In May 2018, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle walked down the aisle, officially becoming the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Three years down the line, they are still going strong, living up to Princess Diana’s legacy.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been the topics of major controversial headlines since becoming a couple. From lawsuits directed at the British press to their step-back from royal duties and eventual bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.
While these scandals have fast become hot topics in royal news, they amount to naught when compared to the Sussexes’ royal wedding on May 19, 2018.
Not only did the grand occasion, held in St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, mark the beginning of their lives together, it also offered some nostalgic moments for ardent fans of the late Princess Diana.
Notably, the couple incorporated some symbolic details into specific parts of the royal event, as a tribute to the late princess and mother of Princes Harry and William.
Some of these unique details were so simple they went unnoticed. Others made a lasting impact in people’s hearts that the Princess’ presence could almost be felt at the royal wedding.
As Prince Harry and Meghan Markle celebrate their third wedding anniversary while expecting a new baby, here is a look back at ten ways they honored the princess at their nuptials.
1. MEGHAN MARKLE’S WEDDING RING
Prince Harry put some thought into the making of Meghan Markle’s wedding ring. He made sure it bore a piece of his late mom. The ring featured a central cushion-cut diamond from Botswana, flanked by two historic cut diamonds belonging to Princess Diana.
2. THE GUEST LIST
Among over two thousand guests who received an invitation to grace the royal occasion were Princess Diana’s three siblings. In his determination to involve his mom’s family, the Spencers, Harry ensured Earl Charles Spencer, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, and Lady Jane Fellowes attended the wedding.
Notably, Lady Jane gave the only Bible reading at the wedding, just as she did during the late Princess’ funeral.
3. THE FLOWERS
The Princess of Wales had a thing for Forget-Me-Nots, which she considered her favorite flower. The floral bloom still graced the gardens at Kensington Palace decades after Diana’s demise. Harry made sure to include them in his wife’s bouquet.
In a statement, Kensington Palace confirmed the couple included Forget-Me-Nots, which Harry handpicked from the gardens of Kensington Palace, in the bouquet in honor of Princess Diana’s memory.
4. CHARITABLE DONATIONS
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry discouraged the presentation of wedding gifts. Instead, they implored well-wishers to make charitable donations to the Children’s HIV Association and Crises in lieu of Wedding Gifts.
Notably, Princess Diana supported these two charity organizations during her lifetime and remained committed to them.
5. THE HYMN
“Guide Me, O Thy Great Redeemer,” resounded through Windsor castle during Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding. Over three decades ago, the same hymn echoed through the walls of Westminster Abbey during Princess Diana’s funeral.
6. THE SINGER
Prince Harry did not overlook even the tiniest detail during his wedding preparations. Remarkably, he enlisted singer Sir Elton John to perform at the lunchtime reception hosted by Queen Elizabeth II at St. George’s Hall.
Elton John graced the royal family’s presence decades prior, while performing an engineered version on “Candle in the Wind” at Diana’s funeral.
7. THE PEOPLE
During her lifetime, Diana earned a reputation as the “People’s Princess” because of her love and commitment to members of the public. As the ultimate honor of his mom’s memory, Prince Harry did not restrict his guest list to only dignitaries.
In fact, the Duke of Sussex invited 2,640 members of the public into the grounds of Windsor Castle to witness his big day. The crowd comprised youths with leadership potentials, local school children, representatives of local charities, and members of the Windsor castle community.
8. THE VEIL
Markle’s monarch-length veil was one elaborate detail paying tribute to Diana most people missed. Thankfully, Marie Claire pointed it out, noting the overly long veil was reminiscent of Princess Diana’s veil, designed by Elizabeth Emmanuel during her wedding to Prince Charles of Wales in 1981. A subtle, yet sweetly significant nod.
9. HARRY’S SPECIAL PRESENT
A long upheld tradition in the royal family involves the royal groom gifting his bride with a symbolic jewelry piece on their wedding day. It is believed that Harry gifted the Duchess with a brilliant emerald-cut aquamarine ring which Diana bought shortly before her death.
Photographs of the couple waving from their silver-blue E-type Jaguar en route to Frogmore cottage for an evening wedding reception showed Meghan sporting the iconic band.
10. THE WEDDING PORTRAITS
Following a carriage procession through the town, the British royals assembled in The Green Drawing Room of Windsor Castle for a photoshoot. Photographer Alexi Lubomirski coordinated the shoot, but Prince Harry, in his detailed manner, threw in a piece of Princess Diana, making the portraits more symbolic.
In one of the photos, the Duke of Sussex sat on an emerald green sofa. Notably, the late Princess of Wales sat on the same sofa, carrying a baby Prince Harry following his christening 36 years ago.
Three years down the line, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are still honoring the late princess with charity affiliations, pregnancy announcements, and hopefully, baby names as they await the arrival of their daughter.