World News

Did You Sleep Through the Royal Wedding? Here’s What You Missed.

Posted May 19, 2018 2:40 p.m. EDT

Yes, they’re married. Meghan Markle is now Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Sussex, and Prince Harry is Harry, Duke of Sussex.

But luckily, we got up early (the middle of the night in New York!), chugged coffee, ate sausage rolls (British!) and watched the whole thing, all so we could tell you what you missed.

THE GUESTS

Oprah Winfrey was there. Serena Williams was there. Amal Clooney was there, in a yellow dress and hat, with her husband, George. Idris Elba was there. David and Victoria Beckham were there, looking uncharacteristically understated.

Unlike a lot of weddings — and certainly unlike Kate and William’s wedding, just seven years ago — the guests inside were hanging out in the aisles, air-kissing and gossiping.

THE (OTHER) OUTFITS

We’ll get to the newly minted duchess’ dress and accessories in a moment. But first: What was everyone else wearing?

Prince Harry wore a single-breasted frock coat made from blue doeskin with a stand-up collar. Made and cut by hand, the sleeve pattern alone took a week for a single craftsman to complete. He wore Pilots’ Wings from his time in the service, and several medal ribbons. He also wore pants (but because they’re British they called them trousers), held up by a white buckskin waist belt.

William, the Duke of Cambridge wore the same uniform as the groom.

The bridesmaids’ dresses were designed by Clare Waight Keller, who also designed Markle’s dress. They included “pockets and pleated skirts to create a relaxed and luxurious silhouette.” They also wore white leather Aquazurra shoes monogrammed with their initials and the wedding date.

The page boys’ uniforms were made on Savile Row and also crafted out of blue doeskin. They largely imitated those of the princes. Each page boy had his initials embroidered in gold on their shoulder straps. They didn’t wear hats or belts “for practical reasons.”

The bride’s mother, Doria Ragland, wore a custom dress and day coat designed by Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim, the creative directors at Oscar de la Renta. Her shoes were designed by Edgardo Osorio of Aquazurra, and her custom hat was designed by the British milliner Stephen Jones.

THE CEREMONY

It was an extraordinary mix of tradition and modernity, of centuries of history and up-to-the moment flourishes.

The entire royal family was here, along with a complement of English aristocrats and important personages. The music was stately and beautiful. The setting was awe-inspiring.

There was a flotilla of clergyman, an extraordinary mélange including the archbishop of Canterbury and — in a striking inclusion in this most ancient of places — the first African-American leader of the Episcopal Church, the Most Rev. Michael Curry.

Chosen to the give the address to the congregations, Bishop Curry quoted Martin Luther King. His voice rising and falling with emotion, he made a big, generous, impassioned case for love as the most important thing there is, in religion and in life.

His address came after a reading by Lady Jane Fellowes, Harry’s aunt (her sister was Diana, Princess of Wales) that was both full of joy and a signal, it seemed, that the sadness in Harry’s life since his mother’s death has finally lifted.

It was a passage from the Song of Solomon: “Arise my love, my fair one, and come away; for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone.”

THE DRESS

It was haute couture by Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy, a British woman who was the first female designer of the storied French brand. And it was everything people had hoped.

It was not a Cinderella choice, not one that spoke of fantasy or old-fashioned fairy tales, but one that placed the woman proudly front and center. It underscored Markle’s own independence by divesting her of frippery, while also respecting tradition and keeping her covered up.

And the most surprising thing of all was that in this age of rampant leaks and gossip, Markle had managed to keep all of this completely secret. In all the rumors that had swirled around The Dress — from Ralph & Russo to Stella McCartney — Waight Keller’s name had never even once come up.

THE EMOTION

The bride and groom looked calm and contented throughout the ceremony, though there were occasional tears.

If a royal wedding can be said to be approachable, this one was. If you ignored the pomp and finery, their royal highnesses almost looked like any other young couple in love.

They both looked so happy, and so relaxed. They were beaming as they said their vows, and luckily, no one came forward to provide any reason that they might not be married. (This is always an exciting moment in a ceremony.)