‘Stand by Me’: Highlights from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Fairy Tale Wedding
It was a long morning of anticipation, nervousness and expectation. Weddings are always fraught, even if they are not your own, and especially when they are as public and imbued with metaphor and meaning as this one.
Ms. Markle, who in a span of an hour was transformed from a Ms. to Duchess, successfully made her way down the aisle to meet her very-soon-to-be husband, Prince Harry.
They both looked so happy, and so relaxed. They were beaming as they said their vows, and luckily, no one came forward to provide any reason that they might not be married. (This is always an exciting moment in a ceremony.)
It was an extraordinary mix of tradition and modernity, of centuries of history and up-to-the moment flourishes. Oprah was here, and so was Meghan’s mother, an African-American social worker who wore a conventional mother-of-the-bride outfit and also a nose stud.
It somehow looked charming and just right.
The entire royal family was here, along with a complement of English aristocrats and important personages. The music was stately and beautiful. The setting was awe-inspiring.
There was a flotilla of clergymen, an extraordinary mélange including the archbishop of Canterbury and — in a striking inclusion in this most ancient of places — the head of the Episcopal Church, the Most Rev. Michael Curry.
Chosen to give the address to the congregations, Bishop Curry, who is African-American, quoted Martin Luther King. His voice rising and falling with emotion, he made a big, generous, impassioned case for love as the most important thing there is, in religion and in life.
His address came after a reading by Lady Jane Fellowes, Harry’s aunt (her sister was Diana, Princess of Wales) that was both full of joy and a signal, it seemed, that the sadness in Harry’s life since his mother’s death had finally lifted.
It was a passage from the Song of Solomon: “Arise my love, my fair one, and come away; for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.”
Fireworks have lit up the sky over Windsor to cap an extraordinary wedding day for Prince Harry and his new wife Meghan Markle.
The newlyweds danced the night away after arriving in a converted electric Jaguar for their wedding reception at Frogmore House, following a multi-cultural wedding the likes of which Britain’s royals and the millions watching have never seen before.
Around 200 guests were due to join the couple at the evening event at the 17th-century Frogmore mansion in the grounds of Windsor Castle, where Meghan, wearing an aquamarine ring which once belonged to Princess Diana, was due to make a speech to guests.
They travelled in a silver blue open-top Jaguar E-Type Concept Zero, which was originally manufactured in 1968 and now runs on electricity on her way to the English country house which stands in the home park of Windsor Castle and is part of the Crown Estate. It is only open to individuals on three days of the year.
The bride’s evening dress is designed by Stella McCartney and is a bespoke lily white high neck gown made of silk crepe, while her Aquazurra shoes are silky satin with soles painted in baby blue.
Her hair, styled by George Northwood, was in a relaxed up do, with loose strands tucked behind her ears amid the breeze. She was spotted wearing the large ring on her right hand which once belonged to Harry’s mother.
A double decker coach full of guests arrived at the entrance to Frogmore House for the evening reception at 7.15pm. The coach had arrived from Coworth Park hotel in Ascot, where Princes Harry and William spent the night before the wedding.
And the After-Party Dress The newly minted Duke and Duchess of Sussex departed Windsor for their evening reception at Frogmore House in a very James Bond fashion. The duchess wore a second dress by designer Stella McCartney.
Oprah, Beckhams and Clooneys, oh my! One of the great excitements about any wedding, of course, is the moment you learn who has been invited and who has not. Meghan and Harry’s list was kept secret, until the very moment that dozens of mysterious figures started to enter St. George’s Chapel.
It was very exciting. There was none other than Oprah Winfrey, in a snug pink dress, a pair of very cool sunglasses and a massive broad-brimmed hat spectacularly festooned with flowers. If anyone qualifies as American royalty, it is surely Oprah, with her ability to transcend race and background, and her great gift for openness and emotional candor.
Kate Middleton’s parents, Carole and Michael, were there. They have always done such a good job of wearing appropriate outfits, smiling tastefully and saying nothing.
There was Charles Spencer, the Earl of Althorp, Diana’s brother, perhaps known best for his active love life and his impassioned attack on the British media after his sister’s death.
It turned into Celebrity Central. George and Amal Clooney made their stately, Hollywood-y entrance (She was in yellow with an interesting train).
David and Victoria Beckham, a.k.a. Posh and Becks, came in and graced some people in the crowd with their conversation.
From an American bishop, an extraordinary speech. For many people, the most striking thing was the sermon by the charismatic Bishop Curry, who preached a ringing message of love — with references to Martin Luther King Jr. and to the legacy of American slavery — with such joy and such enthusiasm that it was impossible not to feel joyful and enthusiastic right alongside him.
“Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is as strong as death; passion as fierce as the grave. It’s flashes of fire, of raging flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it out.” — Bishop Michael Curry.
It was as if a Southern Baptist preacher had suddenly wandered onto the set of “Downton Abbey.”
The speech began trending on Twitter, with people marveling at the spectacle of seeing such a man saying such things in such a place.