Stars including Oprah Winfrey and George Clooney arrived at Britain’s ancient Windsor Castle on Saturday for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who supporters hope will help recast the 1 000-year-old monarchy for the 21st century.
Hours before the ceremony, Queen Elizabeth bestowed the title of Duke of Sussex on her grandson, a step that means the American actress, star of the TV drama “Suits”, will become a duchess when she marries Harry.
Under clear skies and glorious sunshine, a military band in scarlet uniforms and bearskin hats entertained thousands of excited fans gathered behind barriers. Police armed with semi-automatic rifles patrolling streets and watching from rooftops.
Celebrities such as US media mogul Winfrey, actor Clooney, his lawyer wife Amal, soccer star David Beckham and his fashion designer wife Victoria mingled inside the walls of the world’s oldest inhabited castle.
Other guests included the siblings of Harry’s late mother Princess Diana, singer Elton John, who sang at Diana’s funeral,British actor Idris Elba, and two of Harry’s ex-girlfriends.
“This is a moment when we can all celebrate the rebirth ofthe royal family,” said Kenny McKinlay, 60, who had come down from Scotland for the wedding. “It’s a time when all the nation can come together rather than being divided. It’s a day when you can be proud to be British.”
The couple, who met on a blind date in 2016 and fell in lovein a tent under the stars in Botswana, will tie the knot at the15th-century St George’s Chapel, in a castle that has been hometo 39 English monarchs since 1066.
More than 100 000 fans are expected to cram the narrow roads of Windsor, about 20 miles (30 km) west of London. Visitors had to pass through police search points set up around the castle.
Hundreds of TV crews from around the world have descended on Windsor for the union of Harry, 33, sixth-in-line to the British throne, and Markle, 36, a divorcee whose mother is African-American and father is white.
— ABC News (@ABC) May 19, 2018