Prince Harry and Meghan Markle gazed into each other's eyes and pledged their eternal love Saturday as they married at St. George's Chapel in front of hundreds of celebrity guests and millions of viewers around the world.
The American actress arrived to a fanfare and walked down the aisle accompanied part of the way by Prince Charles and by 10 young page boys and bridesmaids. The children included 4-year-old Prince George and 3-year-old Princess Charlotte, children of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge.
The royal newlyweds, now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, took a short trip through Windsor in a horse-drawn carriage, to the delight of thousands of well-wishers. The couple and some of their guests then headed to a post-wedding reception, where Sir Elton John performed.
The crowd roared as Harry and Meghan emerged from St. George's Chapel and kissed at the top of the steps.
Markle's sleek white dress, designed by British designer Clare Waight Keller, had a boat neck and was made of silk. Her veil came to her waist in front and billowed out for many feet behind her long train, while her tiara from Queen Mary was lent to her by Harry's grandmother.
Harry and best man Prince William wore dark formal military dress, with white gloves and the frock coat uniforms of the Blues and Royals, and Harry kept his full red beard intact. As Charles and Meghan drew close to the altar, Harry said: "Thank you, Pa."
To Meghan, Harry said: "You look amazing."
Markle seemed poised and confident as she delivered her vows without so much as a quiver in her voice. She smiled broadly as the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby declared them husband and wife. Harry seemed a bit nervous — but happy.
The chapel service reflected Markle's American roots and married the pomp and circumstance of Britain's most sacred institution with elements of black culture. The Most Rev. Michael Bruce Curry, the African-American leader of the Episcopal Church, delivered the sermon, and the musical selections included versions of Ben. E. King's "Stand By Me" and Etta James' "Amen/This Little Light of Mine."
At the end, teen cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason performed works including Franz Schubert's "Ave Maria."
The wedding was a global event, thanks to Harry's status as a senior British royal and Markle's celebrity after starring on the U.S. television series "Suits" for seven years. The wedding pomp and ceremony — complete with Anglican prayers and tradition, classical music, a gospel choir and a horse-drawn carriage ride through Windsor — was beamed live to tens of millions of TV viewers across the world.
A host of celebrities and athletes — including Oprah Winfrey, Idris Elba, Elton John, George and Amal Clooney, Serena Williams, James Corden and David and Victoria Beckham — watched the ceremony in the gothic chapel at Windsor Castle.
Relatives at the ceremony included Charles Spencer and Jane Fellowes, the brother and sister of Harry's late mother Princess Diana. Fellowes gave a reading during the ceremony, honoring the memory of Diana. Harry's cousin Zara Tindall and her husband were also in attendance, as well as the family of Prince William's wife Kate: Parents Carole and Michael Middleton, sister Pippa Middleton and brother James Middleton.
Harry invited buddies from his 10 years of military service — which included tours of duty in Afghanistan — and from many of the charities he supports, which have focused on helping wounded veterans or encouraging a more open discussion of mental health issues.
Harry's ex-girlfriend Chelsy Davy was also among the congregation, as was Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, the ex-wife of Harry's uncle Prince Andrew.
Following the ceremony, the royal family hosted two gala receptions. The afternoon gathering was hosted by the queen — with finger foods, wine and champagne. The second, smaller reception was being thrown by Charles. A three-hour break in between allowed for a rest and a change of outfits for the lucky 200 invited to the evening soiree.
The newlyweds drove to the second, private reception from Windsor Castle to Frogmore House in a silver-blue Jaguar E-Type Zero with the license plate E190519, their wedding date in English format. The car was manufactured in 1968 and was later converted to electric power.
Meghan's evening dress was designed by Stella McCartney — a white bespoke lily high neck gown made of silk crepe. She was wearing shoes from Aquazurra made in silky satin, with nude mesh and baby blue soles.
Outside the castle, thousands of fans had crammed the streets of Windsor. Irene Bowdry, a lawyer from California, was aboard the jammed early train to Windsor. She booked her trip to England as soon as the wedding date was announced.
"An American in the royal family, isn't that so exciting?" she said.
The weather was balmy and clear, bathing the ancient stones of Windsor Castle in a beautiful spring light. Royal fans had been camping outside the castle for days, and British police have stepped up security, with sniffer dogs, barricades and patrols all over town.
"Windsor is absolutely bursting with excitement," said royal historian Hugo Vickers. "There are cardboard cutouts of Meghan and Harry in every shop window, virtually. There's bunting all over the place. I've never seen so many people in the streets of Windsor."
It is a time of transition for the British monarchy, one that seems filled with hope as William and Harry — the two sons of Charles and the late Princess Diana — step ever more confidently into the limelight. Many in the crowd, like Ana Karukin, a Brazilian nurse living in Florida, said they came to witness a moment of history.
"We've got to be here for him and for her, my Meghan, my special girl, to support them, because it's a beautiful time," she said. "I wish that Diana was here, but she's in heaven watching over them."
The brothers had found the time amid the wedding hoopla to stroll outside the castle Friday evening to thank fans for coming. A smiling Harry gave a thumb's up and answered "Great, thank you!" when asked how he was feeling on the eve of his wedding.
And it seems to be a time of joy for 92-year-old queen and her 96-year-old husband, Prince Philip, who attended the ceremony despite his recent hip replacement surgery. She saw her grandson marry a woman who clearly has brought him the happiness he's often said was missing from his life after his mother's premature death.
The family tableau played out on the broadest possible stage. Dozens of broadcasters set up on the castle grounds for a visual feast. The chapel itself is a masterpiece of the late Gothic style, and Windsor Castle has been home to British sovereigns for nearly 1,000 years.