As the Duke and Duchess of Sussex celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary, their lives have changed dramatically since the day they were married at St George’s Chapel in Windsor in 2018.
The couple now have two children, Prince Archie, four, and Princess Lilibet Diana, 23 months, and live in Montecito, California, and are no longer a working member of the royal family.
Following their decision to leave the UK and step down as senior royals in January 2020, a rift has developed between the Sussexes and the rest of the royal family, which has no doubt been exacerbated in recent months by the £88m Netflix series Harry. & Meghan and Prince Harry’s surprise memoir release, Spear.
In the Netflix documentary, they revealed what their time living in the UK was like after their marriage in May 2018, and shared stories of how uncomfortable they felt in the spotlight as senior members of the royal family.
However, the couple also revealed happier times when they reminisced about their ‘fairy tale’ wedding and Meghan revealed how much it meant to her that King Charles walked her down the aisle and how she called the day a ‘modern fairy tale’. her wedding speech.
As the Duke and Duchess of Sussex celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary, FEMAIL looks back on their ‘modern fairytale’ wedding day as they celebrated with delighted guests and performed their first dance on the Floor of a Thousand Dances (pictured)
The service arrangement itself was a departure from tradition in some ways as the couple chose an American bishop, Rev. Michael Curry, to deliver a rousing sermon that captivated audiences around the world and became one of the highlights of the day.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain after the wedding, Rev Curry was glowing about the newlywed couple saying their love and wedding had brought together a diverse group of people.
“The love between these two people, between the royal couple, was so strong, and not only did we all show it, but it brought all these different worlds together,” he told GMA.
It brought different nationalities, different races, different religious traditions, people of all stripes and types, people of different political persuasions, in fact for a moment we were together, organized around love.
After a falling out with her father, Thomas Markle, who did not attend her wedding at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, the Duchess instead asked her father-in-law, King Charles, to walk her down the aisle.
The Prince and Princess of Wales, Prince George and Princess Charlotte were in the spotlight during the Sussex family’s wedding day.
He also spoke of the hope the couple’s marriage gave people all over the world, adding, “They are going to make this world a better place and empowering women is one of the ways we do that.”
Small details at the wedding also signaled the Duke and Duchess’ commitment to serving as members of the royal family – like Meghan’s stunning wedding veil, which was embroidered with a flower from every Commonwealth country.
In the Netflix documentary Harry and Meghan, the Duchess revealed the difficult situation she found herself in days before the wedding when her father, Thomas Markle, was found to be a paparazzi and the couple lost contact.
When it became clear that Mr. Markle would not be attending the wedding, Meghan asked King Charles, her father-in-law, to walk her down the aisle and ditch her, in a poignant moment we witness.
Speaking in the documentary, Meghan said: ‘Harry’s dad is absolutely charming. And I said to him, like, “I lost my dad in this.”
So it was, as my father-in-law, really important to me. So I asked him to walk me down the aisle and he said yes.
Now beleaguered brothers Prince William and Prince Harry were side by side on Harry’s wedding day with the Prince of Wales as best man
The Duchess also revealed in the documentary how the wedding was planned so that the music would be ‘fun’ and said the couple had their first dance at Land of a Thousand Dances by Wilson Beckett.
I asked Harry: The Song of a Thousand Dances? A dance? I always make mistakes.
The Duchess added: “That was our first dance. It was so much fun. Just spinning like a whirlwind. It was so amazing.”
The series also shared a series of previously unseen footage from the reception where guests appeared to be happy to celebrate the couple.
Pictures showed the couple cutting their cake, and the Duke of Sussex giving a speech while the Duchess looked on as she and her mother Doria Ragland cheered alongside Camilla and Prince William at Windsor Castle.
Another showed the late Queen beaming and one showed the Princess of Wales at the drinks reception, talking to another guest.
Elsewhere, Prince Harry was seen giving Doria a kiss on the cheek after the ceremony, while another photo showed Charles and Meghan greeting each other.
There have also been a number of photos from the drinks reception that followed at Windsor Castle.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s wedding spawned several delightful photos, including one of the groom laughing with guest and DJ Idris Elba.
One showed Sir Elton John playing the piano to the audience, which included Megan’s mother Doria.
Meghan even shared a snippet of her wedding speech in the documentary, which revealed how she thought her wedding was like a “modern fairytale.”
Reading a line from the letter, she referred to “a story I wrote about the man I love and the way we met. Let’s call this a modern fairy tale.”
Another photo showed the couple apparently giving a short speech to guests at the event. They can be seen cutting their wedding cake in another shot.
Today, after several years of deep rift between the Sussexes and other members of the royal family, the couple are understood to have little contact with their spouses, but on their wedding day in 2018, things were very different.
Prince William, Princess Kate, Prince George and Princess Charlotte were all placed front and center at the wedding, with young Charlotte as bridesmaid (although reports later emerged that the Princess of Wales and the Duchess of Sussex had become acquainted because of Charlotte’s dress).
And the brothers themselves looked closer than ever when they walked to St George’s Chapel in Windsor, smiling as they strolled hand in hand. With William as Harry’s best man, he joked early on that “revenge is sweet.”
When asked before the wedding how it felt to be named Harry’s best man, William said: ‘It feels amazing. He is clearly elated and happy. Sweet revenge.’
It was an apparent reference to Harry’s brazen behavior when he played the same role at William’s wedding in 2011.
Under public banter, as they regularly make fun of each other, the couple share a special bond that was strengthened after the death of their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, in a car crash in Paris.
When Harry’s engagement was announced, William said his family “were all very excited and delighted for both of them and wish them all the very best at this very exciting time.”
He joked, “For me personally, I hope it means he stays out of my fridge, and it will keep him from throwing away all my food, he’s done that for the last few years.”