SEALED WITH A KISS: Moment the world's been waiting for

 

WELL it's finally happened - Meghan Markle has walked down the aisle and married Prince Harry in the biggest wedding of the year.

 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex departed Windsor Castle for a procession through the streets. Picture: AP
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex departed Windsor Castle for a procession through the streets. Picture: AP

Heading to the reception
Now husband and wife, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle took a carriage ride, waving at the tens of thousands of excited well-wishers lining the streets of Windsor. As guests walk the short distance from the chapel to the reception, the royal couple have given the public their first look at them as a married couple.

RELATED: The preacher who stole the show

Adorable bridal party
The bridal party of ten children put on an adorable display of royal cuteness walking down the aisle with Meghan Markle.

Princess Charlotte (R) and page boy Jasper Dyer. Picture: Andrew Matthews - WPA Pool/Getty Images.
Princess Charlotte (R) and page boy Jasper Dyer. Picture: Andrew Matthews - WPA Pool/Getty Images.

The group of ten children arrived in three separate cars managed by their parents, including the Duchess of Cambridge and Jessica Mulroney. It included Princess Charlotte and Prince Harry's goddaughters Florence van Cutsem, and Zalie Warren. Meghan's goddaughters, Remi and Ryland Litt were also part of it.

Jessica Mulroney's children Ivy, Brian and John Mulroney were part of the crew, along with Prince George and another of Prince Harry's godchildren, Jasper Dyer.


The bridesmaids outfit were designed by Givenchy, from Clare Waight Keller who also made the dress. Each was given personally monogrammed white leather Aquazurra shoes by Meghan as a keepsake. The pageboys wore a mini-version of Prince Harry and Prince William's outfits with their initials embroidered on the shoulders.

 

It's official

Harry and Meghan are now husband and wife, both beaming with happiness as they recited their traditional vows to each other and exchanged wedding rings.

Harry's whispered words

With the world watching, Prince Harry's still managed to steal a few private moments with his bride, the pair exhanging a few softly spoken words. At least one utterance was picked up by those watching: "You look amazing," as he first laid eyes on her inside the chapel.

Scene-stealing preacher

Bishop Michael Curry's lively speech has got viewers talking - it was either a much-needed injection of power and passion or a rambling, 'WTF' moment, depending who you ask.

At various points in his rather lengthy speech, those inside the chapel could be seen smirking and stifling giggles - and that includes several members of the extended royal family.

The dress

Markle's wedding dress has been designed by British designer, Clare Waight Keller of Givenchy and contains an incredible hidden tribute to Commonwealth nations in the veil.

Ms Waight Keller last year became the first female artistic director at the historic French fashion house Givenchy and the pair met in 2018.

Kensington Palace said Meghan chose the designer for her "timeless and elegant aesthetic, impeccable tailoring, and relaxed demeanour."

The clean lines of the dress include an open neckline to frame the shoulders, made in a double silk fabric in white to bring a sense of "fresh modernity".

Meghan also chose to have all 53 countries of the Commonwealth included in the veil design through floral emblems.

The Commonwealth is expected to be a significant part of the work Prince Harry and Meghan do as a couple and the Palace said Meghan wanted to reflect this.

The veil is five metres long and handmade, with designers washing their hands every 30 minutes. In addition to the Commonwealth flowers it includes Meghan's favourites, Wintersweet, which grows in front of Nottingham Cottage, and the California Poppy, representing her home state.

Surprising moment

The Dean of Windsor David Conner is officiating the wedding, including asking the always-nailbiting "If anyone present who knows a reason why these persons may not lawfully marry, to declare it now?" Mercifully, the chapel was silent (we had visions of Samantha Markle busting through the church doors but it wasn't mean to be).

Amid the pomp and solemnity, one part of the Dean's opening speech caused a stir: "The gift of marriage brings husband and wife together in the delight and wife together in the delight and tenderness of sexual union."

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stand during their wedding ceremony at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. Picture: UK Pool/Sky News via AP
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stand during their wedding ceremony at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. Picture: UK Pool/Sky News via AP

If you didn't expect to hear talk of Harry and Meghan's delightful, tender sex life at this wedding, you're not alone.

In an historical moment, Martin Luther King has been quoted during the Address of Service, delivered by the Reverend Michael Curry.

During the ceremony, he told the crowd that "Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. once said: 'We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we discover that, we will be able to make of this old world a new world. Love is the only way.'"

The choir will also sing a cover of Ben E. King's classic hit Stand By Me.

It was just another modern element to what's already been a significantly non-traditionally royal wedding, with Meghan walking herself partway down the aisle at St George's Chapel, before being joined by Prince Charles on her way to her groom.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's emotional first glance

When the bride and groom first lay eyes on each other for the first time down the aisle is arguably the most emotional moment of any wedding day.

And it was no different for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

With billions of people watching, the royal and his American bride melted hearts everywhere as they locked eyes inside St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, in front of hundreds of guests, including the Royal family and Hollywood A-listers such as Oprah Winfrey.

Meghan had arrived with her mother from Cliveden House moments earlier, while a visibly nervous Harry was waiting at the altar with his best man, Prince William.

The two brothers had been exchanging whispers and quiet laughs in the moments leading up to the bride's arrival, but as she stepped into the Chapel, a reverential hush flooded the room, and the groom's eyes lit up.

It's no wonder: Meghan looked absolutely breathtaking in an incredibly simple white gown by acclaimed British designer, Clare Waight Kelle, which featured a demure neckline and full veil, as she glided down the aisle with Prince Charles, who had stepped in for her sick father at the last minute.

It was the stunning peak of a whirlwind romance for the prince and the Hollywood star, which began shrouded in secrecy back in mid-2016, after their introduction through a mutual friend.

A private getaway to Africa followed, and then a series of secret visits between Harry's London home and Meghan's base in Toronto, where she had been filming US legal drama Suits.

Once news broke of their relationship - five months in - the pair tried to keep their occasional public outings low-key, but it was clear to everyone that they were completely smitten.

Less than eighteen months on, and they were engaged.

Now, as Harry and Meghan publicly pledge their lives to one another, it's the stunning beginning to a brand-new chapter in their fairytale love story.

Meghan arrives

With the eyes of the world watching, Markle has walked into the chapel in a dress designed by the acclaimed British designer, Clare Waight Keller. Ms. Waight Keller last year became the first female Artistic Director at the historic French fashion house Givenchy.

The Queen arrives

 

The Queen is wearing a lime, lemon, purple and grey printed silk dress by Stewart Parvin, and a hat by Angela Kelly.

Crowd 'glued to phones'

The crowd of people on Windsor streets are now glued to their phones as the ceremony is about to begin.

No one is moving through - they all have waited and waited to get their spots where they will have uninterrupted views of the royal couple's carriage procession.

The biggest cry so far was when someone yelled: "She's on her way".

That she is - the eyes of the world will soon be on Meghan Markle.

Harry makes an entrance

A somewhat nervous-looking Prince Harry has arrived at the chapel on foot, walking alongside his older brother and best man, Prince William.

The brothers arrived at the chapel wearing the frockcoat uniform of the Blues and Royals.

Prince Harry's coat is made from blue doeskin in a single-breasted style and took one person a whole week to complete. It has the rank of Major with large gold embroidered crowns.

The badge on the left chest is Pilots' Wings attained whilst serving with the Army Air Corps for flying Apache helicopters. He is also wearing four medals and a white buckskin waist belt.

Prince William wears the same uniform as the Groom, also to the Rank of Major. The Wings are those attained flying helicopters whilst serving with the RAF, the two medals below from left to right are: Queen's Golden Jubilee and Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

After 'What will Meghan wear?', the biggest question being asked by royal watchers was about whether or not Harry would shave his scruffy beard for the big day.

Well, we have our answer: He did not.

The princes removed their hats as they entered the chapel, and beamed at guests as they walked past the choir.

Here comes the bride


We've had our first glimpse of the bride as she departed her luxury hotel, bound for Windsor Castle.

Meghan Markle's highly-anticipated bridal gown was only partially visible as she drove past fans in one of the Queen's Bentley lumousines, but it was clear she had opted for a dress with a simple and demure neckline, along with a full veil.

The soon-to-be Duchess of Sussex has also chosen to wear her long dark hair in an elegant updo.

She was also wearing a tiara, although our view of her was too fleeting to make out any further details.

Meghan Markle leaves Cliveden House Hotel
Meghan Markle leaves Cliveden House Hotel

Crowd anticipation builds

As people wait for the big moment - and it's not far away now - talk has turned to what the big moment of the day will be.

Sarah, 19, said she thought it would be the kiss. "I think it will be magic and she will look beautiful. I can't wait to see her in the dress as well."

She thought it would have been special to see Meghan walk down the aisle with her mum and not Prince Charles.

"But she is going to walk part of the way herself - I think she is adding her own touch to this."

Others were drawn to the pomp and ceremony that only the British can do.

"Its all so grand and formal but there is a touch of celebrity about it which is exciting," Seb, 44, told news.com.au.

Serious star power

As expected, David and Victoria Beckham scored an invite to the wedding. The famous British couple was seen strolling into the grounds of Windsor Castle a short time ago, the artist formerly known as Posh Spice never daring to crack a smile.

George and Amal Clooney have also made a surprise appearance - Amal looking stunning in a two-piece mustard yellow ensemble with yellow veiled fascinator, and her husband wearing a very daytime-appropriate grey morning suit.

The ring

The Queen has given Meghan Markle a touching gift in the form of a sliver of Welsh gold for her wedding ring.

Royal tradition dictacs brides have rings made from the same nugget of Welsh gold, including those of the Queen, her mother, Princess Margaret, Princess Anne, and Diana, Princess of Wales. A "minute sliver" of this is still left and is held by the Privy Purse. The Queen has gifted some of this to Meghan to have her wedding band made by London-based jewellers, Cleave and Company.

Prince Harry will wear a platinum wedding band with a textured finish. Both will be carried into the chapel by Prince William, who is Harry's best man.

The first A-listers

Oprah Winfrey was among the first guests to arrive at the chapel, walking in alongside Brit-born Hollywood star Idris Elba.

Winfrey had earlier been spotted in London ahead of the royal wedding, sparking speculation she could be attending the service.

Prince Harry's friend James Blunt has arrived - let's hope he doesn't threaten to sing:

Harry's pregnant sister-in-law Pippa Middleton looked typically stylish in a mint green patterned floral long-sleeved gown, with a blush pink fascinator and Jimmy Choo heels:

And the late Princess Diana's brother Charles Spencer, with wife Karen:

Harry's exes

In a show of solidarity, two of Harry's ex-girlfriends have reportedly been seen walking into the chapel together.

The prince famously dated Chelsy Davy on and off for around seven years until their final split in 2011, and he enjoyed a two-year relationship with English actress and model Cressida Bonas between 2012 and 2014.

Despite the breakups, Harry remains good friends with both women.

Davy wore a two-piece navy mini-dress and matching fascinator, with beige Alaia heels:

The (talk show) queen arrives

Oprah Winfrey has been spotted among the first guests to arrive at the chapel.

Winfrey had earlier been spotted in London ahead of the royal wedding, sparking speculation she could be attending the service.

The star was spotted attending the Tina the Musical show in London about the life of Tina Turner, by fans who grabbed a selfie with her, including Hollyoaks actor Gerard McCarthy.

"When @oprah is at your stage door, you stop for a selfie.... right?! ;) xx," he wrote on Instagram.

In March, Meghan's mum Doria Ragland was spotted leaving Oprah's home leading to suggestions she may be set for a sit down with the famous interviewers.

Anticipation builds

Our man on the ground Andrew Koubaridis is reporting live from Windsor:

The crowds along Windsor streets are already full and the atmosphere is electrifying.

Union jacks, crowns, Harry and Meghan merchandise are everywhere but so are the smiles - this is a moment of history everyone is keen to see.

"We are about to see an American princess," a visitor from Texas told news.com.au. " How could you not be excited?"

Music is blaring from speakers and the sunshine is warming the crowd of thousands after a very chilly morning saw the mercury plunge to just seven degrees.

Loud cries from the crowd are erupting as anyone passes by - police, media crews, even an empty bus- as everyone stakes out their spot waiting for the moment the royal couple make their first public appearance as husband and wife.

First arrivals

The rather wonderfully named Delfina Blaquier and Nacho Figueras - he's a polo player, apparently - are the first guests to arrive, perhaps realising that getting here super-early will guarantee them ample camera time from the world's media. Smart move, guys.

Nacho Figueras and his wife Delfina Blaquier
Nacho Figueras and his wife Delfina Blaquier AAP

Harry's on his way

Prince Harry has left his hotel and is now on his way to Windsor Castle, where thousands of fans have gathered outside to sneak a glimpse of the royal couple.

Harry - along with best man, Prince William - had been staying at five-star country estate Coworth Park on his last night as a single man.

The pair was seen driving out of the luxury digs in a blacked-out car, on their way to get ready for the wedding.

Coworth Park is just 25 minutes' drive from St George's Chapel, where Harry will marry Meghan Markle in just a few short hours.

Who's paying?

The exact cost of the royal wedding is unknown but the bill will be split between British taxpayers and the royal family themselves.

Security and police costs could run into tens of millions and will be paid for by Thames Valley Police, who would not release official data on the subject. The royal family will pay for private elements of the service including catering, flowers and food - with Meghan's dress alone estimated to cost around $180,000. An exact figure for the wedding is virtually impossible to find, however website Bridebook claims it could cost around £32 million ($57 million) all up.

Not everyone is happy about the bill, with activist group Republic launching a petition against public money being spent on it.

Spokesman Graham Smith accused Prince Harry of turning his wedding "into a public parade, costing the taxpayers millions."

"There is nothing inevitable about the public spending money on a royal wedding. If the royals don't want to pay a big security bill they could have had a private wedding in Sandringham or Balmoral," he said.

Inside the chapel

The first pictures from inside St George's Chapel have been released, showcasing a breathtaking display of flowers.

Huge white pots of white flowers and thick greenery have also been set up on either side of the high altar, where Harry and Meghan will say their vows in just a couple of hours' time.

The archways within the chapel, located inside Windsor Castle, has been decorated with an elaborate wall of white flowers and greenery.

Famous friends

SERENA Williams has finally confirmed she's headed to the royal wedding, sharing a video on social media documenting her prep for the big event.

She'd been keeping quiet in recent weeks on whether or not she'd be able to make it, but the cat's out of the bag now.

Williams took to Instagram to share a photo of herself in just a white towel before getting ready, captioning it: "Follow my IG stories today to see me getting ready for my friends wedding."

The tennis star and Meghan struck up a friendship in September 2014, after teaming up to a play a game of flag (American) football at Celebrity Beach Bowl, a popular event which takes place on Super Bowl weekend.

Serena Williams getting ready for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's wedding. Picture: Serena Williams/Instagram
Serena Williams getting ready for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's wedding. Picture: Serena Williams/Instagram

Elsewhere, Meghan's other celebrity pals have been excitedly documenting the hours before the royal wedding.

Priyanka Chopra posted a late-night snap with a group of friends from her hotel room in Ascot, near Windsor. The Baywatch star captioned the happy photo: "Pre-wedding shenanigans... Still waiting for the dress!"

Meanwhile, Patrick Adams, who played Meghan's on-screen husband Mike Ross in Suits, posted a photo on Instagram of today's front cover of The Times.

The newspaper featured a photo of Meghan and her mother Doria Ragland on their way to Cliveden House on Friday.

Adams captioned the shot: "I'm beginning to think she might not actually be out getting milk", a cheeky reference to his tweet following news of Meghan and Harry's engagement in November, which read: "She told me she was just going to get some milk."

Adams, along with his wife Troian Bellisaro, will be joined by other members of the Suits cast including Gabriel Macht, Rick Hoffman and Sarah Rafferty at the royal nuptials.

Feverish fans

A perfect Windsor Spring day - a top of 21 expected, positively balmy by British standards - has drawn out thousands of royal watchers.

Titles announced

After much speculation, the palace has just revealed what Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal titles will be. A press release from the palace reads:

"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."

Meghan's subtle Diana tribute

Markle will pay a sweet tribute to Princess Diana with her wedding flowers.

Flowers will include white garden roses - a favourite of the late princess - as well as peonies and foxgloves. London-based luxury floral designer Philippa Craddock is in charge of blooms on their big day.

Princess Diana’s dress designer said she was “horrified” it got creased as she made her way to the wedding. Picture: AFP/POOL.
Princess Diana’s dress designer said she was “horrified” it got creased as she made her way to the wedding. Picture: AFP/POOL.

Talk show queen attending?

US talk show guru Oprah Winfrey has been spotted in London ahead of the royal wedding sparking speculation she could be attending the service.

The star was spotted attending the Tina the Musical show in London about the life of Tina Turner, by fans who grabbed a selfie with her, including Hollyoaks actor Gerard McCarthy.

"When @oprah is at your stage door, you stop for a selfie.... right?! ;) xx," he wrote on Instagram.

In March, Meghan's mum Doria Ragland was spotted leaving Oprah's home leading to suggestions she may be set for a sit down with the famous interviewers.

Awkward error

INTIMATE details of the couple's wedding ceremony have been released, revealing the pair will marry in an Anglican service with an American flavour.

An official Order of Service disclosed by Kensington Palace reveals the ceremony on Saturday in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle will be a mix of prayers, classical music, a gospel choir and sweet soul sounds.

But the 22-page booklet has a glaring error in it, just hours before the royal couple tie the knot.

Thomas Markle, Meghan's father, is still included as the person who will walk Meghan down the aisle to the high altar.

In fact, Prince Charles will step in and walk Meghan down the aisle. She has also made the bold choice to complete part of the bridal procession alone.

More to come ...


Fabulous food touring in Thailand

Fabulous food touring in Thailand

Experience fine dining, culture, friendly locals and fantastic food.

Professor's inventive life has changed the world

Professor's inventive life has changed the world

His vital invention locks his name into the history books.

Brace yourselves: Cyclone Owen compared to 2013 disaster

Brace yourselves: Cyclone Owen compared to 2013 disaster

Qld is a tale of two states, from cyclone-born rain to droughts

Local Partners