Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle leave after their wedding ceremony, at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, near London, England, Saturday, May 19, 2018. (Gareth Fuller/pool photo via AP)

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Harry and Meghan marry in lavish ceremony at royal Windsor Castle

Windsor, England – Britain’s Prince Harry and former US actress Meghan Markle are officially married after the couple exchanged vows and rings during a wedding service at Windsor Castle on Saturday.

Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, during their wedding service, at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, 19 May 2018.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, the most senior Church of England cleric, married the couple in a ceremony in front of 600 guests, including Queen Elizabeth II, at the royal St George’s Chapel inside the castle.

Elton John, George and Amal Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, Serena Williams, and David and Victoria Beckham led the parade of well-dressed celebrities at the event.

“In the presence of God, and before this congregation, Harry and Meghan have given their consent and made their marriage vows to each other,” Welby said.

“They have declared their marriage by the joining of hands and by the giving and receiving of rings,” he said.

“I therefore proclaim that they are husband and wife.”

Buckingham Palace announced that the couple will use the titles duke and duchess of Sussex following their marriage.

The church guests are scheduled to attend a reception hosted by Queen Elizabeth II at the castle. Harry’s father, Prince Charles, will host an evening reception for 200 special guests at nearby Frogmore House later Saturday.

Oprah Winfrey leaves St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle after the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, in Windsor Castle in Windsor, near London, England, Saturday, May 19, 2018. (Ian West/pool photo via AP)

Harry and Meghan invited hundreds of members of the public to take part from the castle grounds, while millions more across the world watched the ceremony via live television broadcasts.

The newlyweds shared their first kiss as a married couple on the steps of St George’s Chapel while well-wishers cheered, before getting into a horse-drawn carriage for a 20-minute parade through Windsor.

On a bright and sunny day, they were seen smiling and waving at the tens of thousands of people who had gathered behind security barriers on Windsors main streets to congratulate them.

Meghan, 33, wore an understated white wedding dress by designer Clare Waight Keller, who last year became the first female artistic director of French fashion house Givenchy.

She had a veil representing flora from the 53 nations of the British-led Commonwealth, Buckingham Palace said.

Harry, 36, was flanked by his best man Prince William as he arrived at the church. The two brothers wore military uniforms of the Blues and Royals regiment, tailored at Dege & Skinner on London’s famous Savile Row.

In his address at the wedding, US Bishop Michael Curry said the couple were united by “the redemptive power of love.”

“Two young people fell in love and we all showed up [here],” said Curry, the first African-American presiding primate of the Episcopal Church.

“We were made by the power of love, and our lives are meant to be lived in that love.”

Harry and Meghan were seen stealing glimpses at each other and smiling during the ceremony.

Prince Charles, Harry’s father, walked Meghan part way down the aisle for the marriage to his son.

Meghan had announced on Thursday that her father would not attend the wedding. Thomas Markle was originally meant to walk her down the aisle. The 73-year-old underwent minor heart surgery on Wednesday.

Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, did attend the wedding. She and Charles left the main chapel hand-in-hand to sign the marriage register in a side room.

Kensington Palace said Markle’s wedding ring was a band made of Welsh gold gifted by the queen, while Harry has bucked the trend among male royals by also wearing a ring, made of platinum.

Hundreds of commercial and community parties have been organized across England to mark the wedding on Friday and Saturday.

dpa

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