Prince Harry And Meghan Markle Tie The Knot In A Breathtaking And Emotional Royal Ceremony

royal wedding
BBC

Cue the rice throwing and champagne popping: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are officially married!

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The British royal, 33, and former American actress, 36, tied the knot in an elegant, emotional ceremony within Windsor Castle's St. George's Chapel at noon Saturday.

Meghan stunned in a modern, modest gown designed by Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy, which was accessorized with Cartier jewelry and the Queen Mary bandeau tiara. Loaned to Meghan by the Queen herself, the tiara held in place a veil nearly 17 feet long that had been embroidered with the flowers of all 53 countries in the Commonwealth.

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"You look amazing. I'm so lucky," Prince Harry told his bride upon first glimpse of her at the beginning of the service. 

😭😭😭

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The ceremony was attended by an estimated 600 guests — among them A-listers Oprah Winfrey, Sir Elton John, David and Victoria Beckham, Serena Williams and Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian, and George and Amal Clooney — and involved 10 bridesmaids and page boys, including Prince Harry's niece and nephew Princess Charlotte and Prince George, respectively.

Notably, Meghan processed unaccompanied down a portion of St George's aisle — an unprecedented, feminist move for a British royal bride. CNN reports that Meghan came up with the idea for the solo procession herself, though her initial plan involved being walked down part of the aisle by her father Thomas, who did not attend the ceremony due to health issues. (Prince Charles, Harry's father, took Thomas' place.)

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Meghan also eschewed royal tradition in her vows by not promising to "obey" her husband, as the BBC points out. 

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Following the ceremony, Meghan and Harry walked back down the aisle side by side to an emotional rendition of "Amen/This Little Light of Mine." 

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Once outside, they shared a kiss — much to the delight of a crowd of 100,000 that had gathered in the surrounding streets — then rode through Windsor in a horse-drawn carriage.

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The newly wedded Duke and Dutchess of Sussex are supposedly delaying their honeymoon for at least three days so that they're able to attend the Queen's May 22 garden party at Buckingham Palace to celebrate Prince Charles' 70th birthday. According to reports, the couple is planning to eventually jet off to Namibia, Africa, for a romantic vacation at the luxurious Hoanib Valley Camp in Kaokoland.

It wouldn't be Harry and Meghan's first trip to Africa: They previously visited Botswana just after they began dating, as Cosmopolitan pointed out. The trip appears to have a profound impact on the couple, as Harry wound up selecting a Botswanan diamond for the centerpiece of Meghan's $350,000 custom engagement ring.

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Mazel tov, newlyweds! 

If you didn't catch the ceremony live, you can watch the entire affair below:

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