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A Few of Our Favorite Things from the Royal Wedding

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The Dress

Up until the big reveal at the ceremony, the dress had been a complete secret. Keeping with tradition, not even the groom, Prince Harry, had seen the dress beforehand. And luckily, it didn’t disappoint. Designed by Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy, the new Duchess of Sussex looked stunning in her simplistic gown. The New York Times said it best with their headline, “Meghan Markle’s wedding dress was designed for a person, not a princess.” The beautiful long-sleeved gown kept with the intimate and simplistic theme of the wedding. The ceremony felt more “real” than previous royal weddings, and the dress reflected just that.

 

The Tiara

As per tradition, Meghan’s wedding tiara was leant to her by Queen Elizabeth II from her private collection. But since this is quite a large collection, everyone was eager to see which historic piece Meghan would choose. And she chose very well with the Queen Mary Diamond Bandeau. According to Kensington Palace, the English tiara, which features diamonds set in platinum, was made in 1932 and features a center detachable brooch made of ten diamonds dating back to 1893.

 

The Hats

From royals to American celebs, the hats at this wedding were everywhere! Check out how these wedding guests accessorized on the big day.

 

Prince Harry

It is very rare to see a member of the royal family show emotion outside of polite smiles and laughter which is one of the reasons why Prince Harry’s sincere reaction to marrying Meghan Markle today was so touching. On more than one occasion, the prince could be seen wiping tears from his eyes. And the couple even shared some genuine laughs when asked if they had any reason not to wed one another.

 

The Veil

Since Markle chose a simplistic dress design, she really let the emphasis be put on the veil. According to a statement released by the Palace, “Ms. Markle expressed the wish of having all 53 countries of the Commonwealth with her on her journey through the ceremony. Ms. Waight Keller designed a veil representing the distinctive flora of each Commonwealth country united in one spectacular floral composition.

The Commonwealth family of nations – of which Her Majesty The Queen is Head –will be a central part of Prince Harry’s and Ms. Markle’s official work following His Royal Highness’s appointment as Commonwealth Youth Ambassador. Ms. Markle wanted to express her gratitude for the opportunity to support the work of the Commonwealth by incorporating references to its members into the design of her wedding dress. Significant time was spent researching the flora of each Commonwealth country and much care was taken by Ms. Waight Keller to ensure that every flower is unique…In addition to the flora of the Commonwealth, Ms. Markle also selected two personal favorites: Wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox), which grows in the grounds of Kensington Palace in front of Nottingham Cottage, and the California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica) the State flower from Ms. Markle’s place of birth, California.

Symmetrically placed at the very front of the veil, crops of wheat are delicately embroidered and blend into the flora, to symbolize love and charity.”

In addition to the symbolism embroidered into the veil, it is also speculated that the long length of Markle’s veil is a nod of respect to the late Princess Diana who also wore a famously long veil on her wedding day back in 1981.

 

The Music

Music played a very prominent role in the royal wedding. Along with the expected church hymns, the ceremony also featured talented 19-year-old cellist, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, playing “Ave Maria.” However, the most intriguing musical number of the day was the beautiful rendition of “Stand by Me” performed by The Kingdom Choir.

As Time Magazine put it, “A song about enduring love, ‘Stand By Me’ is, of course, a popular wedding tune. But for many, its lyrics also pack a deep political message. When ‘Stand By Me’ first rose to popularity during the civil rights movement, it was used as a rallying cry for solidarity amongst people of color.

According to Anna Whitelock, a royal expert and director of the London Centre for Public History and Heritage, Markle’s marriage to Prince Harry represents a more inclusive royal family. Considering the history behind ‘Stand By Me,’ the predominantly black Kingdom Choir performing the song at Markle’s wedding to Prince Harry seems to be symbolic of this transition.”

This was not the only reference to moments from the civil rights movement as well as Markle’s American heritage within the ceremony. During the wedding, the Most Rev. Michael Curry, the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church gave a powerful sermon, quoting Martin Luther King jr., making him the first American bishop to speak at a royal wedding.

The couple also chose the song, “This Little Light of Mine” by Etta James to play as they left the chapel to greet the gathered crowd.

 

The Happy Couple

Compared to past royal weddings, this was one of the most intimate, sincere and authentic weddings yet. Filled with nuances and nods to the past and the couple’s hopeful future, for such a public event, the couple managed to keep things very genuine and cozy. It didn’t feel like a huge staged event for a prince and future princess, but rather a simple wedding between two people who truly  love each other.  The couple didn’t seem to let the publicness or tradition stop them from having their sweet moments. For example when Markle reached the altar, Harry bit his lip and told her, “You look amazing.” Throughout the ceremony the two laughed, cried and looked longingly at each other earning them the headline, “Find someone who looks at you the way Harry looks at his new bride.”

 

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