Oh, happy day…
What a day! I can’t be the only one who’s watched it three times already…?!
By now you’ve probably seen and heard it all, but just in case you haven’t, or want to re-live the day with us, we thought we’d gather all the details you need to know about the royal wedding in one handy space! We’ve put together some of our favourite moments, along with some of the things that you may have missed, to remember the gloriously gorgeous wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
So, first things first, the moment we were all waiting for – the dress! Perfectly in keeping with Meghan’s style, she worked with Givenchy’s Artistic Director, Clare Waight Keller to create a simple, chic and elegant gown. With just a hint of shoulder, the boat neck was reminiscent of the navy outfit she chose for her arrival to Cliveden House, the night before the wedding. Sneakily giving us a hint at her chosen neckline!
Meghan and Clare worked together on every detail to make sure it was perfect. There was no way the Duchess was going to go for anything fancy or embellished, we knew she’d opt for sleek and classy, but she did choose some intricate design for her veil, which displayed the flowers of all 53 nations of the Commonwealth, embroidered into the edge.
Clare Waight Keller has gifted the original hand-drawn sketches of the dress to Meghan, and we think they would look great on a modern gallery wall of wedding memories.
We love the fact that Meghan chose Givenchy’s first ever female director to design her dress. It was a taste of things to come, as the whole wedding day showed us, the newest Duchess was very much involved and keen to convey her own thoughts and personality, just as we hoped she would.
With her stylish, relaxed up-do a fusion of sophistication and romance, Queen Mary’s diamond bandeau tiara was the perfect accessory, matching the diamond bracelet Meghan wore. She kept her make up neutral and natural, with perfectly manicured nude nails for the all-important wedding ring close-ups!
Hidden underneath Meghan’s dress was her ‘something blue’ – a pair of blue-soled Aquazzura shoes – such a fun and secret way of keeping tradition!
From the moment Meghan started to glide up the aisle to the nightingale strains of Eternal Source of Light Divine by Welsh soprano Elin Manahan-Thomas, we got all the wedding tingles! One of my favourite moments was even before this when one of Meghan’s pageboys, little John Mulroney couldn’t contain his excitement as the fanfare started and his mouth dropped open. The excitement in his eyes as he looked at his twin brother said it all – this was a very special moment, and he was sharing it!
The ceremony was minimal and traditional, with intimate vows and a passionate address on power and love from American Bishop Michael Curry, who smoothly and eloquently preached that, “Love is the only way,” quoting the Bible as well as Martin Luther King, and referencing slavery, political and social occasions when love can win. It sent a message of hope to the world that there can be a day where nations lay down their “swords and their shields,” and “study war no more.” It was the first of many little indications of Meghan’s input; making evident her desire to bring her history, her culture and her personality to this marriage, and let the world know a bit more about the new Duchess.
And what about Harry? Well, with his brother and best man blinking back the tears as Meghan and the Prince of Wales reached the end of the aisle, Harry’s, “Thank you, Pa”, got us all a little teary, and then he couldn’t help but tell her, “You look amazing,” before the couple proceeded to share whispered thoughts throughout the ceremony in a relaxed, natural and happy way. It was clear that this pair, whilst keen to adhere to protocol, were just as determined to have their day the way they wanted and be themselves. There was no mistaking the happiness that radiated from them as they enjoyed the ceremony that they had so carefully planned together.
One element that was so clearly ‘them’ was the amazing gospel choir. Singing ‘Stand by Me’, the choir had taken direction from the couple as to the specific arrangement they wanted of this song adapted from a Psalm. The sun-dappled performance was beautiful, heartwarming and another happy acknowledgement of Meghan’s celebration of her African American roots, affirmed even more by the choir bursting into song as they left the church, offering a rendition of the gospel classic, Amen/This Little Light of Mine.
The fusion of traditional royal wedding with black culture was, quite simply, a beautiful metaphor for what we’ll see in the lives of the new Duke and Duchess and how they choose to represent themselves. From the black female pastor who led the prayers to the young cellist, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, whom Meghan personally called to ask if he’d be part of their day, it was clear that Meghan and Harry wanted to celebrate and include black culture; but it didn’t feel forced, it felt natural, celebratory and like a new dawn for the somewhat traditional royal family.
This was one royal wedding where British royalty was somewhat overshadowed by red carpet royalty.
There was a moment that it was clear we were witnessing a little LA glamour arriving! As co-star and friend Abigail Spencer, together with Priyanka Chopra strutted down to the chapel, there was a definite Hollywood vibe in the air! We were spoilt with the A-list, from the cast of Suits to Elton John, the Beckhams and Idris Elba (who, incidentally, DJ’d at the evening reception!), there were familiar faces all over the place, rubbing shoulders with royalty. But then, who’d say no to a royal wedding?! And from the Royals’ perspective, if you’ve got the chance to have George Clooney and Oprah Winfrey (with a quick, last-minute outfit colour change, so as not to upstage the bride!) at your wedding, you’d definitely see if they were free! And of course, best friends were not forgotten, with Serena Williams and Jessica Mulroney taking their seats in the Quire of the church, right next to the couple. Jessica wore blue, and, even though Meghan didn’t have a maid of honour, was it a coincidence that Jessica was sitting right at the front, wearing Meghan’s favourite colour…?
Outfits ranged from Amal Clooney’s stunning mustard Stella McCartney ensemble to Serena William’s gorgeous Versace number, and green seemed a common shade. Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland wore Oscar de la Renta in a beautiful shade of pale green, whilst Pippa Matthews chose a similar colour and the Queen herself went all out with a vivid hue. Duchess of Cambridge, Kate, went for a pale yellow coat dress that she’s worn twice before by favourite designer Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, surely with the intent of not upstaging the bride even a tiny bit!
Now there was one special guest we fell in love with, who, in a quiet and considered manner, enjoyed the wedding of her daughter with beautiful tears of joy and pride. Doria Ragland may have been the only member of Meghan’s family to attend the wedding, but she carried herself with grace, poise and elegance, taking Prince Charles’ hand at the signing of the register to join the Royals as an equal parent. We can only imagine how surreal the day must have felt for her when it finally arrived. Seeing your daughter become a member of the royal family is not an everyday occurrence, so how must have Doria been feeling throughout the day?! We loved watching her enjoy the ceremony; from the procession to the preacher, to the vows – she was a joyful part of the beautiful ceremony.
We already knew expert florist Philippa Craddock was taking on the challenge of providing floral displays for the wedding, and, wow, did she deliver?! Stunning lush greenery, fresh floral crowns for the flower girls and the small, neat and pretty bridal bouquet – the florals were absolutely gorgeous.
Meghan’s bouquet was full of symbolism. It contained forget me not, Princess Diana’s favourite flower, along with lily of the valley and the traditional myrtle, carried in every royal bride’s bouquet from a plant grown from the myrtle used in the Queen’s wedding bouquet in 1947. Harry handpicked some of the flowers that Meghan carried, choosing sweet peas, astilbe, jasmine and astrantia from their private garden at Kensington Palace. All the flowers were in season, a lovely touch, which meant we didn’t see the more traditional wedding flowers.
In a sweet twist, some of the wedding flowers were delivered to St Joseph’s Hospice Hackney, the day after the wedding, for the residents to enjoy. Among them was Pauline Clayton, who, at the age of 19, helped to embroider the Queen’s wedding dress, back in 1947.
Taking six bakers five days to make, the lemon and elderflower creation definitely lived up to the hype. Speaking of her cake as more of an ‘installation’ than a typical wedding cake, Claire Ptak’s finished display was nothing like any royal cake we’ve seen before. Perched in golden urns and on golden trays, the cake creation was joyfully modern, surrounded by roses and Meghan’s favourite blooms, peonies.
Claire Ptak, of Violet Cakes, spent time with the royal couple deciding on the perfect flavours. The final cakes were a light sponge, filled with lemon curd made with 200 Amalfi lemons and elderflower buttercream, flavoured with elderflower syrup from the Sandringham estate. With a light Swiss meringue buttercream coating, the cakes boasted 150 fresh flowers.
And what of the rest of the day…? Away from the cameras and reporters, the formal dinner served up Scottish langoustines, Windsor lamb and English asparagus in a stand-up reception of bowl-food where Prince William acted as compere, Prince Charles gave a speech and Elton John gave a mini concert. The less formal celebration took place at a private reception for 200 of the couple’s close friends and family, who, after a quick costume change, enjoyed fireworks, posh burgers, candy floss, cocktails (including one called ‘When Harry met Meghan!), music and even a speech from the Duchess herself.
As a wedding gift, Harry gave Meghan an aquamarine cocktail ring that had belonged to his mother – her ‘something blue’ to celebrate their day.
There was evidently so much care, passion and attention to detail that the couple had personally poured into their day, keeping the whims and fanfare of royal protocol to a minimum, and keeping their ideas, loves and character right at the heart of it.
I adored the day – everything about it was happy – I just couldn’t stop smiling, and may even have shed a couple of tears! It was simply such a beautiful day. So many congratulations to Harry and Meghan here’s hoping your marriage is as fiercely individual and as stunningly joyful as your wedding day.