BERKSHIRE, England (CBS News) – It was the most anticipated wedding of the year: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tied the knot today at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. Prince Charles walked Markle down the aisle, at least part of the way.
It was a ceremony that managed to meld centuries of British tradition with a distinctly contemporary American feel.
The kiss and a carriage ride
The newlyweds emerged onto the steps of St. George’s Chapel and had a quick kiss — prompting a wave of applause from the gathered crowd.
The procession was heading for The Long Walk, a 2.6 mile avenue lined, just like the streets of Windsor, with royal well-wishers. An estimated 100,000 people packed into the town to witness the event.
The procession was led by members of the Household Cavalry, made up of two of the most senior regiments in the British army.
CBS News correspondent was at a junction in the road where screaming fans waited to see the carriage procession pass by and turn onto The Long Walk.
“Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god” people shouted around him as the procession came into view. It was a sea of arms outstretched to capture photos and video on cell phones. Children sat on their parents’ shoulders to get a better view.
After rolling up The Long Walk the carriage reentered Windsor Castle grounds via King George IV gate, clear again of the chaos an din of the crowd outside. The couple disappeared inside the castle walls and will not be seen again by the public on until Saturday afternoon (eastern time) when they leave Windsor Castle for an evening reception at Frogmore House, a few miles away.
No cameras are allowed inside any of the wedding receptions, so the festivities will be shared by invitees only.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby presided over the ceremony.
Collectively all of those gathered in St. George’s Chapel vowed to support the new royal couple, before Welby gave a prayer.
Lady Jane Fellowes, the sister of Harry’s late mother Princess Diana, then gave a reading of “The Song of Solomon.”
Presiding Bishop of the American Episcopalian Church Michael Curry then delivered an address, quoting Martin Luther King Jr., on “the power of love.”
“Don’t under estimate it,” he told those gathered in the chapel.
After his reading, Karen Gibson and the Kingdom Choir gave a rendition of the pop classic “Stand by Me.”
Welby then had Prince Harry and Meghan Markle exchange their marriage vows, followed by the exchange of rings.
Meghan’s ring is made of extremely rare Welsh gold, in line with long-standing royal tradition. Harry’s is platinum.
“I therefore proclaim that they are husband and wife,” came Welby’s declaration following the exchange of rings.
The couple then disappeared behind closed doors while their parents and others signed an official wedding register.
When they emerged again, following a cello performance by 19-year-old Briton, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, the entire chapel belted out God Save the Queen, as her majesty looked on with her trademark stoicism.
Royal arrivals, and Meghan’s wedding dress
Meghan Markle’s mother Doria Ragland was the first front-row guest to arrive at St. George’s Chapel for her daughter’s wedding, followed quickly by a car carrying Prince Harry’s father Prince Charles and wife Camilla Parker Bowles.
Queen Elizabeth II then pulled up in a Rolls Royce with husband Prince Philip. The monarch quickly took her place inside the chapel.
Meghan Markle was on her way in a convoy of limousines, driving down The Long Walk, with a number of young pageboys and bridesmaids. Before she pulled up, Prince William’s wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, arrived with others.
Markle stepped out to reveal a dress designed by the acclaimed British designer, Clare Waight Keller, for French fashion house Givenchy.
Prince Harry showed up for his wedding to Meghan Markle, stepping out of a black van in front of St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle — WITH his trademark (of late) beard intact.
His decision to keep the royal whiskers while wearing his military uniform breaks with British military tradition — and loses “CBS This Morning” co-host Norah O’Donnell a $500 bet with Gayle King. The proceeds are to go to charity.
Bride is on her way
A vintage limousine pulled away from the Cliveden House hotel in London carrying Meghan Markle and her mother Doria Ragland to Windsor Castle for the American actress’ wedding to Prince Harry.
Other members of the royal family were seen walking into St. George’s Chapel moments earlier, including Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, Harry’s cousins, and Princess Royal Anne, Queen Elizabeth’s daughter.
An American bishop’s touch
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding will be a ceremony that both abides by and breaks tradition. It will be officiated by Rev. David Conner, the dean of Windsor, and the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, along with American Episcopalian Bishop Michael Curry — whose style is unlikely to have been seen before at a royal wedding.
Curry is the first African-American to serve as presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church. CBS News’ Mark Phillips spoke to Welby and Curry about the big day, and asked Curry what it means to him to be at “mama’s house.”
First stars arrive
Leading the charge of “commoners” arriving to witness the royal wedding on Saturday morning was British actor Idris Abla, followed by U.S. media mogul Oprah Winfrey.
“CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King watched as her friend Oprah walked to the chapel after getting off the first bus carrying wedding guests. She noted that it may have been Oprah’s first bus ride in some time, and revealed that she was wearing a dress designed by Stella McCartney.
Earl Spencer, the late Princess Diana’s brother, also arrived in the first wave of guests.
Later buses brought some of the less-known members of the British royal family — and one of the best-known names from the world of Hollywood royalty; George and Amal Clooney arrived and waved to fans as they approached the chapel.
David and Victoria Beckham were close behind them. David Beckham, one of Britain’s best named soccer stars, and his wife, a former member of the Spice Girls, have long been friends with Prince Harry.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex
Queen Elizabeth II bestowed new royal titles early Saturday on her grandson Prince Harry and his bride-soon-to-be Meghan Markle. The couple will henceforth be known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
“The Queen has today been pleased to confer a Dukedom on Prince Henry of Wales. His titles will be Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel. Prince Harry thus becomes His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex, and Ms. Meghan Markle on marriage will become Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex,” the queen said in an official statement released by the palace.
Markle will become the first ever Duchess of Sussex. The title of Duke of Sussex was vacant, and had been regarded as the most likely choice for Prince Harry.
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