LONDON — 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.