The only previous Duke of Sussex (Duke of Sussex, Prince Augustus Frederick, the sixth son of King George III and Queen Charlotte) was married twice but neither of his marriages was approved by his father, George III, meaning they were considered unlawful — thus no previous Duchess. Prince Frederick died in 1843.
The big day finally arrived: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were married Saturday at St. George’s Chapel on the grounds of Windsor Castle. The prince takes on the title of Duke of Sussex and his American actress bride, the newest member of the British royal family, has become the Duchess of Sussex.
It all started with a blind date two years ago that went very, very well, and culminated in a global mega-event that will help reshape the British monarchy. It was watched by tens of millions of TV viewers around the world, and CBS News’ entire live coverage of the historic event can be enjoyed over and over again in the full video above.
Guests welcomed the royal newlyweds at a reception Saturday afternoon featuring seasonal British produce and a nontraditional wedding cake. It comes after a service which itself managed to combine hundreds of years of British tradition with a contemporary American twist.
Here’s how it all unfolded:
After a stream of A-listers including George and Amal Clooney and David and Victoria Beckham poured out of buses and into St. George’s Chapel, the guests of honor began to arrive.
Prince Harry and best man Prince William showed up, dressed in their formal military uniforms, and waved and smiled as they stepped across the grounds of the 15th-century church. Harry ended a week of speculation (and betting) on whether he would shave off his beard for the ceremony. It was neatly trimmed, but still very much upon the royal face.
William, who was married to commoner Kate Middleton at a ceremony in 2011, carried his brother’s rings.
Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland, who flew in earlier in the week from Los Angeles to attend the wedding, arrived in one of the royal family’s fleet of limousines. She was greeted by a member of the clergy and escorted into the chapel.
Queen Elizabeth II arrived at St. George’s Chapel in a flared lime-colored dress in printed silk and an edge-to-edge coat with a lime silk tweed fastening. She was joined by her husband, Prince Philip. The guests stood to attention as the pair entered the chapel.
Other members of the royal family had already taken their places inside the chapel, including Harry’s uncles Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, his aunt Princess Anne and his cousins Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice.
Meghan — the dress and tiara
The Duchess of Sussex emerged from a vintage limousine to reveal a wedding dress by designer Clare Waight Keller — the first British senior designer taken on by storied French fashion house Givenchy.
Markle’s choice was closely watched Saturday given how big an impact royal wedding dresses have on what brides everywhere want to wear in the years that follow. Princess Diana’s 1981 wedding gown, with its romantic details and dramatic train, defined the ’80s fairytale bridal look.
More recently, when Kate Middleton married Prince William in 2011, her long-sleeved lace gown immediately sparked a trend for more covered-up, traditional lace bridal dresses.
Markle reached 125 years back into the British monarchy’s vault to choose her wedding tiara. The diamond bandeau she wore was made for Queen Mary, who was crowned with husband King George V in 1911. The tiara was specifically designed to accommodate a brooch that was given to Mary in 1893 to commemorate her engagement to the then-Prince George.
Queen Elizabeth II inherited the pieces in 1953. The grandmother of groom Prince Harry has hundreds of tiaras stored in locked vaults. Royal tradition dictated that the queen would let the Duchess of Sussex borrow one of the sparkly heirlooms.
In the months before Saturday’s wedding, there had been speculation over whether Markle would continue the tiara tradition and if so, whether she would choose one that belonged to Harry’s late mother, Princess Diana.
A service, with a message
Markle arrived to a fanfare and walked down the aisle accompanied part of the way by Prince Charles, and by 10 young page boys and bridesmaids. The children include 4-year-old Prince George and 3-year-old Princess Charlotte, children of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge.
Dean of Windsor David Conner welcomed the congregation at the start of the wedding. The couple stood at the altar in St. George’s Chapel, smiling at each other as a soprano sang a work by Handel.
As they stood there, Harry said to Meghan: “You look amazing.”
The leader of the Episcopal Church quoted civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the “redemptive power of love” as he blessed the marriage of Harry and Meghan.
Most Rev. Michael Bruce Curry, who was hand-picked by the couple to deliver the sermon at their wedding, told the bride and groom Saturday that there was “power in love” and that “love can help and heal when nothing else can.”
But Curry, a champion of civil rights causes and outspoken supporter of gay rights, continued “it’s not just for and about a young couple, who we rejoice with, it’s more than that.”
It was an address the likes of which no previous royal wedding had ever witnessed, steeped in the tradition of largely black churches in the United States. Invoking the days of slavery in the United States, Curry said love helped those in captivity to persevere.
He told the couple love has “the power to change the world… When love is the way, we actually treat each other — well, like we are actual family.”
It was the archbishop of Canterbury who declared Harry and Meghan husband and wife. Justin Welby, the head of the Church of England, made the proclamation after the couple promised to love and cherish one another “till death us do part,” and exchanged rings.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby presided over the ceremony, asking Prince Harry and then Meghan Markle to take their marriage vows.
They both responded, “I will.”
Collectively all of those gathered in St. George’s Chapel vowed to support the new royal couple, before Welby gave a prayer.
Lady Jane Fellowes, the sister of Harry’s late mother Princess Diana, then gave a reading of “The Song of Solomon.”
Presiding Bishop of the American Anglican Church Michael Curry they began delivering an address, quoting Martin Luther King Jr., on “the power of love.”
“Don’t under estimate it,” he told those gathered in the chapel.
After his reading, Karen Gibson and the Kingdom Choir gave a rendition of the pop classic “Stand by Me.”
Beard wins the day
Prince Harry showed up for his wedding to Meghan Markle, stepping out of a black van in front of St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle — WITH his trademark (of late) beard in tact.
His decision to keep the royal whiskers while wearing his military uniform breaks with British military tradition.
Leading the charge of “commoners” arriving to witness the royal wedding on Saturday morning was British actor Idris Abla, followed by U.S. media mogul Oprah Winfrey.
“CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King watched as her friend Oprah walked to the chapel after getting off the first bus carrying wedding guests. She noted that it may have been Oprah’s first bus ride in some time, and revealed that she was wearing a dress designed by Stella McCartney.
Earl Spencer, the late Princess Diana’s brother, also arrived in the first wave of guests.
Later buses brought some of the less-known members of the British royal family — and one of the best-known names from the world of Hollywood royalty; George and Amal Clooney arrived and waved to fans as they approached the chapel.
David and Victoria Beckham were close behind them. David Beckham, one of Britain’s best named soccer stars, and his wife, a former member of the Spice Girls, have long been friends with Prince Harry.
Warm wishes from the PM
British Prime Minister Theresa May sent a tweet offering her best wishes to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on Saturday morning ahead of the royal wedding.
The royal couple decided not to make a political affair of their nuptials — even May, the leader of the British government, was not in attendance. No political heads of state got an official wedding invite.
Former U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, who got to know Prince Harry during Obama’s two terms in office, confirmed on Thursday that they were not heading to Windsor for the festivities, but that they looked forward to meeting the newlyweds sometime after.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex
Queen Elizabeth II bestowed new royal titles early Saturday on her grandson Prince Harry and his bride-soon-to-be Meghan Markle. The couple will henceforth be known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
“The Queen has today been pleased to confer a Dukedom on Prince Henry of Wales. His titles will be Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel. Prince Harry thus becomes His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex, and Ms. Meghan Markle on marriage will become Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex,” the queen said in an official statement released by the palace.
Markle will become the first ever Duchess of Sussex. The title of Duke of Sussex was vacant, and had been regarded as the most likely choice for Prince Harry.
How the royal wedding unfolded
All times Eastern:
4:30 a.m. Wedding guests arrive at the Round Tower of Windsor Castle by the busload and will enter St. George’s Chapel. All non-royal guests are scheduled to arrive by 6:00 a.m.
6:20 a.m. Royal family members begin to arrive via the Galilee Porch of St. George’s Chapel.
6:45 a.m. Prince Harry and Prince William arrive, possibly on foot, walking past and possibly greeting the invited public.
6:55 a.m. Queen Elizabeth II arrives for her grandson’s wedding, expected to be accompanied by husband Prince Philip.
6:56 a.m. Meghan Markle’s car is expected to arrive at Windsor Castle via The Long Walk. Markle will be accompanied by her mother, Doria Ragland, and bridesmaids and pageboys.
7:00 a.m. Marriage service begins. The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby officiates thee marriage ceremony. The Dean of Windsor will conduct the service. The late Prince Diana’s sister, Lady Jane Fellowes, gives reading.
8:00 a.m. Marriage service concludes. Royal couple leave St. George’s Chapel via the West Steps, when we will likely see a first kiss.
8:05 a.m. Procession begins as Prince Harry and Meghan are waved off by both families for a 25-minute carriage procession through Windsor.
8:25 a.m. Newlyweds return to Windsor Castle via King George IV gate, followed by guests who will attend the wedding reception at St. George’s Hall at Windsor Castle.
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