Prince Harry to marry Meghan Markle as world watches
- Markle will initially walk down the aisle alone, but will then be joined by her future father-in-law Prince Charles.
- The wedding will be televised live on CitizenTV
- Markle, a mixed-race divorcee from Los Angeles, is seen as a breath of fresh air for a royal family often seen as over-traditional. But her family's antics have risked stealing the show
Britain’s Prince Harry weds US former actress Meghan Markle on Saturday in a pomp-filled ceremony at Windsor Castle.
The globally-watched event was almost overshadowed in the build-up by Markle’s fractious family’s feuding.
Some 100,000 people are expected in Windsor, west of London, for the historic moment and street parties and afternoon teas are being held around the kingdom.
The service begins at noon (1100 GMT) in St George’s Chapel with Harry’s 92-year-old grandmother Queen Elizabeth II in attendance.
Celebrities invited include Markle’s former co-stars from the hit US television drama series “Suits“.
The ceremony will be a traditional Church of England affair but with unusual twists including a gospel choir singing “Stand By Me” and a lively US pastor delivering the address.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who will marry the couple, said they were “very sensible” and “self-possessed”.
“There’s profound affection between them which is wonderful and a deep understanding and mutual support,” he said.
“You see (it) in the way they respond to each other, caring for each other.”
Markle will initially walk down the aisle alone, but will then be joined by her future father-in-law Prince Charles, who will accompany her after her own father dropped out.
Speculation has raged about her wedding dress, with the New York Post newspaper suggesting British designer Stella McCartney had been asked to make it, while others tipped Ralph and Russo.
Following the service, 33-year-old Harry and Markle, 36, will ride through Windsor in an open-top carriage.
Dozens of royal fans — many decked out in Union Jack paraphernalia — camped overnight for a front-row view.
Markle, a mixed-race divorcee from Los Angeles, is seen as a breath of fresh air for a royal family often seen as over-traditional.
But her family’s antics have risked stealing the show.
Her father Thomas Markle pulled out at the last minute after being caught up in a paparazzi scandal and undergoing an emergency heart operation in the days leading up to the wedding.
Markle’s half-brother Thomas Markle Jr., who is not invited, has still travelled to Britain and given interviews to tabloid media, along with his ex-wife Tracy Dooley and son Tyler, a cannabis farmer.
The media circus around Markle’s family has raised questions about the palace’s preparations and risks further embittering Harry’s tense relations with a press pack he blames for his mother Diana’s death.
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