­sex, mak­ing the 36-year-old Markle the Duchess of Sus­sex.

The Amer­i­can ac­tress drew raves for her sleek white silk boat-necked dress by U.K. de­signer Clare Waight Keller of the French fash­ion house Givenchy. Her sheer veil — down to her waist in front and bil­low­ing for what seemed like miles be­hind her — car­ried flo­ral ref­er­ences to all 53 coun­tries in the Com­mon­wealth, coun­tries drawn mostly from the for­mer Bri­tish Em­pire, headed by Markle’s new grand­mother-in-law, the queen.

The palace said Markle also se­lected two other plant de­signs to be on the veil: Win­ter­sweet, which grows at Kens­ing­ton Palace where the royal cou­ple will live, and the Cal­i­for­nia poppy, in a nod to the bride’s birth­place.

Harry and best man Prince Wil­liam wore white gloves and the frock coat uni­forms of the Blues and Roy­als army reg­i­ment, in which Harry was once an of­fi­cer. Harry also kept his full red beard — a style de­ci­sion that had sparked Bri­tish bet­ting ear­lier.

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