The royal wedding: How it unfolded

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3:37 a.m. ET, May 19, 2018

Meghan is the first Duchess of Sussex

Photo by Steve Parsons - Pool / Getty Images
Photo by Steve Parsons - Pool / Getty Images

Meghan is the first person to hold the title Duchess of Sussex.

She'll marry Prince Harry later today. He'll get three titles, for England, Wales and Scotland: Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel.

There's only been one other Duke of Sussex — an anti-slavery campaigner and supporter of rights for Catholics and Jews. 

Prince Augustus Frederick (1773–1843), was the sixth son and ninth child of George III and Queen Charlotte, according to the Royal Collection. 

He secretly married Lady Augusta Murray in 1793, who was Catholic – a time when the Royal Marriages act prevented members of the royal family from marrying Catholics. King George III declared the marriage void in 1794.

He became Duke of Sussex in 1801, and became estranged from his father because of his liberal political views. 

He is the only previous Duke of Sussex – and because the King annulled his marriage, there has never been a previous Duchess of Sussex.

3:26 a.m. ET, May 19, 2018

Who will be at the royal wedding? 2,600 members of the public.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have invited more than 2,600 members of the public to the grounds of Windsor Castle to share their wedding day.

The invitees will be able to watch the arrivals of the bride and groom and their guests at St. George's Chapel, where the ceremony takes place, They'll also watch the newlyweds depart the castle on a carriage procession through the town of Windsor.

Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle have said they want their wedding day to be shaped so as to allow members of the public to feel part of the celebrations too," a palace press release said. "This wedding, like all weddings, will be a moment of fun and joy that will reflect the characters and values of the bride and groom."

Who's included in the 2,600 invitees?

  • 1,200 members of the public from across the United Kingdom
  • 100 pupils from two local schools
  • 200 people from a range of charities and organizations with which Harry and Markle have a close connection.
  • 610 Windsor Castle community members, including residents of Windsor Castle and members of the St. George's Chapel community
  • 530 members of the royal households and Crown Estate
3:21 a.m. ET, May 19, 2018

Harry and Meghan's new titles revealed

Queen Elizabeth just announced Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's new titles. Harry will get three: One for England, one for Scotland and one for Wales.

Here's the announcement from Kensington Palace:

The Queen has today been pleased to confer a Dukedom on Prince Henry of Wales. His titles will be Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel. Prince Harry thus becomes His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex, and Ms. Meghan Markle on marriage will become Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex.

3:33 a.m. ET, May 19, 2018

Serena Williams will be at the royal wedding

Tennis superstar Serena Williams will be attending the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. She posted a video on Instagram confirming her attendance.

My friend’s getting married today…. I’ve known her for so many years and I’m so happy for her,” she said in the video. 

She also shared this photo of herself getting ready: 

 

2:54 a.m. ET, May 19, 2018

These are the front pages in London this morning

It's wedding day for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. They're getting married at St. George's Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle, just outside of London, this afternoon.

Here's a look at how British media is covering the day:

2:31 a.m. ET, May 19, 2018

The couple is asking for donations to these 7 charities instead of wedding gifts

Photo by Chris Jackson/Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Photo by Chris Jackson/Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are asking people who wish to send them a wedding gift to consider donating to one of several selected charities instead.

The seven chosen charities "represent a range of issues that they are passionate about," the Palace said in a statement, including women's empowerment, HIV, homelessness and the environment.

These are the selected charities:

  1. The Children's HIV Association (CHIVA), which supports children with HIV across the UK and Ireland
  2. Crisis, a Homeless charity 
  3. The Myna Mahila Foundation, which works to empower women in Mumbai's urban slums
  4. Scotty's Little Soldiers, a charity for bereaved Armed Forces children
  5. StreetGames, which uses sport to empower young people
  6. Surfers Against Sewage, a marine conservation charity 
  7. The Wilderness Foundation UK, which promotes the benefits of wild nature.

3:28 a.m. ET, May 19, 2018

Meet the people working on all the wedding details

In the months leading up to the royal wedding, Kensington Palace has periodically announced some of the professionals tasked with coordinating details for the big day.

While we still have a ton of questions — like what Meghan Markle's dress looks like — here's a look at some of the people working on the special day:

The florist

London florist Philippa Craddock has been entrusted with decorating St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

Craddock's team plans to use white garden roses, peonies and foxgloves, as well as branches of beech, birch and hornbeam for the chapel's floral displays.

PA Images/PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images
PA Images/PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images

The photographer

Alexi Lubomirski, a renowned fashion and portrait photographer, will take the couple's official wedding photographs.

According to his website, Lubomirski studied under Mario Testino, a Peruvian photographer who took the official engagement photographs of Prince William and fiancée Kate Middleton in 2010. Testino is a recognized name in the fashion industry.

The baker

Claire Ptak, who was raised in California and now owns London-based bakery Violet Cakes, is baking the couple's cake.

According to the palace, the couple asked Ptak to make a "lemon elderflower cake that will incorporate the bright flavours of spring" rather than the more traditional fruitcake. It will also feature buttercream and fresh flowers as decoration.

2:06 a.m. ET, May 19, 2018

This is how Prince Harry proposed to Meghan Markle

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were engaged on a "cozy night" in November, the couple said.

The two were at their Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace, roasting a chicken, the American actor said. Or trying to roast a chicken, Harry said, correcting her.

"It was so sweet and natural and very romantic. He got down on one knee," she said. "As a matter of fact, I could barely let you finish proposing. I said, 'Can I say yes now?'"

The pair giggled as they fondly remembered the moment during an interview last fall.

Harry continued, "There was hugs and I had the ring in my finger. I was like, 'Can I give you the ring?' She goes, 'Oh, yes! The ring!'"

2:02 a.m. ET, May 19, 2018

Guests will start arriving 3 hours before the wedding

Guests will begin arriving at Windsor Castle around 9 a.m.
Guests will begin arriving at Windsor Castle around 9 a.m. Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding will begin at noon (that's 7 a.m. ET) at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. But many of their guests will arrive for the ceremony hours before that.

The couple has invited 1,200 members of the public into the grounds of Windsor Castle. These guests are expected arrive from 9 a.m. (4 a.m. ET).

The main wedding guests will arrive between 9:30 a.m. (4:30 a.m. ET) and 11 a.m. (6 a.m. ET). Guests will arrive at the Round Tower by coach and will walk to the chapel door.

Members of the royal family will make their way to the chapel starting at 11:20 a.m. (6:20 a.m. ET). Some of the members of the royal family will arrive on foot, while others will travel by car.