Prince Harry and US TV star Meghan Markle were married in Windsor Castle on Saturday in a star-studded and emotional ceremony watched live by cheering crowds and beamed into homes around the world.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the spiritual leader of the world’s Anglicans, declared the couple husband and wife after they exchanged vows and rings.
Harry’s 92-year-old grandmother Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip were in attendance as Markle arrived in St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, wearing a long white veil and a glittering tiara.
Guests at the ceremony included singer Elton John, Hollywood star George Clooney, footballer David Beckham, tennis star Serena Williams and US talkshow host Oprah Winfrey.
The 36-year-old bride walked up the aisle on her own before being joined half way by Harry’s father Prince Charles. Her own father pulled out amid a media row that overshadowed the meticulous palace preparations.
Tens of thousands of well-wishers cheered as Harry arrived at the church with his brother and best man Prince William, both wearing dark military uniforms.
Well-wishers camped overnight to secure the best spots to watch the newlyweds, who will take a ride in an open-topped carriage around Windsor after the ceremony.
Many in the crowds offered particular good wishes to the bride after her father had to miss the wedding due to health problems and a scandal over staged paparazzi pictures.
“After the week she’s had, she needs some support,” said Karen Wallace, 53, from Chicago, one of an estimated 100,000 members of the public attending the event.
Markle’s ring has been made with Welsh gold, as is traditional for royal weddings, while Harry’s will be made of platinum.
Queen Elizabeth before the wedding conferred the title Duke of Sussex on her grandson Prince Harry, meaning Markle will be known as the Duchess of Sussex.
Harry’s ex-girlfriends Chelsy Davy and Cressida Bonas were also among the guests, along with singer James Blunt, US talkshow host James Corden and Markle’s former co-stars from US television series “Suits.”
Windsor was decked out with flags and bunting, and there was a carnival area on the Long Walk, the sweeping tree-lined avenue down which the royal couple will drive.
Thousands of fans arrived at dawn, bearing rugs and picnics, Union Jack flags and royalist paraphernalia, and the prosecco was flowing freely well before the first guests arrived.
“We planned to stay in a hotel but we got caught up in all the excitement and we stayed here last night, unprepared,” said Karen Long, from Texas.
She said the fact that Markle was mixed-race was a huge moment, saying: “We all wanted to be a princess, we thought we couldn’t and there she is, breaking all the barriers!”
Before they retired for the night in separate hotels, Harry, 33, met fans outside Windsor Castle where he said he was feeling “great” while Markle said she felt “wonderful.”
The couple met on a blind date in July 2016 and had a whirlwind romance, criss-crossing the Atlantic as she continued filming in Toronto.
Archbishop Welby said they were “very sensible” and “self-possessed.”
“There’s profound affection between them which is wonderful and a deep understanding and mutual support,” he said.
Prime Minister Theresa May, who was not invited to the wedding, offered her “very best wishes” in a message on Twitter.
Prince Harry, the youngest son of the late Princess Diana, is one of the most popular royals, while Markle, a divorcee, is seen as a breath of fresh air for the monarchy.
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