A fairytale for a new era

Glamour, culture and tradition combine for big day at Windsor

20 May 2018 - 00:00 By SUNDAY TIMES REPORTER and AGENCIES

Hollywood glamour, African American music and British tradition made for a heady and memorable cocktail yesterday at the wedding of Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle.
TV's Oprah Winfrey, actors Idris Elba, Tom Hardy and George Clooney, tennis star Serena Williams, singer Elton John and celebrity couple David and Victoria Beckham were among the 600 guests who saw the couple marry at St George's Chapel in Windsor.
The wedding also had an African flavour. Ululating filled the air as the couple emerged from the chapel into the spring sunshine, and Harry's close friend Prince Seeiso of Lesotho, with whom he established a charity helping Aids orphans, was seated near the front of the congregation.
Chelsy Davy, the former University of Cape Town student who was Harry's on-off girlfriend from 2004 to 2011, was in the congregation, and other guests from Cape Town included Victoria Aitken, ex-wife of Prince Harry's uncle Earl Spencer, and the couple's three daughters. Harry was a pageboy at Aitken's wedding to Spencer in 1989.The 5m veil of Markle's Givenchy silk dress featured a hand-embroidered silk protea, alongside the national flowers of other Commonwealth nations.
African Americans played prominent roles in the multicultural wedding, with the sermon being delivered by Michael Curry, the presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church.
He began with the words of US civil rights leader Martin Luther King jnr: "We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we do that, we will be able to make of this old world a new world. Love is the only way."
The Kingdom Choir performed a rendition of Ben E King's rhythm and blues classic Stand By Me, and Etta James's civil rights anthem This Little Light Of Mine brought the service to a close as Harry and Meghan - now known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex - exchanged their first marital kiss on the chapel steps.
Standing alongside his elder brother and best man, Prince William, a nervous-looking Harry was clearly emotional when Markle walked towards him on the arm of Harry's father, Prince Charles. Lip-readers said his first words to her were: "You look amazing - I missed you."
The former actress, who invited fellow cast members from the US legal drama Suits to the wedding, made Harry giggle as they exchanged vows before being pronounced man and wife by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.
Markle, 36, did not vow to obey her husband; Harry, three years her junior, will wear a wedding ring - unlike other senior male royals.
On the steps of the chapel, Markle asked Harry "Do we kiss?" and he replied "Yeah."
The couple them climbed into an open 19th-century carriage pulled by four horses and travelled through Windsor waving to the thousands of onlookers lining the streets.
After a reception in St George's Hall at Windsor Castle, 200 guests joined the couple at an evening event at nearby Frogmore House.

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