Royal wedding 2018: Royal Family thanks public

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Media captionPrince Harry and Meghan share a kiss on the steps outside St George’s Chapel

The Royal Family has thanked those who travelled to Windsor for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Thousands of people lined the streets to see the couple on their big day, with many more watching the ceremony on television around the globe.

The wedding celebrations ended with a black-tie dinner and fireworks display at Frogmore House, near Windsor Castle.

Royal wedding 2018: Royal Family thanks public
Royal wedding 2018: Royal Family thanks public

Two hundred of Meghan and Harry’s closest friends and family attended the event held by Prince Charles.

The couple are not expected to leave for their honeymoon immediately, choosing instead to remain in the UK before taking a break.

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As a wedding gift Prince Harry gave his bride an emerald-cut aquamarine ring which had belonged to his late mother – Diana, Princess of Wales.

The Royal Family’s twitter account posted a message of thanks to those who followed the wedding from the UK, the Commonwealth and around the world.

Skip Twitter post by @RoyalFamily

Thank you to everyone who came to Windsor and those who followed from around the UK, the Commonwealth, and the world today. Congratulations once again to the newly-married Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) May 19, 2018

End of Twitter post by @RoyalFamily

The newlyweds – now to be known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – spent the night at Windsor Castle.

Meghan has previously said she wants to “hit the ground running” on becoming a full-time royal.

On Tuesday Meghan will attend her first royal garden party in the grounds of Buckingham Palace when the couple attend a 70th birthday patronage celebration for the Prince of Wales.

This will be their first official engagement as man and wife.

‘You look amazing’

The prince and his bride exchanged vows and rings before the Queen and 600 guests at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, on Saturday.

“You look amazing,” Prince Harry told Ms Markle after she walked down the aisle in a white boat-neck dress by British designer Clare Waight Keller.

Prince Harry himself was given special permission from the Queen to keep his short beard as it is customary to be clean-shaven when dressed in Army uniform.

Large crowds turned out in bright sunshine to see them driven around Windsor in a horse-drawn carriage.

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Media captionHighlights from the wedding ceremony

Guests at the wedding included Oprah Winfrey, George and Amal Clooney, David and Victoria Beckham and Sir Elton John, who later performed at the wedding reception.

Prince George and Princess Charlotte were among the 10 young bridesmaids and pageboys.

Prince Charles walked Ms Markle down the aisle, after her father, Thomas, was unable to attend for health reasons.

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Media captionThe couple gazed into each other’s eyes as they exchanged vows

‘A joyful thing’

The wedding service combined British tradition with modernity and the bride’s African-American heritage.

The Most Rev Bishop Michael Curry, president of the US Episcopal Church, gave an address, the Rt Rev David Conner, Dean of Windsor, conducted the service and the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, officiated.

In a passionate speech, Bishop Curry – who was invited to speak by Ms Markle – referenced the African-American spiritual song Down by the Riverside, which was sung by slaves, and when he realised he had gone on too long, he told his audience he had better wrap up as “we gotta get you all married!”

Speaking afterwards, Bishop Curry said it was “a joyful thing” to see diversity in the ceremony.

Lady Jane Fellowes, sister of Prince Harry’s late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, gave a reading from the Song of Solomon.

Karen Gibson and the Kingdom Choir performed Ben E King’s soul classic Stand By Me during the service.

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Image caption Princess Charlotte with her mother, the Duchess of Cambridge

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Image caption The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, who is recovering from a hip operation, were among the last to arrive

As the bride and groom signed the register, 19-year-old cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason – who won the 2016 BBC’s Young Musician – performed three pieces by Faure, Schubert and Maria Theresia von Paradis.

He was accompanied by musicians from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the English Chamber Orchestra and the Philharmonia.

The gospel choir also performed Etta James’ uplifting version of Amen/This Little Light of Mine as the newlyweds left the chapel.

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Image caption Prince Charles accompanied Ms Markle’s mother, Doria, after the service finished

All 600 guests were invited to a lunchtime reception at St George’s Hall, hosted by the Queen. The best man, the Duke of Cambridge, acted as compere.

Guests were served langoustine canapes, Windsor lamb, and champagne and pistachio macaroons. Instead of a formal sit-down dinner, food was served in bowls.

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Media captionCrowds relive ‘fairytale’ procession

Guest Suhani Jalota, founder of the India-based Myna Mahila charity, said Elton John performed a “mini-concert”. She said speeches by the Prince of Wales and the groom were “lovely”, adding: “Some people were even crying.”

Posting on Instagram, David Beckham said: “Watching Harry as happy as he was makes us all proud of the man and person he has always been… what a day.”

Other celebrities attending were tennis star Serena Williams, TV personality James Corden, singer James Blunt, actress Carey Mulligan and former England rugby player Jonny Wilkinson.

Prince Harry’s uncle, Earl Spencer; the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson; and the Duchess of Cambridge’s sister, Pippa Middleton, were also invited.

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Media captionRoyalty of the celebrity world arrive

Politicians, including Prime Minister Theresa May, were not invited, as it is not a state event.

But a former prime minister, Sir John Major – a special guardian on legal matters to Princes William and Harry after the death of their mother – was among the invited guests.

About 1,200 members of the public – many who were recognised for their charity work – were invited into the grounds of Windsor Castle for the wedding.

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Media captionMeghan reveals her halter-neck evening dress before driving into the sunset
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