Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Prince Harry’s wedding day has arrived as he prepares to marry his American bride Meghan Markle in a glittering ceremony, watched around the world by millions.
The Queen’s grandson, who is sixth in line to the throne, will pledge to love, comfort, honour and protect the former actress as they become husband and wife in the historic surrounds of St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.
The couple will tie the knot in a midday ceremony at St George’s Chapel in the Windsor Castle grounds, before taking part in a carriage procession.
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Harry’s ex-girlfriend Chelsy Davy wears black to wedding
Chelsy Davy, Prince Harry’s on-off girlfriend from 2004 to 2011, is here.
It was previously reported she was “shocked and hurt” after reportedly being ‘snubbed’ from the royal wedding reception after the ceremony.
A friend revealed the alleged snub after sources confirmed the 33-year-old royal had added both Davy and other former flame Cressida Bonas to his exclusive guest list.
None of Meghan’s exes will be going to the wedding, according to reports.
Singer James Blunt and his girlfriend Sofia Wellesley, have arrived hand-in-hand.
Blunt is friends with Prince Harry and supported his Invictus Games.
Sofia also comes from nobility and is the granddaughter of the Duke of Wellington.
Huge congratulations message carved into sand on Cornish beach
Surfers Against Sewage, one of seven charities to benefit from the public’s donations for the royal wedding, has carved a message of congratulations on the sand of a Cornish beach.
The huge 30ft message, drawn in the sand on Little Lusty Glaze beach, says “Congratulations Harry & Meghan”.
The charity, dedicated to tackling plastic pollution in the oceans, has seen a huge surge in phone calls and traffic to its website since being announced as one of the royal wedding beneficiaries, while donations have risen 360% compared to last year.
Chief executive Hugo Tagholm said: “The spotlight from the royal wedding couldn’t come at a better time as we continue to grow our impact to stop ocean plastic pollution in particular. This global issue will take global collaboration to solve.”
Prosecco at 8am: Party starts early as wedding fever mounts
The royal wedding party’s started early for some in Windsor.
Mother of four Rachael Carter-Eagleton popped open the prosecco just after 8am.
“I’m just so happy for Harry,” said the Londoner, a regular at royal events. “I can’t wait to see what Meghan’s wearing.”
Meghan Markle arrives at Cliveden House Hotel with Mum ahead of Royal Wedding
ORDER OF SERVICE: Key Timings
Here are the timings of the main events on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding day:
- 09.00 – Members of the public who have been invited to watch the wedding day from the grounds of Windsor Castle begin to arrive.
- 09.30-11.00 – Wedding guests arrive at the Castle’s famous Round Tower by coach and enter the chapel through the South Door and take their seats.
- 11.20 – Members of the royal family begin to arrive and enter via the Galilee Porch, some on foot and others by car.
- 11.40 – Harry and best man the Duke of Cambridge arrive at the chapel’s west door, received by the Dean of Windsor. They will probably arrive on foot, walking past the thousands of spectators invited into the grounds of the castle. The moment will give Harry the chance to acknowledge the 200 representatives from charities he is associated with gathered in the Horseshoe Cloister at the bottom of the steps.
- 11.42 – Ms Markle’s mother Doria Ragland arrives at the Galilee Porch and is received by the Dean of Windsor.
- 11.45 – The Prince of Wales arrives at the Galilee Porch.
- 11.52 – Following protocol, the Queen will be the last member of the royal family to arrive for the wedding service.
- 11.59 – Ms Markle arrives at the Chapel’s West Steps by car, from her overnight accommodation at the Cliveden House Hotel in Taplow, Berkshire. Ms Markle will walk through the Nave on her own followed by her bridesmaids and pageboys who include Princess Charlotte and Prince George, before being accompanied by Charles down the aisle of the Quire.
- 12.00 – Service begins.
- 13.00 – Service ends and the newlyweds emerge at the West Steps of the Chapel. They will be waved off on their carriage procession through Windsor by members of both families. The congregation will file out of the chapel to see the married couple leave before heading to St George’s Hall for a lunchtime reception hosted by the Queen.
- 13.05 – The carriage procession through the streets of Windsor possibly begins around this time, taking 25 minutes.
- 19.00 – Bride and groom depart Windsor Castle for the evening reception at Frogmore House, hosted by the Prince of Wales.
Party atmosphere is in full swing outside Windsor castle for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on their wedding day.
— Natasha Bowler (@NatashaBowler) May 19, 2018
Royal lovers arrive dressed as penguins – with some very special news
A group of royal lovers have arrived in Windsor dressed as penguins.
Yes, you read that right!
And one of the women, who spoke to Sky News, had some very special news – she learnt this week she’s expecting a baby boy and plans to call him Harry.
And the reason for the penguin attire: “Penguins mate for life. They are really happy. We want Meghan and Harry to be really happy.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex: Couple’s titles confirmed
Prince Harry has been made the Duke of Sussex on his wedding day by his grandmother the Queen, Buckingham Palace has announced. Meghan Markle will become the Duchess of Sussex on marriage, the palace said.
Harry was also given Scottish and Northern Irish titles, becoming the Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel.
Buckingham Palace said: “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.”
— TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) May 19, 2018
First look at the floral display inside the chapel
St George’s Chapel has been adorned with floral displays ahead of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tying the knot.
The first pictures from inside the historic building show foliage, white peonies, white garden roses and other white blooms adorning the front of the organ loft, towering above the seats.
A central arch will serve to frame the royal couple as a congregation of family, friends and well-wishers watch them take their vows.
Two large arrangements also sit either side of the High Altar in the Windsor Castle chapel.
The display, which also features foxgloves with branches of beech, birch and hornbeam, also extends to outside the chapel, lining the West Steps and surrounding the West Door through which Meghan will enter the church.
The display has been carefully crafted by floral designer Philippa Craddock.