From The Straits Times    |

Royal WeddingPhoto: Press Association

(Updated on May 24 2018) The Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was quite the event on May 19 with an expected millions around the world who would have tuned into the event. According to the Press Association, some 26 million people watched Harry’s brother William marry Kate Middleton on British TV on April 29, 2011.

From Meghan’s Givenchy dress to the moving speech by Bishop Curry, there were many memorable moments that went down at the grounds of Windsor Castle. But here are some details about this royal wedding that are different – and it is what makes it special and will be remembered for a long time to come.


Meghan’s solo walk down the aisle

Meghan Markle walking down the aislePhoto: Press Association

When Meghan announced that her father, Thomas Markle, would not be attending the royal wedding, there were many speculations about who would walk the bride down the aisle.

The Duchess-to-be shocked the whole world when she broke royal protocol and made her way down the aisle on her own, meeting Prince Charles halfway to be her escort. Some publications, such as Time and Vogue magazine, have reported that this is a show of feminism.




Prince Harry’s beard

Prince Harry's beardPhoto: Press Association

Did you know that British Military rules that active members must remain clean shaven?

So Prince Harry had to seek special permission to have a beard to be dressed in his Blues and Royals frock coat uniform on his wedding day. Due to his military history, many had expected Harry to shave the beard off for the wedding so everyone was surprised when he showed up keeping his facial hair intact.

The Queen had granted Harry special permission to keep his beard while wearing his Army uniform. Since Harry is no longer in active duty, military rules did not really apply to him anymore, which is probably why Queen Elizabeth II let her grandson off the hook, reported the Press Association.


Meghan’s symbolic wedding veil that the design team spend hundreds of hours sewing and washing their hands every 30 min

Meghan Markle wedding veilPhoto: Press Association

Meghan’s gorgeous silk tulle veil featured an intricate floral composition of each national flower from all 53 Commonwealth countries. Meghan’s designer, Givenchy’s first female artistic director Clare Waight Keller, was determined to make each and every flower unique.

Kensington Palace reported that the team spent hundreds of hours sewing.

That does not include the amount of hours it took to make Meghan’s custom Givenchy wedding gown. WWD reported that Meghan’s wedding dress took an incredibly long time to make – about 3,900 hours to be precise (which is roughly about 162 full days).

But what was really interesting was that they had to wash their hands every 30 minutes to ensure the veil remained perfect and untainted.

The veil included Singapore’s very own Vanda Miss Joaquim, Malaysia’s Bunga Raya Hibiscus and Pakistan’s Jasmine, among many others.


The forget-me-nots in the bouquet

forget-me-not flowersPhoto: Press Association

To remember the late Princess Diana, the couple selected forget-me-nots, Diana’s favourite flowers, for the bouquet.

Kensington Palace also added that Harry had hand-picked several flowers a day ahead of the wedding to hand over to their florist Philippa Craddock to add to the bouquet.

The beautiful bouquet included a variety of flowers such as scented sweet peas, lily of the valley, astilbe, jasmine and astrantia, and sprigs of myrtle all tied with a naturally dyed, raw silk ribbon.


Placing the bridal bouquet on the grave

Meghan Markle wedding bouquetPhoto: Press Association

A day after the wedding, Meghan laid her bridal bouquet on the Westminster Abbey tomb, known as the Unknown Warrior’s grave.

Strange thing to do, don’t you think? Our sentiments, exactly.

But did you know? This is a long-standing royal tradition that began in 1923 when the late Queen Mother left her bridal bouquet on the tomb in memory of her brother, Fergus, who was killed in 1915 at the Battle of Loos during the First World War. Ever since then, royal brides continue to place their bouquets on the grave a day after the wedding.


Bishop Curry who spoke at the wedding ceremony – a show of diversity

Bishop Michael CurryPhoto: Press Association

Bishop Michael Curry, the first black presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, became the first American invited to speak at a royal wedding.

Bishop Curry delivered a sermon that touched on the power of love, bringing up poverty and injustice and quoting Martin Luther King Jr. While the address was totally unexpected for a royal wedding, Bishop Curry kept some light-hearted moments that made the congregation laugh on multiple occasions.

After the ceremony, he mentioned that it was ‘a joyful thing’ to see diversity in the ceremony, not just because he was the first African-American to deliver the sermon but also due to the appearance of several other African-American guests such as Oprah and Serena Williams.


The public invited to the wedding

special invites to the publicPhoto: Press Association

Harry and Meghan had specially invited 2,640 members of the public, many who were recognised for their charity work, to view the special ceremony and share in the joy and the fun of the day.

People specially invited into the grounds of the castle included: 100 school children; 200 people from charities linked to Harry and Meghan; 530 members of the Royal Households and Crown Estate; 610 Windsor Castle community members; and 1,200 members of the public, who have demonstrated strong leadership qualities, nominated by Lord Lieutenants.



The wedding rings

wedding ringsPhoto: Press Association

Breaking royal protocol (again), Prince Harry decided he would be wearing a wedding ring during the exchange of the rings. Male royals have a history of not wearing wedding rings and similarly, Prince William chose not to wear a wedding ring.

Meghan’s ring, which was made of Welsh gold, comes as a gift from Queen Elizabeth while Harry did not have a matching ring in Welsh gold. Instead, he opted for a platinum wedding band with a textured finish.


The wedding cake

wedding cakePhoto: Kensington Palace / Twitter

While royal wedding cakes are usually fruit cakes and tiered, Harry and Meghan wanted something different this time.

Instead of a traditional tiered cake, the centrepiece was split into three pieces and each placed upon a gold throne.

Claire Ptak designed the layered lemon and elderflower cake, which was decorated with Swiss meringue buttercream and 150 fresh flowers, including the ones in season such peonies and roses.

The cake was made of a whopping 200 Amalfi lemons and 10 bottles of Sandringham Elderflower Cordial, which was made from the elderflower trees at the Queen’s residence in Sandringham, as well as a light sponge cake uniquely formulated for the couple.


Kate Middleton wore a dress she wore before?

Kate Middleton

Photo: Press Association

The Duchess of Cambridge has been seen recycling her outfits before, when she wore an Alexander McQueen dress during Princess Charlotte’s christening in July 2015 and a very similar one during the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations in 2016.

When she arrived at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, Kate was wearing a pale lemon, silk, tailored coat dress by Alexander McQueen with a Philip Treacy headpiece and a pair of Jimmy Stiletto court shoes. The coat dress looks almost identical to the ones she wore previously but we admire the Duchess of Cambridge for masterfully refreshing her outfits each time.


The honeymoon is being put on hold

the Duke and Duchess of SussexPhoto: Kensington Palace / Twitter

The couple will not be leaving for their honeymoon immediately, choosing to remain in the UK for the meantime.

Wanting to “hit the ground running”, they will attend their first official royal engagement as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at the 70th birthday patronage celebration for Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace.

The outdoor event marks the heir to the throne’s milestone birthday – which falls in November – by recognising Charles’ patronages and military affiliations as well as others involved in charities supported by the royal.

The couple are rumoured to be spending their honeymoon in Botswana where they had spent some time together previously. We all know now that Harry had also sourced the large central stone on Meghan’s engagement ring from Botswana.