The Sussex Wedding: A Breakdown

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Eighteen million Britons watched the Royal Wedding yesterday and the event garnered 3.4 million tweets. It has become the fourth most-watched royal wedding, trailing behind that of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Prince of Wales and Diana, Princess of Wales and the Duke of York and Sarah, Duchess of York.

Already the Royal Family has launched a page for the new Duchess of Sussex and they describe her background as:

From a young age, The Duchess had a keen awareness of social issues and actively participated in charitable work. Aged 11 she successfully campaigned for a company to alter their television advert that had used sexist language to sell washing-up liquid. Her Royal Highness also volunteered at a soup kitchen in Skid Row, Los Angeles from the age of 13-17. She continued to volunteer at the soup kitchen when she would return home to Los Angeles until the age of 22.

These early experiences helped to shape her lifelong commitment to causes such as social justice and women’s empowerment.

While filming in Toronto, The Duchess actively volunteered at a Canadian soup kitchen from 2011-2013. She also established the program at her place of work to ensure that leftover meals from the set were donated to local homeless shelters.

A quote from her 2015 United Nations speech is specifically highlighted – “I am proud to be a woman and a feminist” – so she’s going in guns blazing and I’m into it.

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Meanwhile, Kensington Palace updated their social media profile pictures and bios to include the Fab Four, not just William, Kate and Harry, so we are all ready to go. And just in time, because Harry and Meghan will carry out their first engagement as a married couple on Tuesday when they attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace honoring the Prince of Wales.

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Earlier today it was reported that Meghan sent her wedding bouquet to Westminster Abbey to be laid on the Grave of the Unknown Warrior. This tradition began in 1923 when the Queen Mother – then Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon – laid down her bouquet in honor of a brother killed during World War I. Her daughter, the Queen, did the same in 1947 and subsequent royal brides have followed suit, even when not married within the Abbey.

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Clare Waight Keller also revealed her sketches for Meghan’s gown and shared that the bride was very clear on what she wanted and it was a pleasure working with her.

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Tidbits from last night’s reception at Frogmore House include a late night fireworks display, Meghan supplying guests with slippers (gotta ditch those heels at some point!) and William delivering a “naughty” toast. Meghan also gave a speech and James Corden reportedly delivered some sort of “surprise.” Idris Elba also took a turn playing DJ and George Clooney danced with both Meghan and Kate, so this was quite the soiree.

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There are some great other details captured here.

Now the couple are staying in London and spending time with out-of-town friends and family. It’s unclear when exactly they’ll go on a honeymoon, but presumably some time this summer.

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A few things that I glossed over yesterday:

The Countess of Wessex looked lovely at the ceremony – here she is walking in to the Chapel with her son, Viscount Severn:

Some deets on the music:

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Meghan’s veil was embroidered with the national flowers of all 53 Commonwealth nations and California’s state flower.

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I also think that Charles deserves a shout out for yesterday. Not only was seeing him walk Meghan down the aisle one of my favorite moments (as well as the hand-off to Harry and his “Thank you, Pa.”), but I thought he was wonderful with Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland.

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When they both followed Harry, Meghan and William to sign the marriage register Charles made a point of taking her hand and escorting her. He did so again when they were all leaving the Chapel, walking down the steps with Camilla on one arm and Doria on the other. Given that she attended solo, and without the benefit of having family on hand, I thought it was incredibly sweet and correct that he ensured she was welcomed and looked after.

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And a shout out to Doria, too, who looked overwhelmed and emotional at times throughout the ceremony (who can blame her?) and played her part perfectly:

Finally, I have to say that I was less amused by the reactions of members of the Royal Family during Rev. Michael Curry’s sermon – specifically William, Camilla, Kate, Zara Tindal and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. The smirks and side-eye were, in my opinion, unnecessary and they’ve been doing this long enough to know they need to check their facial expressions and be respectful. Yes, it was decidedly un-British, but he was asked to speak for a reason and by the very American bride.

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The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh kept solemn expressions throughout – younger royals, take note.

And with that, this wedding is wrapped. Tomorrow we’ll return to history!

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