American stars including Oprah Winfrey and George Clooney as well as their British counterparts such as Victoria Beckham and Elton John graced the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on Saturday.
The couple tied the knot at the 15th-century St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. The world’s oldest inhabited castle, it has been home to 39 English monarchs since 1066.
Hours before the ceremony, Queen Elizabeth bestowed the title of Duke of Sussex on her grandson, a step that means the American actress, star of the TV drama Suits, will become a duchess when she marries Harry.
Harry, 33, is sixth in line to the British throne and Markle, 36, is a divorcee whose mother is African-American and father is white.
The wedding is said to embody a more modern Britain where race or background is no bar to even the most elite and traditional of institutions.
Markle, born and raised in Los Angeles, entered the chapel unescorted with her bridesmaids and page boys, which included Prince William’s children Charlotte and George.
She then walked to the quire about halfway down the church and joined father of the groom Prince Charles to proceed to the altar where Harry awaited.
Her own father Thomas Markle, 73, a lighting director for TV soaps and sitcoms, pulled out this week because he had undergone heart surgery on Wednesday.
The service was conducted by the Dean of Windsor with Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury and spiritual head of the Anglican Church, overseeing the exchange of vows.
Black US bishop Michael Bruce Curry gave the wedding address, while Lady Jane Fellowes, sister of Princess Diana, delivered the reading.
In among traditional hymns, a choir performed American soul singer Ben E King’s 1960s hit Stand by Me.
After the ceremony, the newlyweds went on a carriage procession through Windsor.
A reception was held in the castle’s St George’s Hall, following which 200 guests joined the couple at an evening event at the nearby Frogmore House mansion.
Markle picked a sleek sculpted dress by Givenchy creative head Clare Waight Keller, worn with a five-metre long veil and a diamond tiara lent by Queen Elizabeth.
The long-sleeved dress with a boat neck had been eagerly anticipated by royal fans around the world, with speculation over which designer would be chosen.
Meghan also wore Cartier earrings as well as a bracelet and silk duchess satin shoes.