Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex, emerged from St George’s Chapel, Windsor after a wedding ceremony that dusted down royal tradition and injected gospel energy.
The couple served up many surprises, including the bride’s dress, and the fact she would be making a speech at the evening reception.
The secret of what she would wear managed to keep until the former actor, 36, stepped from her Rolls-Royce bridal car on to the steps of the chapel at Windsor Castle. A study in simple elegance in white silk with a stunning train, it was by the British designer Clare Waight Keller at the French fashion house Givenchy.
“You look amazing,” Harry whispered as he caught first sight of her. “Thank you,” she replied.
A box office guest list of 600 put Hollywood stars alongside royalty. The actor George Clooney and lawyer wife Amal, the queen of the talk shows, Oprah Winfrey, and the queen of the tennis courts, Serena Williams, sat in the historic quire opposite the Queen, Prince Philip and a full quota of senior royals. Markle’s close friends the Canadian stylist Jessica Mulroney and the fashion designer Misha Nonoo got VIP seats.
The actors Idris Elba, Tom Hardy and Carey Mulligan were spotted, along with the chatshow host James Corden, David and Victoria Beckham, Sir Elton John and Markle’s co-stars in the US legal drama Suits. Sporting heroes included the former England rugby union international Jonny Wilkinson. Harry’s former girlfriends Chelsy Davy and Cressida Bonas were also there.
Ten bridesmaids and pageboys – aged between two and seven and including Prince George and Princess Charlotte – accompanied her as she walked through the nave of the 15th-century chapel. Only when she reached the quire did she take the arm of Prince Charles, acting as a last-minute stand-in to give her away in the absence of her father, Thomas Markle Sr, 73, who is recovering from a heart procedure in Mexico. “Thank you, Pa,” Harry murmured to him.