The Royal Wedding of Prince Harry & Meghan Markle
It is estimated that more than two billion people worldwide, tuned in to watch Prince Harry and Meghan Markle exchange their wedding vows. Although Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding in 2011 attracted a higher viewing, there was no denying a certain elevated buzz, as we watched our charismatic and charming Prince, marry the smart, savvy and sophisticated Ms Markle. The exclusive guest list boasted royal family members including Princess Beatrice and Eugenie, Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall along with celebrities such as George and Amal Clooney (who looked sensational in a canary yellow Stella McCartney dress), David and Victoria Beckham, Tom Hardy and Serena Williams.
One of the most discussed topics was of course who and what Meghan was going to be wearing! Sitting elegantly alongside her mother, in the back of a vintage Rolls-Royce Phantom IV, Meghan gave us a subtle glimpse of her bateau neckline. Perfectly accessorised with the diamond Lozenge Bandeau tiara that had been made for Queen Mary in 1932, and on loan from the Queen herself. Wedding dress speculation had predicted several leading fashion houses including Ralph and Russo, Stella McCartney and Mcqueen as front runners. However, it was Claire Waight Kellar, creative director of Parisian fashion house Givenchy, who secured the fashion commission of the year. The elegant and timeless haute-couture gown was sculpted at the waist with modern three-quarter length sleeves and statement train.
Ms Markle ensured that her moment in the fashion spotlight would last for many years ahead, as she captured the hearts of the nation with her timeless beauty and elegance – her sensational five-metre-long veil, ensured that all eyes were on her. The silk tulle creation also included a personal nod to the Commonwealth, featuring 53 countries represented by their national flower, each delicately hand-embroidered onto the trim of the veil.
Prince Harry arrived dressed in his Blues and Royals, wearing the single-breasted frockcoat made of doe skin, that reportedly took 100 hours to craft by hand. Alongside his brother, best man Prince William sported the same military uniform, adding striking gold braids to his regal look. Both royal brothers were tailored at Dege & Skinner of Savile Row and accessorised with traditional hats.
In her father’s absence Prince Charles walked Meghan down the aisle, along with a team of extremely adorable bridesmaids and pageboys including Prince George and Princess Charlotte. Guests were given a passionate and soulful address from Reverend Bishop Micheal Curry, which was a highlight and talking point of the big day. After the couples choice of The Kingdom Choir’s beautiful rendition of Ben E. King “Stand by Me” and a captivating performance by 19 year old cellist, Sheku Kanneh-Mason. The Archbishop of Canterbury announced the couple as husband and wife, excited cheers from the crowd outside could be heard, which prompted a happy smile from Harry and Meghan.
Sporting smiles as large as the cheshire cat, Harry and Meghan made their way outside and were greeted by cheers of congratulations from the excitable crowd, eagerly awaiting a glimpse of the newlyweds. Of course the royal couple gave the crowd exactly what they were cheering for, our lovely Prince kissed his new wife and the crowd erupted into cheers. The new Duke and Duchess set off in ‘fairytale fashion’ waving to the crowds through the grounds of Windsor, from a horse-drawn carriage.
Philippa Craddock worked her floral magic at St George’s Chapel, creating striking floral arrangements that included a dramatic ceremony arch. Although the arrangements looked elaborate, the wild greenery and sprinklings of soft white spring blooms such as garden roses, peonies and foxgloves, kept the design tasteful and romantic. Prince Harry handpicked his bride’s bouquet from their private garden at Kensington Palace. The delicate small posy included sweet peas, lily of the valley, jasmine and a sprig of myrtle – a royal tradition to wedding bouquets. The couple also added a touching tribute to the late Princess Diana, by including her favourite flowers ‘Forget-Me-Not’. Most of the foliage used within the floral displays has been locally sourced and taken from the gardens of the Crown Estate and Windsor Great Park. The eco -friendly couple also used bee-friendly plants, all of the flowers have now been generously donated to St Joseph’s Hospice in London.
Drinks and Canapes
Around 600 guests were treated to a traditional lunchtime reception, hosted by the Queen at George’s Hall in Windsor Castle. Seasonal canapés were served with a menu that included Scottish langoustines wrapped in smoked salmon and croquettes of Windsor lamb. Breaking with tradition, a selection of bowl foods soon followed, including chicken fricassee and pea and mint risotto. Guests sipped Pol Roger Brut Reserve Non-Vintage Champagne, paired with sweet treats such as orange crème brûlée tartlets and Champagne and pistachio macaroons. It is said that most ingredients were organic, locally sourced from the Home Counties and Windsor. Royal chef Mark Flanagan prepared the menu along with a team of 30 chefs and desserts created by royal pastry chef Selwyn Stoby.
Claire Ptak designed the couples wedding cake, it was a refreshing break from tradition, opting for a trio of sponge and Swiss buttercream meringue cakes. A sweet elderflower syrup filling had been made at the Queen’s Sandringham residence, using the estate’s elderflower trees and an Amalfi lemon curd.
The Duke of Cambridge, kept spirits high, acting as compere throughout the afternoon celebrations, followed by speeches and the cutting of the cake. Music ledged Sir Elton John serenaded guests throughout the lunchtime festivities reportedly singing iconic songs including Circle of Life, Your Song and Tiny Dancer.
Our favourite moment of the big day, was when the newly married Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped out for their reception at Frogmore House. Oozing old-school Hollywood glamour, and turning up the heat, Meghan slipped into a slinky, halter-neck, satin gown that elegantly hugged her delicate frame. Designed by Stella McCartney, Meghan accessorised the open-back gown with satin Aquazurra heels with baby blue soles. Meghan added another touching tribute to Diana by wearing the late Princess’ Asprey aquamarine, emerald-cut ring, given to Meghan as a wedding gift from Prince Harry himself.
Prince Harry was not overshadowed either as he channelled his inner James Bond, wearing a classic and sophisticated tuxedo – helping his beautiful new bride into a one-of-a-kind electric Jaguar E-Type. Complete with a bespoke licence plate, bearing the date of their wedding, Prince Harry drove to their reception in style.
The evening reception is said to have taken place in a magnificent glass marquee at Frogmore Hall, similar to Pippa Middleton’s glass house inspired design at her own wedding in 2017. Harry and Meghan invited a more intimate number of 200 for the evening celebrations and the couple decided against a traditional sit-down meal, opting for a carnival inspired menu including ‘dirty burgers’, candyfloss and themed cocktails.
Prince Charles is said to have given a humorous speech leaving guests in fits of laughter. Modern bride Meghan is said to have delivered an emotional speech, also thanking Prince Charles for his kindness and support. Wedding guest and compere James Corden and apparently instigated a royal dance-off between Prince Charles, Prince William and Harry. The party was finished off by Celebrity DJ Sam Totolee who had guests dancing the night away and the final farewell treat was a dramatic firework display at the end of the evening.