The royal wedding: How it unfolded | CNN

The royal wedding: How it unfolded

In this frame from video, Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle kiss after their wedding ceremony at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, near London, England, Saturday, May 19, 2018.  (UK Pool via AP)
See Prince Harry and Meghan's wedding kiss
00:33 - Source: CNN

What you need to know about the royal wedding

  • The ceremony: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle became the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as they married at St. George’s Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle.
  • The receptions: The Queen hosted a lunch reception at the Castle, while Harry’s father, Prince Charles, hosted a smaller evening party.
  • Meghan’s dresses: For the ceremony, she wore a a simple boat-neck gown designed by Givenchy’s Clare Waight Keller. Meghan wore a silk crepe Stella McCartney gown to the evening reception.
  • The guests: Oprah Winfrey, Serena Williams and Amal and George Clooney were just a few of the major celebrities at the wedding. They donned colorful ensembles and bold sculptural headpieces. Queen Elizabeth II wore light green, with splashes of yellow and purple.
  • The Chicago bishop’s address: One of the highlights of the ceremony was an address given by Michael Curry, an American preacher who is also the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. During the speech, Curry quoted Martin Luther King, Jr. and mentioned slavery and the healing power of love.
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How everything changed in Windsor today

It was a royal wedding like no other: A gospel choir sang, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was quoted in a rousing address and a young couple was united in a marriage that will change a venerable institution forever.

The marriage of the sixth-in-line to the throne to Meghan Markle, a biracial American, saw the British monarchy transform into something more representative of its people than it has been before.

On the cobbled streets of Windsor, among the snaking river of people who turned out to celebrate, there was a sense from many that the newest member of the royal family had reinvigorated “The Firm.”

Read more from CNN’s Aimee Lewis here.

Meghan's second dress is designed by Stella McCartney

The Duchess of Sussex changed dresses for the evening reception. She’s wearing a lily white, high-neck gown made of silk crepe and designed by Stella McCartney, according to Kensington Palace.

Meghan’s silky satin shoes are from Aquazurra. The soles are painted in baby blue.

McCartney, the 46-year-old daughter of Paul McCartney, is one of the most renowned and respected female designers in the notoriously male-dominated world of luxury womenswear.

Oprah Winfrey and Amal Clooney both wore Stella McCartney to the wedding ceremony this afternoon.

Harry and Meghan leave Windsor Castle in a Jaguar

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex just left Windsor Castle. They’re on their way to an evening reception for around 200 friends and family hosted by Prince Charles, Harry’s father.

Prince Harry is driving the couple to the reception at Frogmore House in a silver blue Jaguar E-Type Concept Zero.

According to Kensington Palace, the vehicle was originally manufactured in 1968, but has since been converted to electric power.

Serena Williams is ready for the evening reception

Tennis superstar Serena Williams, a close friend of bride Meghan, posted a photo of herself in her evening dress:

She attended the wedding ceremony for the the Duke and Duchess of Sussex earlier today wearing a pink fitted dress.

Harry and Meghan won't leave on their honeymoon just yet

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will not depart for their honeymoon immediately after the wedding. Instead, they will undertake a public engagement in the week after the ceremony, according to Kensington Palace.

So where will they eventually honeymoon? There’s no official word, but there is a long list of locations suggested as possible destinations, including…

  • Botswana: The pair vacationed here early in their relationship.
  • Seychelles: William and Catherine spent their first days as a newly married couple on the archipelago.
  • Namibia: Reports suggest the newly-married pair are planning on staying at several different lodges and safari camps owned by luxury lodge company Natural Selection.

Read the stirring wedding address everyone is talking about

In a stirring royal wedding address, the African-American leader of the Episcopal Church quoted Martin Luther King Jr. and spoke passionately about the power of love.

Delivered with Harry and Meghan – and the rest of the royal family – looking on, the impassioned speech was one of several standout moments from the ceremony, breaking with the usual somber atmosphere and traditional music and language used in previous royal weddings.

If you missed the speech, you can read the full thing here.

That time Prince Harry waved at Anderson Cooper

CNN’s royal correspondent Max Foster was at the royal wedding carriage procession this afternoon. He says he told CNN anchor Anderson Cooper to give Prince Harry a wave as the newlywed coupled passed by.

Check out the photographic result:

A 12-year-old terror attack survivor was invited to the royal wedding

Beaming from ear to ear, Manchester bombing survivor Amelia Thompson sat down with CNN to talk about what it was like to attend the royal wedding (and even grab a moment with David Beckham himself!).

When asked about what it meant to be invited she said:

Watch her below:

Take a look at the hats of the royal wedding

Americans are probably more accustomed to seeing fabulous hats and fascinators at the Kentucky Derby than at a wedding. But that’s how the British roll.

Friends, family members and famous faces turned out in a plethora of colorful and elaborate headpieces for the royal nuptials.

“A hat is not protection for the head, it’s a demonstration of the soul. Every nuance of style, shape, color betrays the ambitions and status of its wearer. It may be a pretty scene, but it’s also cruelly revealing,” Stephen Bayley, a tastemaker and design expert, told CNN.

Take a look at some of the most stunning fashion statements on display today.

Lady Kitty Spencer opted for a refined teal green fascinator with a knotted sculptural feature.
Actresses Abigail Spencer and Priyanka Chopra arrive wearing shades of blue and purple -- popular spring-time colors at this year's royal wedding.
Oprah Winfrey wore a 70s inspired wide-brimmed hat by Philip Treacy.

If you're catching a train out of Windsor, you may be waiting for a while

Royal watchers in Windsor are starting to make their way home but that doesn’t mean that they’ll be leaving the town anytime soon.

By the looks of the line outside one of the nearby train stations, they could be waiting for a while.

Two of those waiting to depart are Adella and Layla who came over especially for the royal nuptials from Tampa, Florida. They made the journey across the pond because they loved Harry’s mother, Diana.

“Diana is why we are here,” Adella said. “I’m glad we came, it had been a fantastic day.”

Adella, pictured left, and Layla, right, traveled to Windsor from Florida for the big day.

Another pair reflecting on the day are Tiful and her mother, Monica. Tiful came all the way from Chicago, while her mom traveled from Cameroon. When asked why they came so far, Tifuh said: “Why not? It has been fantastic. We’ve had a wonderful day.”

Tiful, left and her mother, Monica, right, traveled from the US and Cameroon respectively to be part of Prince Harry and Meghan's day.

Here's how the rest of the royal wedding day will play out

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex wave from the Ascot Landau Carriage during their carriage procession on the Long Walk as they head back towards Windsor Castle in Windsor, on May 19, 2018 after their wedding ceremony.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were married at a noon (7 a.m. ET) ceremony at St. George’s Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

Their first reception started at 2 p.m. (9 a.m. ET). Hosted by Queen Elizabeth, the lunchtime soirée at St. George’s Hall in Windsor Castle featured champagne, canapés and music from Elton John.

Tonight, they’ll head to their second reception. It’s being held off the Windsor Castle grounds, at a country property nearby, Frogmore House. We’ll see Harry and Meghan travel to this party, which starts at 7 p.m. (2 p.m. ET)

The evening reception, hosted my Prince Charles, will be much smaller, with about 200 guests. But don’t expect many details: Nothing is going to be reported from it. In other words, it’s like a black hole in royal history, CNN’s Max Foster explains.

And Harry is a bit of a party animal — so expect it to go late into the night, Foster added.

Meghan will make a speech at tonight's reception

The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, will make a speech at the evening reception, Kensington Palace tells CNN’s Max Foster.

The smaller evening reception is for around 200 friends and family hosted by Prince Charles, Harry’s father, at Frogmore House, a country house south of Windsor Castle.

These fashion experts agree Meghan's dress was a triumph

Meghan Markle’s wedding gown, designed by Givenchy’s Clare Waight Keller, was modern and feminine, with a shoulder-framing bateau neckline, simple A-line silhouette and slim three-quarter sleeves.

CNN’s royal fashion experts agree: the Duchess of Sussex’s dress is a triumph.

Watch their analysis of Meghan’s dress:

The whispered moments that will melt your heart

One thing that’s got people buzzing on social media were those stolen moments throughout the ceremony when Prince Harry appeared to quietly say something to his bride.

Harry thanked his father, Prince Charles, for accompanying Meghan up the final part of the aisle, before he turned to Meghan and appearing to say, “Are you OK? You look amazing.”

A few minutes later, the Duke of Sussex turned to his bride and – while making hearts around the world melt – appeared to say, “You look amazing. I missed you.”

The last moment had an air of the cheeky Prince Harry we all know and love.  

As he lifted Meghan’s veil, he appeared to whisper, “Alright?”

The afternoon reception is sensible. Tonight's party could go late.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have two wedding receptions on the schedule today.

The afternoon lunchtime reception, hosted by Queen Elizabeth, started at 2 p.m. local time (9 a.m. ET). Then there’s a smaller, evening party, hosted by Harry’s father, Prince Charles.

The two parties will be very different, CNN’s Max Foster explains.

“You got a sensible one now, where everyone’s all dressed up and Elton John plays. All very civilized, drinking Champagne, buffet food,” Foster said.

“Later on, though — you know, Harry’s a bit of a party animal. We know that. His mates are party animals,” Foster continued. “It’s going to go on late into the night, if we know Harry.”

But don’t expect details about that wild evening soirée. Nothing is going to be reported from it — in other words, it’s like a black hole in royal history, Foster explains.

Watch more from Foster:

Elton John performed 3 songs at the first reception, guest says

Prince Harry’s friend Dominic Reid just attended the first reception and said Elton John performed three songs for the guests.

“It was a very, very touching reception,” he told CNN. “Very private affair. Really nice speech by the Prince of Wales.”

Reid, the CEO of the Invictus Games, also attended the wedding ceremony.

He said Harry and Meghan are “very happy together.”

“They’re very happy in each other’s company,” he said. “They’re very much in love. It’s great to see.”

Ready for a different type of royal wedding celebration?

With her ascent into the upper echelons of the British royal family, the Duchess of Sussex will help bring people together, according to CNN’s Don Lemon.

And that certainly seems to be the case judging by the parties springing up around England.

In Brixton – a multicultural area in south London that didn’t celebrate the last royal wedding – there are street parties taking place today, royal commentator Kate Williams reports.

And in London, an alternative royal wedding party is underway. The Alternative George Michael Royal Wedding is a celebration of LGBT+ love and the life of gay icon George Michael.

Couple Damien Arness Dalton, pictured left, and Chris Harvey dance in the Saturday afternoon sun.

Damien Arness Dalton, one of the attendee told CNN: “Whilst everyone is in Windsor, we’re here celebrating and fundraising for the Outside Project, which is a queer homeless response service.”

If you’re just waking up, here’s what you missed

We know not everyone will have woken up in the early hours – the ceremony started at 4 a.m. PT, afterall – to watch the royal wedding.

But don’t worry, we got you covered with all of the details.

Here’s what you need to know about the wedding:

  • Meghan Markle’s gown: It was a simple boat-neck, all-white number designed by Givenchy’s Clare Waight Keller.
  • And that veil: The 16.5-foot silk tulle veil was hand-embroidered with flora representing the 53 countries of the Commonwealth.
  • The guests: Oprah, Serena Williams and Amal and George Clooney were just a few of the major celebrities at the wedding. They donned colorful ensembles and bold architectural headpieces. Queen Elizabeth II wore light green, with pops of yellow and purple.
  • The ceremony: The bride walked herself down the aisle and about halfway through, Prince Harry’s father Prince Charles joined her. The first thing Harry said to her was, “You look amazing.” Harry and Meghan held hands through almost the entire service. A majestic version of “Stand By Me” was performed by the Kingdom Choir, a Christian gospel group based in southeast England.
  • The Chicago preacher: One of the highlights of the ceremony was an address given by Michael Curry, an American preacher who is also the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. During the speech, Curry quoted Martin Luther King, Jr. and mentioned slavery and the healing power of love.
  • Sarah Ferguson was there: The Duchess of York is divorced from her husband, Prince Andrew, and has been somewhat of a pariah in the royal family. She wasn’t invited to Prince William and Catherine’s wedding, and her presence was one indication of Prince Harry’s reputation as a peacemaker in the family.
  • Princess Diana’s presence: Her memory was strongly felt throughout the day. Diana’s brother, Earl Charles Spencer, and her youngest sister, Lady Jane Fellowes, gave a reading at the ceremony. A hymn that was played at Diana’s funeral and William and Catherine’s wedding was also performed before the ceremony.

Elton John performs at the Queen's reception

Sir Elton John has performed at the lunchtime reception for guests celebrating the newly-married Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Prince Harry asked Sir Elton to perform at the reception which was hosted by Queen Elizabeth II at St. George’s Hall at Windsor Castle.

Sir Elton has long held ties with to the British royals and was known to be a close friend of Prince Harry’s mother, Princess Diana.

Famous fans send well-wishes to the newlyweds

When it comes to royal weddings, it’s not just the public that gets excited.

A few famous faces are popping up on social media platforms to share their messages of congratulations including Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and Australian actor Russell Crowe.

There's a (very polite) human traffic jam in Windsor

The crowds are showing no sign of dispersing in the streets of Windsor, and the town’s shops and cafes cashing in. There are huge lines for bathrooms and plenty seeking respite from the bright sunshine.

This being Britain, everyone keeps apologizing to one another for bumping into them as they try to pass. It’s perhaps the most polite human traffic jam yet. 

The High Street in Windsor packed with crowds post-ceremony.

There’s entertainment in the town’s streets, too. Here’s video of a singer serenading the crowd:

Royal palace tweets: "Thank you to the amazing crowds in Windsor"

Kensington Palace just tweeted a series of photos of the crowds that gathered in Windsor today for the royal wedding.

There's another big event in Britain today: A football championship

A few short hours after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge tie the knot, British football teams Manchester United and Chelsea will play at London’s Wembley stadium for the FA Cup final.

Manchester United posted a cheeky photo of its former star player David Beckham arriving at the wedding earlier, along with the caption: “We’ll be done by 5:15pm, right?”

Prince William usually attends the final as president of the Football Association – English football’s governing body – but has put his duties as brother and best man first today.

It's Twitter official now

The official Twitter account for Kensington Palace updated its profile description to include The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan’s new official titles.

The profile picture includes both Harry and Meghan, as well as William and Catherine, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The account will share any news about the couple on its feed going forward.