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A Wildcat wedding: Meghan Markle, Prince Harry tie the knot in lavish ceremony

Prince+Harry+and+Meghan+Markle+kiss+on+the+steps+of+St+George%27s+Chapel+in+Windsor+Castle+after+their+wedding+Saturday%2C+May+19%2C+2018+in+Windsor%2C+England.+More+than+20+Northwestern+alumni+made+the+trek+to+Windsor+to+catch+a+glimpse+of+Markle%2C+who+graduated+from+NU+in+2003.+
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle kiss on the steps of St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle after their wedding Saturday, May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. More than 20 Northwestern alumni made the trek to Windsor to catch a glimpse of Markle, who graduated from NU in 2003.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle kiss on the steps of St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle after their wedding Saturday, May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. More than 20 Northwestern alumni made the trek to Windsor to catch a glimpse of Markle, who graduated from NU in 2003.

Source: Ben Birchall/PA Wire/Abaca Press/TNS

Source: Ben Birchall/PA Wire/Abaca Press/TNS

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle kiss on the steps of St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle after their wedding Saturday, May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. More than 20 Northwestern alumni made the trek to Windsor to catch a glimpse of Markle, who graduated from NU in 2003.

Madeleine Fernando, Arts and Entertainment Editor

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Beaming at her groom, Meghan Markle said her vows: “I, Meghan, take you, Harry, to be my husband; to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part.”

And just like that, the Northwestern alumna became royalty.

In a wedding most could only dream of, Markle (Communication ’03) married Prince Harry in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on Saturday, becoming the first American to marry into the royal family since 1937.

It was a ceremony to remember for sure — rooted in British traditions like myrtle in the bride’s bouquet and guests wearing fascinators, but also featuring nods to Markle’s African-American heritage like a gospel choir singing a rendition of the 1960s classic “Stand By Me.”

Dressed in a Givenchy wedding gown and a tiara, the former “Suits” actress walked solo down the aisle and was met halfway by Prince Harry’s father, Prince Charles.

At the altar, Harry told Markle, “You look amazing. I’m so lucky.” The couple held hands throughout the sermon delivered by Bishop Michael Curry, the first black presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church in the U.S.

“The late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, and I quote: ‘We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we do that, we will make of this old world a new world, for love is the only way,’” Curry said during the sermon.

Following the lavish ceremony, the couple rode away in a carriage past an estimated crowd of more than 100,000 people who waited along the procession route, according to The Washington Post.

Among them were more than 20 NU alumni who made the trek to Windsor to catch a glimpse of the newlyweds, said Ellen Bencard (Medill ’86, ’87) arts and culture co-chair of Northwestern Alumni Club of the United Kingdom.

Bencard said the group saw Markle twice — once as she and her mother were on their way to the church and again when she and Prince Harry passed by following the wedding.

The group draped NU banners over the parade barriers and sang “Go! U Northwestern” as the couple rode by. Bencard said she saw Meghan notice them and get Harry’s attention when they passed.

Bencard described the atmosphere as “electric,” and said “public relations” was the main motivation for the alum outing.

“We just saw it as a really good opportunity to try to raise the University’s awareness because let’s face it, (Markle) is now going to be one of the most famous women in the UK,” Bencard said. “There is no way in hell I would’ve been anywhere near Windsor had it not been for the Meghan connection.”

Markle will now officially be called Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Sussex. Following the couple’s about 22-month-long romance — beginning with a blind date in early July 2016 — the world watched as a California-born woman found her happily ever after.

Although it’s unlikely Markle will ever hold the title of Queen, the wedding will undoubtedly go down in history. Perhaps the couple’s relationship can best be summed up in Markle’s first interview about Prince Harry in 2017.

“We’re a couple. We’re in love,” she told Vanity Fair. “This is for us. It’s part of what makes it so special, that it’s just ours. But we’re happy. Personally, I love a great love story.”

Email: madeleinefernando2020@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @madeleinemelody

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