WINDSOR (England) • Prince Harry and his bride Meghan Markle married in a dazzling ceremony that blended ancient English ritual with African American culture, watched up close by royals and celebrities and from afar by a global TV audience of millions.
Wearing a veil, diamond tiara and a sleek dress with a long train, Ms Markle was accompanied up the aisle at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle by Prince Harry's father, Prince Charles, before she and Harry exchanged vows and were proclaimed husband and wife.
The Prince, looking nervous, appeared to say "Thanks, Pa" to his father and "You look amazing" to his bride. Ms Markle's mother, Ms Doria Ragland, 61, shed tears. A gospel choir sang American soul singer Ben E. King's 1960s hit Stand By Me.
Ms Markle's veil featured flowers representing each of the 53 Commonwealth countries, the palace said in a statement. They included Singapore's Vanda Miss Joaquim orchid and Malaysia's Bunga Raya hibiscus. Her dress was created by British designer Clare Waight Keller of French fashion house Givenchy.
The union of Prince Harry, a former wild child and sixth-in-line to the British throne, and Ms Markle, an actress and divorcee whose mother is African American and father is white, brought a measure of modern glamour and diversity into the 1,000-year-old monarchy.
The couple kissed on the steps of the chapel as they emerged into the sunlight after the ceremony, delighting vast crowds who had descended on Windsor, 20km west of London.
Newly styled the Duke and Duchess of Sussex after Queen Elizabeth bestowed those titles on them, the couple then sat in an open-top horse-drawn coach for a tour of Windsor, cheered by a sea of well-wishers along every inch of the route.
The local authority said just over 100,000 people were in Windsor for the occasion.
While typical of British royal weddings in some ways, the ceremony also broke with tradition, in particular when United States Episcopalian Bishop Michael Bruce Curry delivered a passionate sermon that was a far cry from the sober tones of the Church of England.
"There is power in love, do not underestimate it," Bishop Curry told a congregation that included Queen Elizabeth, senior royals and celebrities such as Hollywood stars Oprah Winfrey and George Clooney and his wife Amal, singer Elton John, former soccer star David Beckham, and tennis ace Serena Williams.
The siblings of Prince Harry's late mother Princess Diana, as well as two of his former girlfriends, were also in attendance.
Alongside tradition, there was innovation, by British royal standards. Ms Markle, 36, did not vow to obey her husband; Prince Harry, three years her junior, will wear a wedding ring - unlike other senior male royals.
The world's media has been gripped by the occasion, and television channels beamed the ceremony across the world.
To some Britons, it was an irrelevance or a mild distraction from the schism of Brexit, which has deeply divided the United Kingdom; polls suggested that most Britons would not bother tuning in.
But to others, it was an occasion for nationwide pride.
"This is a moment when we can all celebrate the rebirth of the royal family," said Ms Kenny McKinlay, 60, who had come from Scotland for the wedding. "It is a time when all the nation can come together rather than being divided. It is a day when you can be proud to be British."
Ms Markle's father, Thomas, who pulled out of the ceremony days before, told celebrity website TMZ it had been "emotional and joyful" watching his daughter's wedding from California.
"My baby looks beautiful and she looks very happy. I wish I were there and I wish them all my love and all happiness."