Meghan Markle told wedding guests: ‘I’ve found my prince’ in an emotional speech after her ecstatic new husband said the support of his ‘far better half’ meant he could finally be ‘me’, it was revealed today.
The new Duchess of Sussex also thanked the Queen, Prince Charles and other senior royals for welcoming her so warmly to the royal family ‘firm’.
The bride, resplendent in a white evening gown by Stella McCartney, took to the microphone after a private evening dinner thrown by Prince Charles at Frogmore House.
Meghan’s short speech was yet another part of her modernising mini-revolution of the royal family because royal brides usually leave it to the groom to address guests.
The 36-year-old, who wore an aquamarine ring which belonged to Harry’s mother beloved mother Princess Diana, ended her short address by declaring her deep love for Harry and said: ‘I have found my prince’, according to the Daily Mirror.
Before she spoke Harry said his wife, brother, father and friends ‘are the people that make ‘me’, me, in my Harry life’ before adding: ‘Now I’m going to hand over to my far better half’.
Earlier he is also believed to have told his bride: ‘I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you.’
Meghan Markle told guests: ‘I’ve found my prince’ in an emotional series of wedding speeches where her ecstatic new husband Harry (pictured kissing on the steps of St George’s Chapel) said his wife meant he could finally be ‘me’
Harry and Meghan waved as they drove to Frogmore House in a converted electric car for their glittering reception
Prince Charles, who accompanied Meghan Markle down the aisle at St George’s Chapel to his waiting son, is also said to have left guests in tears as he spoke about how happy he was to see Harry marry
One source described how Meghan also expressed her gratitude at how welcoming the prince had been to both herself and her mother, Doria Ragland.
‘She has been so touched by how welcoming the Prince of Wales has been. So is her mother,’ the source said.
‘You have navigated everything with grace’: Harry references Meghan’s family troubles in wedding speech
It’s been a tough week for Meghan Markle with fighting within her family and her father pulling out of walking her down the aisle just days ago.
But her new husband Prince Harry is said to have praised the 36-year-old former actress, saying she had ‘navigated everything with such grace’, adding: ‘We make such a great team’.
He is also said to have told his bride: ‘I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you.’
Meghan’s father Thomas was in Mexico after pulling out just days ago due to ill health. It followed an extraordinary week that saw in-fighting between her estranged family, her nephews turning up to London uninvited and her only relative at the wedding being her mother Doria Ragland.
But Miss Ragland, who looked moved during the service, was there for her daughter and Prince Charles was asked by Meghan to step in and walk her up the aisle to meet Harry.
Mr Markle told TMZ: ‘My baby looks beautiful and she looks very happy. I wish I were there and I wish them all my love and all happiness.’
‘Honestly, they are touched beyond belief. It was important to her to make a point of thanking him publicly, although, of course, he knows privately how she feels.’
Another source said: ‘It is often said that he always wanted a daughter and I think he has been really moved by how well they have got on. There is definitely a special connection there. Meghan’s mother means more to her than anything, so it was lovely to see the way he was so welcoming to Doria too.’
Prince Charles had also paid tribute to his ‘darling old Harry’ in an emotional speech that is said to have left the 600 guests, including Hollywood stars, in tears.
Speaking at the afternoon reception at St George’s Hall in Windsor Castle shortly after they married he Charles told of how moving it was to watch youngest son get married.
Charles, who walked Meghan to the altar, finishing by saying: ‘My darling old Harry, I’m so happy for you.’
Harry, 33, is also said to have given an ‘off the cuff’ speech about how happy he was.
He is also said to have turned to his guests and asked: ‘Can anyone play the piano’ – before Sir Elton John played a medley of Your Song, Tiny Dancer, Circle Of Life and I’m Still Standing.
Harry also said Meghan had ‘navigated everything with such grace’, adding: ‘We make such a great team’. According to the Sunday Times.
Wedding guest Peter Fearnhead, co-founder of African Parks, told the Sunday Telegraph: ‘When Harry and Meghan came in they stood on the podium and Prince William introduced them.
‘Prince Charles made a really gracious speech, it was amazingly endearing. He’s got a wonderfully dry sense of humour. Prince Harry was charming about Meghan, they are so clearly in love. We all had a tear in our eye.’
Later he whisked his bride away in an open-top Jaguar to head for a star-studded, champagne-fuelled, black-tie reception for the bride and groom at the opulent Frogmore House in Windsor Great Park on Saturday night.
The newlyweds were cheered wildly as they took to the floor with the funky soul classic Land of a Thousand Dances for their first dance at the spectacular royal wedding reception.
Comedian James Corden is reported to have launched a dance routine with Harry, his brother William and his father Charles, apparently refereeing a ‘dance-off’, while George Clooney danced with both Meghan and Kate.
After a very modern take on the traditional royal wedding, the late-night revelry followed suit – and those fortunate enough to bag a place on the ultra-exclusive guest list were treated to a night of risque speeches, wild dancing and plenty of stodge to soak up the alcohol.
Exclusive details from inside the evening celebrations reveal that guests – including George and Amal Clooney, Sir Elton John and David Furnish and more glitzy actresses than an Oscars after-party – spent the evening sipping bespoke cocktails, tucking into ‘dirty burgers’ and candyfloss from outdoor stalls and dancing to a trendy DJ.
It was, insiders say, ‘the party to end all parties’, with a carnival atmosphere in the grounds of the 230-year-old stately home, which once belonged to George III.
Last nightthe royal couple, the newly created Duke and Duchess of Sussex, headed to their reception at Frogmore House
George and Amal Clooney were the among the huge stars to celebrate with Harry and Meghan with George dancing with the bride and Kate
James Corden (pictured hugging Idris Elba) compered the evening and refereed a dance off between William, Harry and Charles while Serena Williams, unsurprisingly, won the beer pong
Revellers watch the fireworks display over Frogmore House where the reception of Harry and Meghan took place
Invitation: This is the first glimpse of the evening invitation given to selected guests to attend the final part of Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding celebrations. The small A6 piece of card featured a hand-painted image of Frogmore House along with details about the event
From ‘naughty’ speeches by Harry’s pals and a historic toast by Meghan, to Sixties soul songs, an extravagant fireworks display and personalised slippers handed out to high-heeled guests, the bride and groom pulled out all the stops to make it a night to remember.
There were even roles for the couple’s A-list guests, with Luther actor Idris Elba reportedly DJing and actor James Corden performing a raucous stint as compere.
But it was very much a party of two halves, with many of the older guests departing around 10.30pm – and the younger revellers staying until the early hours, before going on to an even more exclusive after-after-party in central London.
Sources say festivities ramped up once Prince Charles – who hosted and paid for the evening do – and other senior royals bade farewell, with Harry’s friends dutifully waiting to share embarrassing stories about the prince’s playboy past.
Guests reportedly played ‘beer pong’ – a drinking game popular at US universities in which players have to bounce table-tennis balls into cups of beer, forcing their opponents to down the drinks where the ball lands. A source told The Sun: ‘Serena Williams played beer pong like it was tennis. Everyone had so much fun with it.’
Festivities kicked off around 7.30pm, when the bride – dressed in a lily-white silk crepe Stella McCartney gown and Aquazzura heels with baby-blue soles – and the groom, wearing a black velvet tuxedo, pulled up in a Jaguar E-Type, complete with a number plate bearing the date, E190518.
Sources say Meghan had two dresses in mind for the reception, with her other option a bejewelled number by Dolce & Gabbana, and decided only in the days before the wedding to wear the white halterneck dress. Security was, as expected, extremely tight, with Metropolitan Police officers and armed, uniformed guards patrolling the entrance, 8ft fence and grounds throughout the night.
When George Clooney and his wife Amal arrived they were questioned for several minutes before being allowed in – much to their bemusement, ‘Don’t you know who I am?’ really didn’t hold any sway – and all guests had to show their invitation: A small, folded A6 card bearing a drawing of a bridge in the venue’s gardens.
Others on the strictly vetted, 200-strong guest list – which left off many of the bride and groom’s closest friends, including Harry’s old Army colleagues, ex-girlfriend Chelsy Davy and, reportedly, Pippa Middleton – were chauffeured to the reception in cars provided by Jaguar Land Rover.
Meghan received her own web page on the royal.uk website, under the title ‘Duchess of Sussex’, just hours after the wedding
Dozens of pizzas were delivered to the castle at about 7pm as Harry and Meghan celebrated their wedding yesterday
This sketch of Meghan’s royal wedding dress, designed by Clare Waight Keller, was released by Kensington Palace today
Meghan looked stunning in an evening dress designed by Stella McCartney with a high neck gown
Harry and Meghan travelled in a Jaguar converted to electric power, which had a numberplate with yesterday’s date
Meghan is wearing shoes from Aquazurra made in silky satin, with nude mesh, with soles painted in baby blue
Harry drives his new wife out of Windsor Castle on their way to the evening reception at Frogmore House
Meghan and Harry hold hands as they emerge from Windsor Castle on their way to the reception at Frogmore
Meghan smiles as her new husband drives her past a guard in the open-top car outside Windsor Castle
Meghan could be seen wearing an aquamarine ring which once belonged to Harry’s mother, Princess Diana (right)
A close-up of the emerald-cut aquamarine ring which Meghan Markle wore yesterday and once belonged to Princess Diana
The newly married Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, leaving Windsor Castle after their wedding
Harry helps his new wife Meghan out of the converted Jaguar as they head to Frogmore House for the reception
A police officer salutes while a guard stands by as Harry and Meghan leave Windsor Castle in the silver-blue vehicle
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex on their way to the reception at Frogmore House, hosted by Prince Charles
Harry drives his bride Meghan in a Jaguar with the date of their royal wedding on the numberplate
Coaches ferried Meghan’s Hollywood pals from the cast of Suits, who had been staying at the five-star Coworth Park hotel in nearby Ascot, en masse to the venue.
Despite a reported ban on mobile phones inside Frogmore, many still managed to sneak pictures and videos online.
Meghan’s friend, tennis ace Serena Williams, shared not one but three photographs of herself posing in the grounds in a flamboyant black and floral Valentino gown, while stylist Jessica Mulroney – whose twin sons had carried Meghan’s train earlier in the day – was pictured wearing a £6,000 low-cut gold beaded dress by Indian designer Naeem Khan.
US actress Troian Bellisario, 32, shared giddy videos of herself and fellow actresses Abigail Spencer and Sarah Rafferty getting off the coach and swapping their designer stilettos for comfortable slippers provided by the bride.
‘How amazing is this?’ she can be heard saying in one of the videos. ‘These shoes have come off. They have slippers for us. Slippers!’
Meghan is also believed to have given her closest friends – none of whom was chosen to be a bridesmaid – bespoke bracelets worth £450 as a mark of their friendship and support on her big day.
Once inside the grounds, guests were guided to a giant marquee at the back of the house, bedecked with stunning floral displays by royal florist Philippa Craddock.
Liveried waiters circulated, offering guests drinks – English sparkling wine and ice-cold beer – and trays of light canapes, themed in the style of ‘spring meets summer’. These, and the three-course sit-down dinner, all comprised seasonal organic produce, much of it sourced from Prince Charles’s Duchy Estate.
While the canapes and bowl food earlier in the day had been provided by Buckingham Palace, Harry and Meghan used leading society caterers Table Talk for the evening do.
The newlyweds leave Windsor Castle after the royal wedding on their way to the reception at Frogmore House
Princess Eugenie (left), the Duke of York and Princess Beatrice arrive at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle yesterday
A car carrying Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex arrives at Frogmore House for the reception yesterday
George Clooney, who attended the royal wedding earlier, arrives for the evening party at Frogmore House
Security outside Frogmore House where around 200 guests were expected to attend Harry and Meghan’s wedding reception
Meghan and Harry’s kiss sparked huge cheers from people outside the chapel and the 100,000 watching on the streets of Windsor
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex shared their first kiss as a married couple outside St George’s Chapel
A sea of smiling faces greets Harry and Meghan as they leave the church after the American-influenced service conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury
Meghan and Harry process out of the chapel after exchanging vows in a quite extraordinary wedding
Harry looked delighted as he walked his new wife out of St George’s Chapel to start their new life together
The couple, who are now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, organised a wedding that reflected both their backgrounds
Meghan and Harry wave to royal fans during their open-top procession through Windsor after the wedding ceremony
The newlyweds stare deeply into each other’s eyes after the biggest and happiest day of their lives
This extraordinary image shows Meghan clutching her husband’s gloved hand while resting her holding her other hand and bouquet, which was picked by Harry, in the lap of her Givenchy dress
Laughter: One of the well-wishers in the crowds makes Meghan laugh and Prince Harry smile as they continue with their 25-minute tour of the royal market town
Insiders say that the meal was punctuated by informal toasts and speeches – most memorably a brief toast by the bride herself, who, in a historic break with tradition, stood up to thank Harry and his family for their kindness and hospitality.
In return, Harry gave a gushing, off-the-cuff speech praising Meghan for ‘navigating everything with such grace’ after a turbulent week. ‘We make such a great team,’ he said. ‘I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you.’
Guests reportedly burst into cheers when he referred to her as his wife for the first time.
Prince William is believed to have performed something of a double act with Charlie van Straubenzee, who attended prep school with Harry at Ludgrove in Berkshire.
As well as a poignant reminder of how proud their mother would have been of her youngest son on his wedding day, the speech included several family in-jokes.
A fourth speech was reportedly given by Charlie’s older brother, Thomas, along with Tom ‘Skippy’ Inskip, who was under strict instructions from the Palace to downplay Prince Harry’s exploits during a 2012 boys-only trip to Las Vegas – long before Meghan was in the picture.
Actor and talk show host James Corden, who attended the reception with his wife Julia, acted as compere, introducing speakers and keeping guests in stitches by gently ribbing Harry for ‘punching above his weight’. Dotted throughout the gardens to entertain the guests were outdoor games, including a giant chessboard, fairground performers and stalls offering late-night snacks – from burger and ice cream vans to candy floss kiosks and bars stocked with several types of expensive whisky.
Bespoke cocktails were flowing from a ’round the world’ bar, whose top offering was the ‘When Harry Met Meghan’, combining rum and ginger beer – a cheeky nod to the colour of the groom’s hair.
Musical entertainment came from DJ Sam Totolee, a celebrity favourite who has previously played at the weddings of both Pippa Middleton and Rod Stewart, and Uma Thurman’s engagement party.
Harry is said to have danced ‘furiously’ to the DJ’s set – which included the controversial drug-themed hit I Took A Pill In Ibiza – at Pippa’s wedding last May, and had put him under strict instructions to ‘avoid cheese’ and stick to trendy house music and R&B.
Harry looked very emotional at points in the service and several others in the congregation were in tears on their happy day
Harry and Meghan exchanged vows and then rings as the couple married after a whirlwind romance
Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland, who the star calls her rock, was in tears ahead of her daughter’s big entrance
Meghan walked halfway through the church before being met Prince Charles at the Quire who took her to Harry
Meghan walks down the aisle in St George’s Chapel at the start of the royal wedding ceremony in Windsor
Meghan, wearing her bridal veil, smiles at her groom Prince Harry as she arrives at the wedding ceremony in Windsor
Meghan smiles broadly during her wedding to Prince Harry at St George’s Chapel in Windsor
The Archbishop of Canterbury smiles as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stand at the altar at St George’s Chapel
Harry and Meghan hold hands as they walk out of St George’s Chapel after the wedding ceremony
Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland (far left) stands next to Prince Charles, Camilla, George, William, Charlotte and Kate on the steps of St George’s Chapel after the wedding
The train of Meghan’s dress trails down the aisle as she and Prince Harry stand in front of Archbishop Justin Welby
At one point later in the evening, British actor Idris Elba – who has DJ’d in some of the world’s top clubs – apparently took over for a brief turn on the decks. But that didn’t stop Meghan from making her own musical requests, and she is believed to have been behind the list of Sixties soul songs that were played by covers band Atlantic Soul Orchestra, which calls itself ‘the country’s hardest-hitting and most authentic soul band’. Its musicians have toured and recorded with groups including Take That, Girls Aloud and Sir Elton John.
Their set list included My Girl by the Temptations; Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours by Stevie Wonder; Marvin Gaye’s How Sweet It Is and Ain’t No Mountain High Enough; Soul Man by Sam and Dave; and Knock On Wood by Eddie Floyd.
The reception went on into the early hours, with music and cheering heard as far away as Windsor’s Long Walk. Even as the clock struck midnight, guests could be heard singing along enthusiastically to Respect by Aretha Franklin, and Dancing In The Street by Martha and the Vandellas.
The newlyweds’ first dance is believed to have followed a similar theme, with Harry and Meghan eschewing a slow song for the 1966 hit Land Of A Thousand Dances by American soul singer Wilson Pickett (not, as has been reported elsewhere, Whitney Houston’s I Wanna Dance With Somebody).
The final coaches departed Frogmore House around 3.30am, with insiders reporting that George Clooney was among the last to stagger off the dancefloor, having earlier shown off his moves alongside actor Tom Hardy. Bleary-eyed revellers were offered bacon or sausage sandwiches for the journey home.
A select few were then invited to the late-night party which reportedly took place at celebrity haunt Chiltern Firehouse in Marylebone, followed by a private party in a sound-proofed home in Chelsea. It is not known if the bride or groom accompanied them.
Yesterday morning, though the newlyweds – who spent the night at Windsor Castle – were nowhere to be seen, several of the guests appeared rather the worse for wear.
A weary looking James Corden was seen checking out of Coworth Park with his wife at 8am, while Jessica Mulroney did not emerge from her £600-a-night room before lunchtime. A fresh-faced Serena Williams was one of the few to make it down to breakfast.
Rugby player Will Greenwood left with his wife Caroline around 9.40am, followed by Meghan’s Suits co-star Patrick Adams and his children, who left for a flight to LA.
Earl Spencer, Harry’s uncle, was spotted at Cliveden House – where the bride stayed the night before the wedding – enjoying Bloody Marys with his family yesterday afternoon.