Harry and Meghan's wedding
Royal roles for Givenchy, Jaguar and McCartney
The look of love: Harry lifts Meghan’s veil to reveal the tiara (BBC)
As marketing opportunities go, there can be none better than a Royal Wedding. As Meghan Markle was welcomed into the Royal Family, a whole list of big companies were rubbing their hands at their exposure to a worldwide audience.
Givenchy, Jaguar and Stella McCartney were among the blue chip beneficiaries of a product plugging bonanza of a lifetime. North Berwick’s NB Gin also confirmed its place among the products on display.
Wearing a dress by British designer Clare Waight Keller, the new artistic director at French fashion house Givenchy, Ms Markle was the focus of attention for a worldwide audience of two billion as the first black American to marry into the British monarchy.
News of the designer was confirmed as she stepped out of her car at St George’s Chapel and prepared to walk down the aisle to be met by Prince Harry who said to her: “You look amazing.”
The prince took her hand and said ‘thank you, pa’ to his father Prince Charles who walked her down the aisle, having stepped in at the last moment for Meghan’s unwell father Thomas.
As they prepared to make their vows he lifted her veil to reveal Queen Mary’s 1932 Diamond Bandeau, which was loaned to the bride by the Queen.
Harry and Meghan before exchanging their vows (BBC)
Ms Waight Keller, who was previously creative director at French fashion house Chloé, beat several top British designer names to the job of designing the gown.
According to royal protocol, Meghan’s dress must cost less than Kate’s, which was £150,000. Meghan’s dress is believed to have cost £100,000.
The ceremony took place in glorious sunshine and the streets around Windsor were packed with well-wishers, with estimates well in excess of the 120,000 expected.
Figures from social media monitor Talkwalker revealed 5.3 million mentions of the royal wedding on social media in a 24-hour period around the ceremony. Of these, 2.2 million were in the US.
Earlier, it was announced that the Queen had gifted the title of Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the couple. Prince Harry will also be known as the Earl of Dumbarton.
After the formalities, his new wife stepped out wearing a halter neck evening dress by Stella McCartney, who had been mentioned all morning on national television as favourite to win the wedding dress contract. It was clearly in her interest not to deny it as the speculation continued until Ms Markle appeared at the chapel.
After the ceremony and formal reception the new Duke drove her to the evening reception at Frogmore House in an E-Type Zero Jaguar (see below), an electric version of the famous 1968 marque.
Exchanging vows and rings (BBC)
Leaving the chapel (BBC)
The new model, launched last September at a reputed price of £350,000, replaces the original engine with an electric motor and battery pack with enough power to push it rom 0-62 in just 5.5 seconds. That means it is quicker now than it was when new.
With a touch of James Bond staging, the couple drove through the inner courtyard in an exhibition of ultimate style and modernity.
NB Gin, distilled in East Lothian was served at the event and, as revealed by Daily Business last week, has been selected to feature in the Harry and Meghan Wedding Album, written by royal correspondent, Robert Jobson.
Ms Markle, 36, will now prepare for her new role in the Royal Family amid reports that she will seek British citizenship, which will take three years, and renounce her US citizenship.
She will maintain a degree of independence, and while accepting income from the Royal Family she is a wealthy woman in her own right.
Emerging from the chapel (BBC)
The moment the crowds wanted (BBC)
Her acting role in Suits earned her a rumoured $50,000 per episode. With endorsements the series earning her $450,000 a year.
She has earned a seven figure sum from several movie roles, taking her estimated net worth to about $7m.
Enormous crowds greeted the couple as they entered the Long Walk (BBC)
Harry drives Meghan to the evening reception in a left-hand drive E-Type Jaguar with the registration plate marking the date of the wedding (BBC)