Royal wedding live: Crowds gather to watch Prince Harry, Meghan Markle tie the knot

Amid perfectly blue skies and sunshine, Prince Harry has arrived for his wedding to his Hollywood bride, Meghan Markle, for a royal event that will be unlike any other.

Harry was accompanied by his brother Prince William, both dressed in the uniform of the Blues and Royals, as they made their way by foot up to the doors of St. George’s Chapel.

Highlights so far:

  • Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will receive new titles: Duke and Duchess of Sussex
  • Wedding guests include Oprah, George and Amal Clooney, David and Victoria Beckham
  • The ceremony begins at 7 a.m. ET
  • Scroll down or click here for our royal wedding live blog from Windsor

Minutes earlier, with the sunlight streaming in through the chapel’s stained glass windows, royal family members including Prince Andrew and Princess Anne entered the church’s quire area.

They joined 600 distinguished guests in the chapel’s nave, including actors Idris Elba and George Clooney, singer Elton John, and Victoria and David Beckham, the men dressed in morning suits and uniforms and the ladies in hats and fascinators.

Outside the chapel, on the grounds of Windsor Castle, are 2,640 members of the public who were specially invited by the happy couple to get as close to a front-row view as possible, including charity volunteers, war veterans, and dozens of members of the royal households.

On the other side of the castle walls, in the narrow streets of the town of Windsor, thousands of excited fans have gathered, some draped in Union Jacks, others waving U.S. flags. All are hoping to catch a glimpse of the man who is sixth in line to the British throne and his new Hollywood bride when they tour the town after the service.

Also on scene for the huge event is a heavy police presence. Hundreds of officers armed with semi-automatic weapons and sniffer dogs are patrolling the streets, while police snipers are stationed on nearby roofs, equipped with scopes and binoculars to scan the scene.

When the ceremony begins at noon local time (7 a.m. ET), Markle will be breaking new ground by walking down most of the aisle of St. George’s Chapel on her own.

She will arrive at the church with her mother, Doria Ragland, and then begin the march down the aisle accompanied by six young bridesmaids and four pageboys. Only when she reaches the quire of the 15th century chapel will she be joined by her father-in-law-to-be, Prince Charles, who will offer a supporting elbow.

Among those page boys and bridesmaids will be 7-year-old Brian and John Mulroney and four-year-old Ivy Mulroney, the children of Canadians Jessica and Ben Mulroney. Jessica is a fashion stylist and close friend to Markle, while Ben is co-host of CTV’s “Your Morning” and anchor at “Etalk.”

Markle’s father, Thomas Markle, had been expected to walk his daughter down the aisle, but Kensington Palace announced Friday that he would be unable to attend the nuptials due to illness.

Also in attendance, of course, will be Harry’s 92-year-old grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, as well as Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. The Duke’s attendance had been in question, since the 96-year-old has largely retired from public duties and has been out of the public eye in recent weeks.

The service will be led by the Dean of Windsor bishop David Conner, and officiated by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. Michael Bruce Curry, the American presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, will deliver the address.

Shortly before the wedding began, Buckingham Palace announced that Queen Elizabeth II has conferred Prince Harry with the title of the Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel. Markle will become the Duchess of Sussex.

The palace also revealed that Markle will wear a wedding ring fashioned from a piece of Welsh gold, gifted to her by the Queen. Prince Harry will buck royal tradition and wear a wedding ring as well; his will be a platinum band with a textured finish.

Following the ceremony, family members will gather on the steps of the chapel to see the newlyweds off as they climb into a horse-drawn Ascot Landau carriage for a 15- to 25-minute-long procession through the streets of Windsor.

With files from The Associated Press

 





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