Prince Harry, Meghan Markle wed in Windsor as millions watch

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle wed in Windsor as millions watch

Windsor sparkled on a warm spring day as tens of thousands of people jammed its quaint roads

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle gazed into each other’s eyes and pledged their lifelong love Saturday as they married in front of hundreds of royals, celebrities and friends at St. George’s Chapel and millions of TV viewers around the world.

The pretty English town of Windsor sparkled on a warm spring day as tens of thousands of people jammed its quaint roads and parks to capture their own part of the spectacular yet elegant royal wedding extravaganza.

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

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. Its pomp and ceremony embraced the couple’s trans-Atlantic union, mixing Anglican prayers and tradition, classical music and a gospel choir with a stately horse-drawn carriage ride through Windsor in a spectacle beamed live to tens of millions.

The American actress embraced her new British role in a sleek white silk boat-necked dress designed by British designer Clare Waight Keller. 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, the group of countries that roughly corresponds to the former British Empire and is headed by Markle’s new grandmother-in-law, the queen.

The palace said, in addition to the Commonwealth flowers, Markle also selected two other plants on the veil: Wintersweet and, in a nod to the bride’s birthplace, the California poppy.

Harry and best man Prince William wore white gloves and the frock coat uniforms of the Blues and Royals military regiment. Harry kept his full red beard intact — a style decision that had sparked British bets before the wedding.

Markle walked down the aisle alone at first, then was accompanied by Prince Charles and 10 young page boys and bridesmaids. As his father and his bride drew close to the altar, Harry said: “Thank you, Pa.”

To Markle, Harry said: “You look amazing.”

Markle seemed poised and confident as she delivered her vows without so much as a quiver in her voice. She smiled broadly as the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby declared them husband and wife. Harry seemed a bit nervous — but happy.

The sermon offered a particularly rousing U.S. touch, with the leader of the Episcopal Church quoting civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. on the “redemptive power of love.” The Most Rev. Michael Bruce Curry delivered the sermon with heartfelt emotion. The musical selections also included versions of Ben. E. King’s “Stand By Me” and Etta James’ “Amen/This Little Light of Mine.”

A host of celebrities and athletes — including Oprah Winfrey, Idris Elba, Elton John, George and Amal Clooney, Serena Williams, James Corden and David and Victoria Beckham — watched from the seats in the Gothic masterpiece at Windsor Castle.

As the newest royal couple emerged from the chapel, they kissed. The crowd roared — and just kept cheering —as Harry helped his wife fold her 5 metre (16 1/2 foot) long train into the Ascot Landau carriage as they began their procession through the streets of Windsor.

Police said more than 100,000 people lined the route. The open-topped carriage was pulled by four Windsor Grey horses and past crowds waving flags and holding cellphones aloft. The newlyweds smiled and practiced what royals must be very good at: waving and waving and waving to the crowds.

Relatives in the ceremony included 4-year-old Prince George and 3-year-old Princess Charlotte, children of William and the Duchess of Cambridge. Other relatives at the church included Charles Spencer, the brother of Harry’s late mother Princess Diana, and Harry’s cousins Zara Tindall and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie.

Also in attendance was Harry’s sister-in-law’s family: Parents Carole and Michael Middleton, sister Pippa Middleton and brother James Middleton. Harry’s ex-girlfriend Chelsy Davy was there, as was Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, the ex-wife of Harry’s uncle Prince Andrew.

Irene Bowdry, a lawyer from California, was among those who jammed the early train to Windsor. She booked her trip to England as soon as the wedding date was announced.

“An American in the royal family, isn’t that so exciting?” she said.

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

“Windsor is absolutely bursting with excitement,” said royal historian Hugo Vickers. “There are cardboard cutouts of Meghan and Harry in every shop window.”

It is a time of transition for the British monarchy, one that seems filled with hope as William and Harry — the two sons of Charles and the late Princess Diana — step ever more confidently into the limelight.

Many in the crowd, like Ana Karukin, a Brazilian nurse living in Florida, said they came to witness a moment of history.

“We’ve got to be here for him and for her, my Meghan, my special girl, to support them, because it’s a beautiful time,” she said. “I wish that Diana was here, but she’s in heaven watching over them.”

And it seems to be a time of joy for 92-year-old queen and her 96-year-old husband, Prince Philip, who was well enough to attend. The queen was able to see her grandson marry a woman who clearly has brought him the happiness he’s often said was missing from his life after his mother’s premature death.

The family tableau played out on the broadest possible stage. Dozens of broadcasters set up on the castle grounds for a visual feast. The chapel itself is a masterpiece of the late Gothic style, and Windsor Castle has been home to British sovereigns for nearly 1,000 years.

In the afternoon at the castle, the queen was hosting the first of two receptions, one with finger foods, wine and champagne. Saturday night, a second, smaller reception for 200 people was being thrown by Charles.

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

In honour of Harry’s mother Diana, her older sister Jane Fellowes gave a reading during the wedding service.

But it was the crowds in Windsor that seemed to capture the joy of the moment. Many had camped or arrived at dawn for a good spot. They cheered and screamed as the newlyweds passed by.

Arlene Prinsloo had flown from South Africa — just to be in Windsor.

“I went to William and Kate’s wedding, but this is a completely different vibe,” she said. “It’s much more relaxed, and I think that reflects who Harry is.”

___

Kirka and Lawless reported from London.

___

For complete AP royal wedding coverage, visit https://apnews.com/tag/Royalweddings

Gregory Katz, Danica Kirka And Jill Lawless, The Associated Press

Just Posted

A drug bust on Government Street in Duncan on Tuesday, March 30, led to a "substantial seizure" according to the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP. (File photo)
Still searching for diver

Emergency crews in West Kelowna continue to search for a man who went missing in Okanagan Lake

A man and woman, both 33 and from Kelowna, were arrested on Postill Lake Forest Service Road in possession of two stolen vehicles Friday, May 14, 2021. (File photo)
Kelowna duo arrested with stolen vehicles after ‘brief’ bicycle getaway attempt

A man and a woman were arrested on a forest service road on numerous pending charges

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

People in Kelowna’s City Park on May 18, 2020. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Search crews looking for missing diver in Okanagan Lake near Kelowna’s City Park

At around 2:50 p.m., RCMP received reports of a diver missing.

The future of the Okanagan Lake watershed land use will be subject of a new study supported by a $300,000 grant from the Vancouver Foundation. (Contributed)
Grant to help develop Okanagan Lake protection strategy

Study receives $300,000 grant from the Vancouver Foundation.

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

KCR Migrant Support Worker, Javier, had an exciting day escorting his son Ian with him during ‘Take your Child to Work Day’!
KCR: Volunteering is being part of a whole

KCR Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The BC Conservation Officer Service (COS) handed out fines to two anglers on Shuswap Lake who were both casting more than one line, in violation of provincial regulations, Saturday, May 15, 2021. (COS photo)
Conservation officers snag Shuswap anglers for unlawful fishing

Two anglers were given $150 fines for casting two lines at once, against provincial regulations

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Lynda Saundry, born 1961, is charged with the murder of North Okanagan resident Barry Jones in July 2020. Saundry will appear in Vernon court May 17, 2021, to fix a date for a preliminary inquiry. (Facebook public photo)
North Okanagan murder suspect to be tried by judge and jury

Lynda Saundry is charged with the first-degree murder of Barry Jones in July 2020

Most Read