Royal Rewind: The Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Royal Rewind: The Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

I say this in every post about birthdays or anniversaries, but my how time flies. It was only two years ago, on May 19, 2018, that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle married in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. It’s been a whirlwind two years for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex: two giant overseas tours, a baby, and a divorce from working for The Royal Family. As today is the Sussexes’ second wedding anniversary, I want to take this opportunity to take a look back at the wedding.

Alexi Lubomirski/The Duke and Duchess of Sussex via Getty Images

Though I wasn’t blogging at the time, I did get up at 5AM, or whatever way-too-early time it was in the US, to watch the wedding live. Ahead of the wedding, Buckingham Palace announced that The Queen had granted Harry the Dukedom of Sussex, with his full titles being: Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton, and Baron Kilkeel [1].

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Meghan drove from her hotel with her mom, but her mom ended up getting out of the car and Meghan arrived at the doors of the chapel with two of her pageboys.

Prince Charles ended up walking Meghan part way down the aisle, because of some shenanigans we’re not going to discuss. It was a very sweet moment (although I think it would have been lovely if Meghan’s mom had gotten to walk her daughter down the aisle). BP released a statement saying it was Meghan who asked Charles to walk her down the aisle and that “The Prince of Wales is pleased to be able to welcome Ms. Markle to The Royal Family in this way.” [2]

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Harry and Meghan made quite a few changes to their Order of Service [3] to what previous British royal weddings had. For me personally, part of the charm of a British royal wedding is the formality of it – the “thee”s and the “thou”s and the really long names – but I understand why Harry and Meghan wouldn’t want to go that route. I have to say, the inclusion of a pop song (although redone into a gospel song) reminded me more of a Swedish royal wedding than a British one – the Swedes love including random pop song breaks in their weddings.

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One of the changes I liked the best was that, because Harry chose to wear a traditional wedding band, Meghan got to give it to him and actually say words. Neither Charles nor William received wedding bands during their wedding ceremonies, and while Edward did, Sophie didn’t get to say anything while she gave it to him.

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Speaking of the rings, Harry and Meghan chose Cleave and Company to make their wedding rings, the same company who made Meghan’s engagement ring. Meghan’s wedding band was made from a piece of Welsh Gold, gifted by The Queen, as per tradition (all the royal wives have wedding bands of Welsh Gold); while Harry’s wedding band was made in platinum with a textured finish. [4]

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The gown Meghan wore was designed by Clare Waight Keller, a British designer who is artistic director of French fashion house Givenchy. The pure white gown was made from double bonded silk cady, which has a soft matte luster, and featured an open bateau neckline and slender sculpted waist with three-quarter sleeves.

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The focal piece of the outfit was the veil, which featured hand-embroidered flowers from all 53 Commonwealth countries along the edges. The veil was five meters long and made from silk tulle. Meghan chose two additional flowers to include in the veil design: Wintersweet, which grows in the grounds of Kensington Palace in front of Nottingham Cottage (where they lived at the time); and the California Poppy, the state flower from Meghan’s home state.

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Meghan carried a bouquet of sweet peas, lily of the valley, astilbe, jasmine and astrantia, and Forget-Me-Nots (which they chose to honor Harry’s mother as it was Princess Diana’s favorite flower). Additionally, the bouquet included sprigs of myrtle, which is a British royal wedding tradition dating back to Queen Victoria. The bouquet was designed by florist Philippa Craddock.

But enough about fashion, let’s talk jewelry, because diamonds are a great distraction right now. The Queen lent Meghan Queen Mary’s Diamond Bandeau Tiara to wear on her wedding day. The tiara was English made in 1932 with the center brooch dating from 1893. Specifically designed for Queen Mary to accommodate the center brooch of ten brilliant diamonds – which was given to then-Princess Mary in 1893 by the County of Lincoln as a wedding gift when she married The Duke of York (Prince George) – the tiara is formed of eleven sections of pave set large and small brilliant diamonds in platinum.

I think the tiara worked very well for Meghan – it is short but not small, and is more structural than floral which fits her style.

Meghan’s earrings and bracelet were by Cartier. The earrings were the Galenterie de Cartier earrings she debuted earlier in 2018 (these are similar though not the same – I can’t find Meghan’s on the website now), and the bracelet was the Reflection de Cartier bracelet ($263,000).

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Harry wore the frockcoat uniform of the Blues and Royals, which HM granted him permission to wear, which was tailored at Dege & Skinner on Savile Row. [5] Prince William, Harry’s best man, wore the same.

Alexi Lubomirski/The Duke and Duchess of Sussex via Getty Images

Meghan chose six bridesmaids and four pageboys, all of whom were aged seven or younger. It reminded me a bit of The Countess of Wessex’s wedding where she only had young kids in her bridal party. Meghan’s bridesmaids were: Princess Charlotte (no intro needed, lol); Florence van Cutsem (Harry’s goddaughter); Remi Litt (Meghan’s goddaughter); Rylan Litt (Meghan’s goddaughter); Ivy Mulroney (Jessica Mulroney’s daughter); and Zalie Warren (Harry’s goddaughter). For pageboys, Meghan went with: Prince George (obvs); Jasper Dyer (Harry’s godson, son of Harry’s close friend Mark Dyer); and Brian and John Mulroney (twin sons of Jessica Mulroney).

Alexi Lubomirski/The Duke and Duchess of Sussex via Getty Images

The wee bridesmaids wore dresses designed by Clare Waight Keller, described as: “sculpted in Ivory silk Radzimir, and is high-waisted with short puff sleeves and hand finished with a double silk ribbon detail tied at the back in a bow. The Bridesmaids’ dresses include pockets and pleated skirts to create a relaxed and luxurious silhouette.” [6] The bridesmaids’ shoes were white leather Aquazurra and were monogrammed with each girls’ initials and the wedding date as a gift. Their flower crowns were designed by florist Philippa Craddock.

The pageboys wore miniature versions of the Blues and Royals frockcoat William and Harry wore, also made by tailors Dege & Skinner in Savile Row. Each pageboy had their initials embroidered in gold on the shoulder straps.

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When Charles and Camilla arrived at the chapel, I legitimately thought I had somehow missed Kate’s arrival, but she hadn’t arrived yet. Though Meghan didn’t include any of her adult friends in her bridal party, she had the mothers of the young bridal party arrive with them and walk them up the steps of the chapel. It was a nice touch considering how young some of the kids were.

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Meghan’s mom, Doria Ragland, wore a custom dress and coat by Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim, the creative directors of Oscar de la Renta, and her hat was designed for her by Stephen Jones.

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Harry and Meghan forwent the traditional wedding fruitcake and instead opted for a wedding cake made of a light sponge cake with elderflower syrup, a filling of Amalfi lemon curd and elderflower buttercream, decorated with Swiss meringue buttercream and 150 fresh flowers. The cake was designed by Claire Ptak.

For the evening reception, which was held at Frogmore House, Meghan changed into a “bespoke lily white high neck gown made of silk crepe” by Stella McCartney [7]. Meghan also wore the Reflection de Cartier earrings ($62,500) and Princess Diana’s aquamarine ring.

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I prefer the evening reception gown to the wedding gown, personally, and I think Meghan’s hair looks nicer here, too, but, you know, it’s missing a tiara. 😉

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Below is the video of the full wedding ceremony.

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