Royals thank public for wedding support

The Royal Family has thanked those who travelled to Windsor for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Thousands of people lined the streets to see the couple on their big day, with many more watching the ceremony on television around the globe.

The wedding celebrations ended with a black-tie dinner and fireworks display at Frogmore House, near Windsor Castle.

Two hundred of Meghan and Harry’s closest friends and family attended the event held by Prince Charles.

More than 13 million people watched the TV coverage on the BBC – it peaked at 13.1 million just after 13:00 BST, with an average of 8.7 million viewers.

Ring

As a wedding gift Prince Harry gave his bride an emerald-cut aquamarine ring which had belonged to his late mother – Diana, Princess of Wales.

The Royal Family’s twitter account posted a message of thanks to those who followed the wedding from the UK, the Commonwealth and around the world.

The newlyweds – now to be known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – spent the night at Windsor Castle.

The couple are not expected to leave for their honeymoon immediately, choosing instead to remain in the UK before taking a break.

Their first official engagement as husband and wife will be at an event to celebrate Prince Charles’s 70th birthday at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday.

Meghan, who had changed out of her wedding dress into a lily-white, silk crepe Stella McCartney halter-neck gown, broke with royal tradition to give a speech at the evening reception.

Among the close friends who attended the evening celebrations were Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra and tennis ace Serena Williams, who revealed their outfit changes on social media.

Earlier, the prince and his bride exchanged vows and rings before the Queen and 600 guests at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.

Ms Markle wore a white boat-neck dress by British designer Clare Waight Keller and Prince Harry was given special permission from the Queen to keep his short beard while wearing the frockcoat uniform of his former regiment, the Blues and Royals.

Large crowds turned out in bright sunshine to see them driven around Windsor afterwards in a horse-drawn carriage.

Guests at the wedding included Oprah Winfrey, George and Amal Clooney, David and Victoria Beckham and Sir Elton John, who later performed at the wedding reception.

Prince George and Princess Charlotte were among the 10 young bridesmaids and pageboys.

Prince Charles walked Ms Markle down the aisle, after her father, Thomas, was unable to attend for health reasons.

‘A joyful thing’

The wedding service combined British tradition with modernity and the bride’s African-American heritage.

The Most Rev Bishop Michael Curry, president of the US Episcopal Church, gave an address, the Rt Rev David Conner, Dean of Windsor, conducted the service and the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, officiated.

In a passionate speech, Bishop Curry – who was invited to speak by Ms Markle – referenced the African-American spiritual song Down by the Riverside, which was sung by slaves, and when he realised he had gone on too long, he told his audience he had better wrap up as “we gotta get you all married!”

Speaking afterwards, Bishop Curry said it was “a joyful thing” to see diversity in the ceremony.

He later joined Mr Welby at a prayer service in St Albans.

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