The Royal Wedding: Prince Harry & Meghan Markle

Keana Saberi, Reporter

The streets of Windsor, England are swarmed with people, young and old, natives and tourists adorned in Royal Wedding memorabilia. St. Georges Chapel at Windsor Castle is ornamented in a blooming array of White Ness Mayflowers and Dusky Cranesbills, and the air is thick in anticipation. Even on the TV screen here in America, the crowd’s excitement is seen, their eager faces awaiting the time. Though it is still a few hours before the ceremony, invited members of the public gather on the chapel’s lawn at nearly 8:00, English flags waving in their hands in a patriotic wave.

Though the Royal English family is not nearly as prominent as it once was, this wedding is still a must see for the eyes of not only the  English public but people in the states as well. Precisely an hour later, the chapel guests begin to arrive, all the ladies in modest yet spring alluring dresses with elegant, properly British handcrafted hats. The men wear suits, with starched collars and polished Oxford shoes. Famous guests trickle in early— both friends of the Prince and his soon to be wife– some American icons and British nobility. Among those guests was Oprah (her hat frankly a bit too floppy for such a wedding), Amal and George Clooney( Amal in a bright, yellow 30s inspired dress and matching hat with George sporting a grey beard), Priyanka Chopra ( a close friend of the bride dressed in a graceful lilac jacket and dress and windswept hat), Sir Elton John ( Rose rimmed glasses and all), Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice of York ( both looking darling in different blue shaded outfits), the Beckhams looking sharp in dark blue , along with many other famous starlets. Let’s also not put aside Jennifer Mulroney, (Meghan Markle’s best friend who’s two daughters were bridesmaids) who arrived later,  along with soon to be sister-in-law Kate Middleton dressed with style in an off-white dress with her son George( Pageboy) and daughter Charlotte (Bridesmaid). The guests flood in, taking their seats in the gorgeous, romantic chapel while the congregation stands. The famous vault ceiling, ornate glass stained windows, gold gilt, and all around Gothic influence make the venue picturesque and perfect.

Less than a half hour later, the members of the Royal family have taken their seats as Prince Harry and his best man and brother Prince William arrive both in Blues and Royals frockcoat uniforms,  Harry’s uniform embellished with signs of his military service and was recently dubbed Captain General of the Royal Marines, so his outfit was dubiously pristine. The groom is nervous, batting his eyelashes and chittering away with his brother. His ginger hair tufts under his traditional navy blue hat which he takes of as they enter the church. On the steps of the chapel, the prince greets some of his fellow military regiment men and some Wedding staff on his way in. Not quite long after that Doria Ragland (Meghan Markle’s mother) arrives in the same car as the bride who does not yet enter. The bridesmaids all dressed in white bow dresses and wreaths of flower along with the pageboys, cute and extremely dapper, partly ride with their mothers and a few with the bride herself. Only seven minutes later the Queen arrives, in a pea green coat and dress and takes her place at the choir section. The groom’s most important guests are placed in the left choir section while the bride’s guests are to the right of where the Archbishop of Canterbury (who will officiate the vows) stands. Then, in an oh so simple yet breathtaking  Clare Waight Keller dress and the Queen Mary Diamond Bandeau crown from the Queen’s jewelry vault. Beautiful in a natural face with her freckles showing she begins her descent down the aisle, the adorable bridesmaids holding her 16-foot veil, which is lined in lace flowers from each of the  53 countries of the Commonwealth. She is radiant and since her father didn’t attend the wedding, she walked down the aisle alone, which she preferred to show her independence and confidence in her own skin. She carries a bought of branches of beech, birch, and hornbeam, along with white garden roses, peonies and foxgloves and Lilly of the Valley flowers which were partly hand picked by Harry beforehand( how romantic!). The Lilly of the Valley flowers was Princess Diana’s favorite flowers and a nod to her and her memory.  About halfway down the aisle Harry’s father, Prince Charles links his arm in Meghan’s but then lets her go when she reaches close to the altar.

600 guests watch the bride, as a not so traditional tune is sung, a gorgeous soprano sings as Meghan reaches the prince. The priest gives a lovely short speech after the Prince lovingly looks at his bride and gently takes off her veil, to reveal her dewy expression. Harry is emotional, not only at his love’s aura and beauty but at the Handel – Eternal Source of Light Divine music that some say reminds him of his mother, the late Princess Diana. He sheds a  tear, wiping it away and smiling at Meghan. He utters to her how exquisite she looks, a vision of sweetness and simplicity. Lady Jane Fellowes, Princess Diana’s sister reads an excerpt from the ‘Song of Solomon’  and leaves everyone extremely weepy and tear-stricken. With that, the bride and groom took their seats at the front while American influences began to mix their way into the British formality of it all. Bishop Michael Curry, the first black leader of the Episcopal Church belted out a hearty speech— one with passion and a certain American ‘do it and be passionate it about it’ air. The couple holds hands and listens intently.  After the Bishop’s long and lengthy speech about love and communion, the Kingdom Choir sang ” Stand By Me” and it brought even the English tapping their toes to the beat. The couple gets up after, exchanging their vows and staring deep into each other’s eyes (I got emotional at that moment) and placing rings on each others finger. Prince Harry, one of the first male royals, to wear a ring, wore it proudly as a proclamation of his deep love. Megan Markle’s mom, sits in the front of the choir, her eyes gleaming with pride and admiration for her daughter and son in law. She possesses the same kind face as her daughter. After, ” God Save the Queen” was sung by the guests and Sheku Kanneh-Mason, played the cello radiantly. The new Duke and Duchess of Sussex, leave the chapel, outward under an archway of flowers and out to the public. The share their first kiss as a married couple, and it leaves the crowd screaming in joy. They enter the Royal Carriage and begin their round around the castle, holding hands, waving to the masses of people and looking quite adorable. Husband and wife are a vision and they finish their lap around in the carriage before going back to the castle where a reception is held.

Meghan Markle not only became the wife to one of the  Princes of England — but to no one’s surprise revolutionized the formal Royal Wedding standard,  that has been in place since the days of Queen Victoria, in just one fell swoop. Prince Harry honored his mother, the people’s princess and by marrying his love Meghan many say a new people’s princess is in place along with a new era of the British Royal family. Despite all odds— being American, a divorcee, an actress, Meghan Markle became a Royal and her new generational and strong opinions ( Preserving the environment, Feminism, and equality along with others) will shape the way the British Royal Family is thought of and looked at from now on.

Photo Credit