Every romantic, emotional moment from the royal wedding

What a wedding!

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle became husband and wife, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and the new reigning king and queen of romance on Saturday. Is that an official title? It should be, because the royal wedding, so hotly anticipated and debated, was full of sweet, inspiring, groundbreaking moments that spoke to the couple’s unique character.

Where to begin? Is it with the heavenly music selections that perfectly melded British and American traditions? The fresh array of blush pink and gentle green hats and outfits that lit up St. George’s Chapel?

Or how about when Prince Harry raised his bride-to-be’s veil, and for one brief moment, even the most hardened of cynics swooned a little inside?

Before the ceremony, a rainbow of color and celebrity

While Meghan, Prince Harry and their closest family and attendants waited out the final hours before their big moment, Britain and America’s finest put on a characteristically colorful display. Among the best dressed was Amal Clooney, an international human rights lawyer and the wife of George Clooney, who wore a stunning deep yellow outfit that CNN’s fashion expert Caryn Franklin called a “masterclass” and “a wonderful tonal choice for her complexion.”

Of course, the Stars and Stripes were represented almost as much as the Union Jack, and tennis star Serena Williams made one of the strongest showings from the other side of the pond. Her asymmetrical look played up two of the biggest trends of the day: blush pink and architectural headpieces.

READ MORE: Royal wedding guests, in pictures

Of course, all eyes were on the Queen and the mother of the bride, Doria Ragland. They probably didn’t coordinate their outfits beforehand, but they could have: Both were sporting shades of light green, with the Queen adding pops of yellow and purple to her outfit. (Why does the Queen love bright colors so much? CNN’s cadre of royal correspondents on the scene surmised that, since she stands at a diminutive 5 feet, 4 inches, bright colors help her stand out.)

Meaningful moments from the royal family

There were also some meaningful appearances that had nothing to do with fashion: Prince Harry’s aunt, Sarah Ferguson, was in attendance, smiling and waving as she walked into the chapel. The Duchess of York is divorced from her husband, Prince Andrew, and has been somewhat of a pariah in the royal family. She wasn’t invited to Prince William and Catherine’s wedding, and her presence was one indication of Prince Harry’s reputation as a peacemaker in the family.

And, in case you needed more evidence that the royals are a hardy bunch, Queen Elizabeth’s husband Prince Philip arrived and walked to his place at the front of the chapel unassisted, despite having hip surgery just a month ago.

It is reported that the Queen loves a wedding, and as CNN’s royal correspondents pointed out, this is likely her last royal union. The Queen is 92 years old, and the next person in her direct line to get married would be one of Prince William’s children, who are all under five.

Harry and William arrive; as princes, brothers and friends

Of course, everyone is always waiting for what the bride is going to wear, but Prince Harry and Prince William, acting as his best man, cut quite a figure in their black Household Cavalry Uniforms. There was some playful speculation over whether Harry would keep his jaunty beard, and it turns out he did! It’s not exactly a huge break with tradition, but a little scruff on the Prince on his wedding day was certainly a modern touch.

It was an emotional moment to watch the two brothers, bonded not only by blood but the tragic loss of their mother when they were both children, walk through the nave together. The memory of Princess Diana was strongly felt throughout the day. Diana’s brother, Earl Charles Spencer, was in attendance, and her sister Lady Jane Fellowes gave a reading. One of the many hymns played before the ceremony was “Guide Me, Oh Thou Great Redeemer,” which was not only played at Diana’s funeral, but at William and Catherine’s wedding seven years ago.

READ MORE: Princess Diana’s presence felt at Meghan and Harry’s wedding

The dress is revealed

Is there ever a dress more anticipated than that of a royal bride-to-be?

From the second Meghan set off from her hotel in a royal Rolls-Royce, people were squinting and screen-shotting, trying to get a glimpse of her outfit.

No surprise, it turned out to be a stunner: A simple boat-neck, all-white number that was conservative, yet bold in its simplicity. It was designed by acclaimed British designer, Clare Waight Keller, who last year became became the first female Artistic Director at the historic French fashion house Givenchy. Another feminist choice from the unconventional royal bride? Perhaps. Walking yourself partway down the aisle and wearing the creation of a groundbreaking female designer certainly makes a statement.

READ MORE: Details of Meghan’s Givenchy dress

In case you were wondering whether the Queen approves of her new granddaughter-in-law, she reportedly invited Meghan to choose her tiara from a selection of historic pieces. She ended up wearing a low-profile diamond bandeau tiara owned by Queen Mary.

Harry and Meghan prove love is real

With the guests in order, the mystery of the dress solved and the screaming crowds of wedding watchers quieting down (a little), Meghan began the long walk to the altar, over the iconic black-and-white tiles of St. George’s Chapel. It was the first observed time that a royal bride-to-be in the UK walked herself down the aisle.

About halfway through, Prince Harry’s father Prince Charles joined her (Meghan’s father Thomas was supposed to do the honors, but could not attend due to health issues). Once she came to stand next to her future husband, the romance factor rocketed up and stayed there at an almost unbearable level throughout the ceremony. The nuptial couple couldn’t stop being sweet to each other. When he saw Meghan, the first thing Harry said to her was, “You look amazing.” When he lifted her veil, she gave him a radiant smile that will live on in GIFs and photos from now until the end of time. They held hands almost the entire service. Stiff upper lip? This royal couple would never.

The ceremony inspires and unites

From the outset, we knew the ceremony was going to be something different — a union of British royal traditions and American spirituality. The officiant was David Conner, Dean of Windsor, who did the usual honors.

But one of the highlights of the ceremony was an address given by Michael Curry, an American preacher who is also the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church.

During his engaging (and lengthy!) speech, Curry repeatedly quoted Martin Luther King, Jr., and mentioned slavery and the healing power of love.

“Two young people fell in love, and we all showed up,” he quipped, one of the many laughs that was drawn from the typically buttoned-up crowd.

READ MORE: The full text of Bishop Curry’s speech

Other than Meghan’s dress, and Harry’s smile, the real star of the ceremony was the MUSIC.

An array of gorgeous, traditional hymns and instrumental pieces by British composers was complemented by a truly majestic version of “Stand By Me” performed by the Kingdom Choir, a Christian gospel group based in southeast England. (Oh, and the choir members carried on that blush-pink trend, singing in coordinated shades of rose gold, pink, and blue.) Will the addition of a gospel choir be a big talking point over the next few days? Definitely. Did they sound great? Also definitely.

After Harry and Meghan said “I do,” (or rather, “I will,”) the crowd was treated to a performance by Sheku Kanneh-Mason, a 19-year-old cellist who won the BBC Young Musician of the Year Award in 2016 and, with his royal appearance, instantly became social media’s new favorite musician.

The music continued even as the newly-married Harry and Meghan emerged into the sunlight under an arch of white roses and peonies. They climbed into the royal carriage as the strains of “This Little Light of Mine” rung in the air. It was an emotional end to an emotional service, and a joyous beginning for a joyous new royal couple.

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Planes prevented from flying over Windsor Castle for royal wedding

All Meghan Markle will hear is the cheering crowd.

Airplanes will be prevented from flying over Windsor Castle for 15 minutes as bride-to-be Markle arrives at St. George’s Chapel, the UK’s National Air Traffic Services (NATS) says.

In a statement, a NATS spokesman said “Heathrow Airport has agreed to provide a 15-minute no-fly period over Windsor on the day of the royal wedding on 19 May.”

Passengers are assured there won’t be any disruption at one of the world’s busiest airports, just east of the castle.

Windsor is underneath one of the main four flight paths for Heathrow and planes are often seen, and heard, taking off or coming in for landing near the castle on a daily basis.

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Meghan Markle’s ring made of Welsh gold given by the Queen

Meghan Markle’s ring has been made from a piece of Welsh gold gifted to her by the Queen, and Prince Harry’s will be a platinum band with a textured finish, CNN understands.

The couple has chosen Cleave and Company to make their wedding bands. The rings will be carried to St. George’s Chapel by Prince Harry’s brother, William, the Duke of Cambridge, as best man.

Cleave and Company made Markle’s engagement ring in 2017.

The tradition of the royal family using Welsh gold for wedding rings began in 1923 with the Queen Mother, then later Queen Elizabeth, Princess Margaret, Princes Anne and the late Diana, Princess of Wales. Other members of the royal family with Welsh gold wedding rings include Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

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WATCH LIVE: Wedding guests arrive at Windsor

Global media mogul Oprah Winfrey and British actor Idris Elba are among the guests arriving at Windsor Castle for the royal wedding.

The guest list for Saturday’s royal wedding has remained a remarkably well-kept secret.

But as the minutes tick down toward the ceremony, rumors have begun turning into fact as some of the lucky 600 guests who will be inside the chapel begin to arrive in sunny Windsor.

Actor Idris Alba was spotted arriving at the castle Saturday morning. He is best known for playing Nelson Mandela in the 2013 film “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” DCI John Luther in the BBC series “Luther” and drug trafficker Stringer Bell in the HBO series “The Wire.”

Oprah Winfrey was also spotted at the castle. She is wearing a hat by Irish designer Philip Treacy and will be sitting in the Quire — the front part of the chapel — with members of the royal family and other close friends of the couple.

Other guests have been using social media to share pictures of their preparations and fashion choices.

Tennis superstar Serena Williams posted a selfie on Instagram Saturday morning, writing, “Follow my IG stories today to see me getting ready for my friends wedding.” What she will be wearing remains a mystery.

Spice Girl Emma Bunton also appeared to confirm her attendance, posting a picture of herself wearing a pink wedding hat and using the hashtag #harryandmeghan. “Who else is ready for today??” she wrote.

In February, Melanie Brown (known better as Mel B or Scary Spice) sparked a wave of speculation that the Spice Girls would be performing at the wedding, after an appearance on “The Real.”

When asked to confirm if she had received an invitation, she said, “Well, us five Spice Girls did,” adding, “why am I so honest?” and laughing.

Asked if the group would be performing at the wedding, she did not deny it. The last time the Spice Girls performed together was at the closing ceremony of The Olympic Games in London in 2012.

Indian actress and winner of Miss World 2000, Priyanka Chopra, posted a photo on Instagram shortly after midnight Saturday with the words “Pre Wedding SHEnanigans!”

Chopra is a friend of Markle and, though the pair haven’t known each other long, it was widely believed she would fly to the UK for the event.

On the day the couple announced their engagement, Chopra posted a picture of Harry and Meghan with a personal message: “Congratulations to my girl @meghanmarkle and Prince Harry!!

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Royal wedding: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are married

And they’re married! Britain’s Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle sealed their wedding vows with a kiss on the steps outside Windsor’s St. George’s Chapel on Saturday, cheered on by delighted crowds.

The couple — now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex — then set off on a procession through the streets of Windsor in an open carriage drawn by four Windsor Grey horses.

The bridal party, including three-year-old Princess Charlotte, Harry’s niece, waved enthusiastically as the couple departed from the chapel after a ceremony that was unprecedented in British royal history and watched by millions around the world.

In a departure from tradition, Markle walked much of the way up the aisle unchaperoned, followed by her 10 bridesmaids and page boys — a move that was seen as a powerful statement of her feminist principles.

Her elegant white dress with an open bateau neckline was by British designer Clare Waight Keller, Givenchy’s first female artistic director. Her 16-foot-long veil was held in place by a diamond bandeau tiara lent to her by the Queen.

Only when she reached the 15th-century chapel’s Quire was Markle accompanied for her final steps to the foot of the altar by Prince Charles, Harry’s father.

Harry, flanked by his brother and best man Prince William, looked emotional as he waited at the altar, dressed in the frockcoat uniform of the Blues and Royals.

The couple sat with clasped hands as they listened to an impassioned address from Chicago-based bishop Michael Curry, the first African-American head of the Episcopal Church in the United States.

His fiery preaching style was a marked departure from the usually conservative tone of a British royal wedding. Harry could be seen saying “Wow” to Meghan as Curry’s speech ended.

It was followed by a performance of the Ben E. King classic “Stand by Me” by The Kingdom Choir, a group of 20 gospel singers.

Meghan was all smiles as she said her vows and gave Harry his wedding ring. The crowd could be faintly heard cheering outside as the couple were proclaimed husband and wife by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, the most senior cleric in the Church of England.

Big moments so far

Harry and Meghan have returned the Windsor Castle for the first of their two wedding receptions, in St. George’s Hall. Thousands of people cheered on the bride and groom during their carriage procession through Windsor. Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, accompanied her to the chapel and looked on with tears in her eyes as she walked down the aisle. Palace revealed that Meghan’s wedding ring has been made from Welsh gold and is a gift from the Queen, while Harry’s is platinum. The Queen conferred the titles of Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel on Prince Harry, making Meghan the first-ever Duchess of Sussex.

The last to arrive before the bride was the Queen, wearing a lime silk dress, accompanied by Prince Philip.

Among the host of famous guests already waiting in the chapel were Oprah Winfrey, George and Amal Clooney — dressed in an eye-catching yellow dress and hat — tennis star Serena Williams, actor Idris Elba and singer James Blunt.

Former footballer and celebrity David Beckham stopped to hug a fan as he walked alongside wife Victoria Beckham, former Spice Girls singer turned fashion designer, toward the chapel door.

Guests connected to the royal family included Pippa Middleton and her parents and Tom Parker Bowles, who is the son of Prince Charles’ wife, Camilla. Earl Charles Spencer — brother of Harry’s mother, the late Princess Diana — was another of the guests, as was Harry’s aunt Sarah Ferguson, the ex-wife of Prince Andrew.

Former Prime Minister John Major, who was made a guardian to William and Harry after Diana died in 1997, was another high profile guest. Current Prime Minister Theresa May was not invited.

Senior members of the royal family, Prince Charles, the Princess Royal, Prince Andrew and his daughters, Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice were among the last to arrive.

Crowds gathered in the streets of Windsor from early Saturday, hoping to catch a glimpse of the bride and groom as they processed through the town in an open horse-drawn carriage under perfect blue skies. Other devoted royal fans had camped out for several days to get the best possible spot.

Many more people rose early (or stayed up all night) in the United States to watch as Harry, long a favorite with the British public for his irreverent good humor, tied the knot with his California-born bride.


The wedding represents a historic moment for the royal family, as it welcomes an outspoken biracial, American divorcée into its ranks.

In a reflection of its contemporary nature, the couple chose a modern set of wedding vows, with the text of the formal parts of the service taken from Common Worship, the Church of England’s standard liturgy, first published in 2000. It is thought to be the first time that this text has been used in a royal wedding.

There was no promise by Markle to “obey” her husband. Rather, Meghan pledged to “love him, comfort him, honor and protect him.” Harry has chosen to wear a wedding ring, unlike his brother.

The presence of Harry’s mother was also subtly felt at the ceremony. “Guide me o thou great redeemer” was sung at Diana’s funeral, at her memorial service in 2007 and at Kate and William’s wedding in 2011.

Harry’s aunt Lady Jane Fellowes, the sister of his late mother, Princess Diana, gave the reading from the Book of Solomon.

The award-winning young cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason played during the signing of the register. The ceremony ended with the Etta James version of “Amen/This Little Light of Mine,” a gospel song that became synonymous with the US civil rights movement.

Guests from Markle’s side included cast members from “Suits” — the legal drama in which she made her name. Actresses Abigail Spencer, Sarah Rafferty, Gina Torres and actor Gabriel Macht were all seen arriving.

It appeared that TV legend and philanthropist Winfrey, dressed in Stella McCartney with a large hat, would be seated in the Quire with the family and other close friends, rather than in the main body of guests in the nave.

In an effort to be inclusive, the couple invited 2,640 members of the public, including 1,200 ordinary people from communities around the United Kingdom, to watch from inside the castle grounds as the guests arrived.

Among them were Helen McKenzie and Louis Davidson, who were invited through their local community in Somerset. “We got the invitation a while ago but had to keep it secret. It wasn’t easy!” Davidson told CNN as the pair headed into the castle.

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