Royal wedding 2018: Royal Family thanks public

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The Royal Family has thanked those who travelled to Windsor for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Thousands of people lined the streets to see the couple on their big day, with many more watching the ceremony on television around the globe.

The wedding celebrations ended with a black-tie dinner and fireworks display at Frogmore House, near Windsor Castle.

Two hundred of Meghan and Harry’s closest friends and family attended the event held by Prince Charles.

More than 13 million people watched the TV coverage on the BBC – it peaked at 13.1 million just after 13:00 BST, with an average of 8.7 million viewers.

The designer of Meghan’s wedding dress, Clare Waight Keller, said it was “an incredible thing to be part of such a historic moment”.

The Birmingham-born designer, now the artistic director of Givenchy, said it was a collaborative process with the royal bride, adding: “I think she loved the fact that I was a British designer, and working in a house such as Givenchy which has its roots in a very classical, beautiful style.”

Ms Waight Keller said Meghan was “exactly what you see on TV”, adding: “She’s just so genuine and warm and radiant. She’s just glowing.

“She’s a strong woman. She knows what she wants, and it was really an absolute joy working with her.”

The designer also spoke to Prince Harry after the ceremony.

“He came straight up to me and he said ‘oh my God, thank you, she looks absolutely stunning’,” she said. “I think everybody saw on television – he was absolutely in awe, I think.”

Before the ceremony, Meghan was “calm and chatty”, without any sign of nerves, her hair stylist has revealed.

Serge Normant, who flew from New York for the big day, said it was “dreamy” to work with her, adding: “She was very happy. It was a beautiful morning, just the perfect morning to get married.”

Speaking to the couple after the wedding, Mr Normant said Meghan was “thrilled” and Prince Harry was “fantastic”.

As a wedding gift Prince Harry gave his bride an emerald-cut aquamarine ring which had belonged to his late mother – Diana, Princess of Wales.

The Royal Family’s twitter account posted a message of thanks to those who followed the wedding from the UK, the Commonwealth and around the world.

The newlyweds – now to be known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – spent the night at Windsor Castle.

The couple are not expected to leave for their honeymoon immediately, choosing instead to remain in the UK before taking a break.

Their first official engagement as a married couple will be at an event to celebrate Prince Charles’s 70th birthday at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday.

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Meghan, who had changed out of her wedding dress into a lily-white, silk crepe Stella McCartney halter-neck gown, broke with royal tradition to give a speech at the evening reception.

Among the close friends who attended the evening celebrations were Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra and tennis ace Serena Williams, who revealed their outfit changes on social media.

Earlier, the prince and his bride exchanged vows and rings before the Queen and 600 guests at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.

Ms Markle wore a white boat-neck dress by British designer Clare Waight Keller and Prince Harry was given special permission from the Queen to keep his short beard while wearing the frockcoat uniform of his former regiment, the Blues and Royals.

Large crowds turned out in bright sunshine to see them driven around Windsor afterwards in a horse-drawn carriage.

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Guests at the wedding included Oprah Winfrey, George and Amal Clooney, David and Victoria Beckham and Sir Elton John, who later performed at the wedding reception.

Prince George and Princess Charlotte were among the 10 young bridesmaids and pageboys.

Prince Charles walked Ms Markle down the aisle, after her father, Thomas, was unable to attend for health reasons.

The wedding service combined British tradition with modernity and the bride’s African-American heritage.

The Most Rev Bishop Michael Curry, presiding bishop and primate of the US Episcopal Church, gave an address, the Rt Rev David Conner, Dean of Windsor, conducted the service and the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, officiated.

Speaking afterwards, Bishop Curry said it was “a joyful thing” to see diversity in the ceremony.

All 600 guests were invited to a lunchtime reception at St George’s Hall, hosted by the Queen, where the best man, the Duke of Cambridge, acted as compere.

Guest Suhani Jalota, founder of the India-based Myna Mahila charity, said Elton John performed a “mini-concert”. She said speeches by the Prince of Wales and the groom were “lovely”, adding: “Some people were even crying.”

Posting on Instagram, David Beckham said: “Watching Harry as happy as he was makes us all proud of the man and person he has always been… what a day.”

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Other celebrities attending were TV personality James Corden, singer James Blunt, actress Carey Mulligan and former England rugby player Jonny Wilkinson.

Prince Harry’s uncle, Earl Spencer; the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson; and the Duchess of Cambridge’s sister, Pippa Middleton, were also invited.

About 1,200 members of the public – many who were recognised for their charity work – were invited into the grounds of Windsor Castle for the wedding.

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