The Dress that Stole the Show
Meghan Markle, the glamorous actress-turned-duchess, caught everyone's attention when she walked down the aisle in her radiant Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy gown. An incredible amount of work went into this dress. Not widely known, however, is that a piece of blue fabric from the dress she wore on her first date with Prince Harry was sewn into her wedding gown. This served as her "something blue", a traditional element in a bride's attire.
The Extraordinary Wedding Veil
Markle's wedding veil was a masterpiece in its own right. Five meters long and crafted from silk tulle, the veil represented a unique tribute to the 53 nations of the Commonwealth. Each nation's distinctive flora was hand-embroidered on the veil, a labor-intensive process that took hundreds of hours. It was a subtle but powerful statement about Markle's commitment to her new royal duties.
The Handpicked Bouquet
Each element of Markle's wedding bouquet held a special significance. It was composed of forget-me-nots, chosen because they were Princess Diana's favourite flowers, representing a heartfelt tribute to Harry's late mother. Also included were sweet peas, lily of the valley, astilbe, jasmine, and astrantia. It's also worth noting that Prince Harry himself picked some of the flowers from their private garden at Kensington Palace.
The Cake of a Century
The wedding cake, a lemon elderflower concoction covered in buttercream and decorated with fresh flowers, was a break from the traditional fruitcake served at royal weddings. What's even more astonishing is that it was adorned with a staggering 100,000 flowers, setting a new standard for regal opulence.
The Tiara of Legacy
Meghan wore a diamond bandeau tiara that held significant historical value. On loan from Queen Elizabeth II, the tiara was originally made for Queen Mary in 1932, featuring a detachable brooch that dates back to 1893. Markle's choice was a nod to her new family's long and storied history.
A Chorus of Songbirds
The musical performances during the ceremony were a blend of traditional and modern, reflecting the couple's unique sensibilities. Standout performances included a gospel choir singing "Stand By Me," which added a touch of soul and an emotional resonance to the occasion.
The Unconventional Officiant
In a departure from tradition, the couple chose American Bishop Michael Curry to deliver the sermon. His passionate and energetic speech, emphasizing the power of love, was a highlight of the ceremony and became a viral sensation worldwide.
The Secret Reception Dress
After the grandeur of the official ceremony, the new Duchess of Sussex surprised the world once again with her reception dress. A custom-made Stella McCartney halter-neck gown, this dress was breathtakingly simple and modern. What many might not know is that this dress was crafted using sustainable materials, a nod to Meghan’s dedication to ethical fashion and environmental consciousness.
A Nod to Princess Diana
Prince Harry honored his mother in a unique and touching way during the reception. He gifted Meghan an emerald-cut aquamarine ring that belonged to Princess Diana. Meghan was seen wearing the stunning ring as they drove off to their evening reception at Frogmore House, a sentimental tribute to Harry's beloved mother.
Their First Dance
The first dance is a highly anticipated moment in any wedding, and this royal event was no different. The song choice was Whitney Houston's '80s hit, "I Wanna Dance With Somebody." This joyous and upbeat song reflected the couple's lively spirit, setting the tone for the magical night ahead.
The Stirring Reception Speech
During the reception, Meghan broke another royal tradition by delivering a speech - a task typically reserved for the groom, best man, and father of the bride. Her heartfelt words, thanking her family and friends for their support, were a hit among the guests and another sign of Meghan's progressive influence on the royal protocols.
Fireworks for a Fairytale Ending
To end the day of festivities, a grand firework display illuminated the night sky. This was not just any firework display, but one that was orchestrated by the same company that had been involved in the London Olympics 2012. This final spectacle served as the perfect exclamation point to a day full of love, laughter, and a lot of royal glamour.
The Carriage Procession
Following the ceremony, the newlyweds took a carriage procession through Windsor. This allowed them to share their special day with the public, thousands of whom had gathered to catch a glimpse of the couple. Unknown to many, the carriage they used was an Ascot Landau, which is typically used by the Queen during her annual visit to the Royal Ascot.
The Emotional Charity Tributes
In lieu of gifts, the royal couple asked their guests to donate to seven different charities. These charities were carefully chosen to reflect the couple's personal interests in causes like social change, women's empowerment, and environmental conservation. This thoughtful request allowed the joy of their wedding day to have a far-reaching impact.
The Royal Reception
The reception at Frogmore House was an exclusive event for 200 of their closest friends and family. As a fun surprise for the guests, the couple arranged for "midnight snacks" of candyfloss and "dirty burgers" - a playful and modern twist on traditional royal decorum.
Each of these lesser-known aspects contributes to the depth and complexity of the royal wedding, making it a truly unique event that blended royal tradition with modern sensibilities. The wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry was not just a union of two individuals, but a celebration of love, tradition, and a forward-thinking outlook that resonates to this day.
A Grand Guest List
Finally, one can't ignore the glittering array of celebrities in attendance. The guest list was a who's who of Hollywood and British royalty, with everyone from Oprah Winfrey to the Beckhams in attendance, each adding to the captivating spectacle that was Meghan Markle's unforgettable royal wedding.