WINDSOR, England (CBS News) – It was the most anticipated wedding of the year: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tied the knot Saturday at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

The ceremony managed to meld centuries of British tradition with a distinctly contemporary American feel.

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Meghan Markle with her mother Doria Ragland arrive at Windsor Castle ahead of her wedding to Prince Harry on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImages/Getty Images)


Meghan Markle’s mother Doria Ragland was the first front-row guest to arrive at St. George’s Chapel for her daughter’s wedding, followed quickly by a car carrying Prince Harry’s father Prince Charles and wife Camilla Parker Bowles.

Queen Elizabeth II then pulled up in a Rolls Royce with husband Prince Philip. The monarch quickly took her place inside the chapel.

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Meghan Markle was on her way in a convoy of limousines, driving down The Long Walk, with a number of young pageboys and bridesmaids. Before she pulled up, Prince William’s wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, arrived with others.

Markle stepped out to reveal a dress designed by the acclaimed British designer, Clare Waight Keller, for French fashion house Givenchy.

Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan Markle stand together hand in hand at the High Altar during their wedding ceremony in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on May 19, 2018. (Photo by Jonathan Brady/AFP/Getty Images)


Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby presided over the ceremony.

Collectively all of those gathered in St. George’s Chapel vowed to support the new royal couple, before Welby gave a prayer.

Lady Jane Fellowes, the sister of Harry’s late mother Princess Diana, then gave a reading of “The Song of Solomon.”

Presiding Bishop of the American Episcopalian Church Michael Curry then delivered an address, quoting Martin Luther King Jr., on “the power of love.”

“Don’t under estimate it,” he told those gathered in the chapel.

After his reading, Karen Gibson and the Kingdom Choir gave a rendition of the pop classic “Stand by Me.”

Welby then had Prince Harry and Meghan Markle exchange their marriage vows, followed by the exchange of rings.

Meghan’s ring is made of extremely rare Welsh gold, in line with long-standing royal tradition. Harry’s is platinum.

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“I therefore proclaim that they are husband and wife,” came Welby’s declaration following the exchange of rings.

The couple then disappeared behind closed doors while their parents and others signed an official wedding register.

When they emerged again, following a cello performance by 19-year-old Briton, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, the entire chapel belted out God Save the Queen, as her majesty looked on with her trademark stoicism.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex kisses his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex as they leave from the West Door of St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor on May 19, 2018 in Windsor, England. (credit: Ben Stansall – WPA Pool/Getty Images)


The newlyweds emerged onto the steps of St. George’s Chapel and had a quick kiss — prompting a wave of applause from the gathered crowd.

The Ascot Landau state carriage, built in 1880, drawn by four white horses, pulled up to take them on a 25 minute ride around Windsor in the glorious spring sunshine. Members of the royal family and Doria Ragland, mother of the bride, waved them off from the top of the steps.

The first part of the procession took them away from St. George’s and through a Windsor Castle gate, out into the surrounding grounds and into the streets of Windsor.

The procession was heading for The Long Walk, a 2.6 mile avenue lined, just like the streets of Windsor, with royal well-wishers. An estimated 100,000 people packed into the town to witness the event.

The procession was led by members of the Household Cavalry, made up of two of the most senior regiments in the British army.

CBS News correspondent was at a junction in the road where screaming fans waited to see the carriage procession pass by and turn onto The Long Walk.

“Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god” people shouted around him as the procession came into view. It was a sea of arms outstretched to capture photos and video on cell phones. Children sat on their parents’ shoulders to get a better view.

After rolling up The Long Walk the carriage reentered Windsor Castle grounds via King George IV gate, clear again of the chaos an din of the crowd outside. The couple disappeared inside the castle walls and will not be seen again by the public on until Saturday afternoon (eastern time) when they leave Windsor Castle for an evening reception at Frogmore House, a few miles away.

No cameras were allowed inside any of the wedding receptions, so the festivities will be shared by invitees only.

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(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)