Windsor, May 19 (PTI) It’s wedding day for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the iconic St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle today, months after the couple announced their engagement to the world. Also Read - Meghan Markle Had Suicidal Thoughts, Says 'I Was Ashamed to Admit it to Harry'
The 36-year-old bride will arrive with her mother, Doria Ragland, and then be walked down the aisle by Harry’s father, Prince Charles, to exchange her wedding vows at the altar at 1200 noon local time. The wedding will be telecast live across the world. Also Read - Woman Bites Off Man's Tongue During Violent Street Fight, Seagull Swoops Down & Eats It!
Harry and Meghan will be Duke and Duchess of Sussex after their wedding today, Kensington Palace said. Also Read - Facebook Bans Picture of an England Cricket Team Huddle For Being 'Overtly Sexual'
After an hour-long ceremony, which will include hymns and readings, the newly-weds are set to take a tour of Windsor city centre in a traditional open-top Ascot landau horse-drawn carriage.
On the eve of their wedding, Prince Harry, 33, came out to mingle with the crowds in Windsor and told then he was feeling “relaxed”.
Markle said she was feeling “wonderful” as she arrived with her mother at Cliveden Hotel near the wedding venue. Her mother is the only member of her family to attend the wedding after Markle announced earlier in the week that “sadly” her father, Thomas Markle, would not be walking her down the aisle due to health reasons.
As many as 100,000 people are expected to line the streets of Windsor, around 41 kms from London, hoping to catch a glimpse of the happy couple. A total of 2,640 people are expected to be among the invited guests within the castle grounds. Four Indian women from Myna Mahila Foundation, the Mumbai charity chosen by the royal couple among six others as beneficiaries of donations in lieu of wedding presents, dressed in their brightly-coloured saris will be among this group.
Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra, a close friedn of Meghan, will also be present at the wedding.
Around 30 members of the royal family including Queen Elizabeth II, 92, and the 96-year-old Duke of Edinburgh, who is well enough to attend after undergoing a recent hip operation, will be part of the formal wedding party.
According to the official order of ceremony between “His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales and Ms Meghan Markle”, the couple will pledge themselves to one another, saying: “For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part.” Harry, the sixth in line to the British throne, will pledge to love, comfort, honour and protect his former actress bride as they become husband and wife.
Markle, a divorcee, has chosen not to read out the archaic part of the wedding vows about wanting to “obey” her husband and Prince Harry has chosen to have a wedding ring.
The ceremony will be officiated by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, with the service broadcast to millions across the world.
“There’s profound affection between them which is wonderful and a deep understanding and mutual support,” he said.
Markle has 10 bridesmaids and pageboys, all under the age of eight, including Harry’s nephew and niece Prince George and Princess Charlotte, the children of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
The Most Rev Bishop Michael Curry, the 27th presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, from Chicago, will give an address at the wedding and the Rt Rev David Conner, Dean of Windsor, will conduct the service.
As a representative of Harry’s late mother’s side of the family, Lady Jane Fellowes, the sister of Diana, Princess of Wales, will give a reading.
As the bride and groom sign the wedding register, 19-year-old cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason winner of the 2016 BBC’s Young Musician will perform three pieces by Faure, Schubert and Maria Theresia von Paradis, with musicians from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the English Chamber Orchestra and the Philharmonia.
Each detail has been chosen by the royal couple to blend traditional elements of British pageantry with a modern outlook and English customs blended with an American influence, as a nod to Markle’s country of birth.
Most of the ceremony will see the Prince and Markle referred to simply as “Harry and Meghan”, instead of the usual full repetition of their full names: Prince Henry Charles Albert David and Rachel Meghan Markle.
The guests will then attend a lunchtime reception at St. George’s Hall in the Castle, hosted by the Queen the groom’s grandmother. During this reception, Markle will reportedly break with tradition for royal brides and make a speech.
Later today the newly-weds will celebrate with 200 close friends and family at a private reception less than a mile from Windsor Castle at Frogmore House, hosted by Prince Charles the groom’s father.
The couple had a whirlwind romance after being set up on a blind date by a mutual friend last year. They announced their engagement on November 27 2017, during which Harry said the “stars were aligned” when the “beautiful” actress, best-known for her role in the TV series ‘Suits’, “tripped and fell” into his life.
The couple will live in Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace as a married couple, where their neighbours will be Prince William and Kate – Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
With the weather forecast said to be ideal for a wedding day offering sunshine and light breeze, hundreds of royal wedding street parties are also planned across the length and breadth of the UK.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.