Prince Harry And Meghan Markle Had Several 'Hidden' Ways To Honor Princess Diana On Their Wedding Day
The royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was no doubt one of the biggest royal ceremonies of the last decade. It was an occasion that had at least 29 million people from the United States alone glued to their screens following the proceedings.
The event itself was certainly a spectacle, with so much talk about - from the wedding dress, to the tiara, to the guests. However, the special tributes in honor of Princess Diana certainly added a sentimental appeal to the occasion. Prince Harry made sure his late mother was part of his big moment. Each component of the event - from the ring, to the service, to the reception - speeches evoked memories of Diana, Princess of Wales.
Prince Charles and Diana Spencer wedded in 1981, and the union was blessed with two sons — Prince William in 1982 and Prince Harry in 1984. Diana and Charles divorced in 1996 and Diana died in a fatal car accident the following year.
Although it's been over 22 years since her death, Diana, Princess of Wales is still remembered for her philanthropic work, her patronage to the arts, and her strength in the face of challenges. She's especially remembered by the two sons she left behind. So, it's no surprise that Harry made several sentimental tributes to his late mother on his big moment.
Meghan’s royal bouquet had the inclusion of forget-me-nots, which were Diana’s favorite flowers. But it gets even more sentimental than that. The Prince reportedly handpicked the flowers from the private garden at Kensington Palace on the eve of the wedding.
He then handed them to the florist, Philippa Craddock, to be added to Meghan's bouquet as a tribute to his late mother. The bouquet included other varieties of flowers such as lily of the valley, sweet peas, jasmine, and astrantia among others.
THE RECEPTION RING
On their wedding day, the Prince gave Meghan not one, but two rings. The first was made from Welsh gold, as is customary for the royal family. The second ring was a brightly colorful emerald cut aquamarine ring from Diana's collection.
The aquamarine ring is part of a set. The matching bracelet reportedly includes the same stone set among pearls. The ring matched the blue vintage Jaguar the couple drove to their reception.
MEGHAN'S LONG VEIL
Meghan’s style is lauded for being simple and timeless, as was evident in her choice of wedding gown design. However, the yards-long veil evoked comparisons to Diana’s veil from her 1981 wedding to Prince Charles. The train on Diana's wedding dress was 25 feet long, with her veil extending past to make for a total of 459 feet of extra fabric. Meghan’s veil measured 16.5 feet.
Besides the length, the veil's embroidery brought Princess Diana to mind. It was decorated with the signature flowers of the 53 nations in the British Commonwealth, in addition to blades of wheat, which symbolize love and charity. Some think the wheat is a subtle nod to Diana.
MEGHAN'S ENGAGEMENT RING
Even before the royal wedding, Prince Harry had already given Meghan a ring designed by himself with help from Princess Diana's collection. The ring features a center stone from Botswana (where the couple enjoyed a camping trip during the early stage of their relationship) alongside two diamonds that belonged to Harry's late mother.
"The little diamonds either side are from my mother's jeweler collection to make sure that she's with us on this—on this crazy journey together,"
Prince Harry said at the time.
Harry and Meghan included a performance of the hymn “Guide Me, O Thy Great Redeemer” in their wedding ceremony because it was played during Diana’s funeral (Prince William and Catherine Middleton also chose it for their wedding in 2011). Some eagle-eyed observers even noticed Harry get choked up and wipe a tear from his eye when it was performed.
ELTON JOHN PERFORMED AT THE RECEPTION
After they met at a party in 1981, Diana and Elton John became close friends. When Princess Diana died in 1997, John rewrote “Candle In The Wind” (originally about the passing of Marilyn Monroe) as a tribute to Diana. He sang it at Diana's funeral, but he has refused to perform the song again, saying he will only do so at the request of William or Harry.
Harry and Meghan Markle invited Elton John to their wedding. At the reception, John reportedly performed “I'm Still Standing,” "Your Song," "Tiny Dancer," and "Circle of Life," which really brought the royal family’s relationship with John full circle.
GUESTS SUPPORTED CAUSES CHAMPIONED BY DIANA
The couple asked wedding guests to donate to one of the charities of their choice instead of wedding gifts. Their selected charity focused on causes close to Diana’s heart. They included helping children dealing with HIV/AIDS and fighting to end homelessness.
Princess Diana was in the forefront against stigmatization during the HIV/AIDS crisis. She was often seen shaking hands and hugging people suffering from the disease. Her actions helped break down stereotypes surrounding such patients, who were often alienated from society.
THE FLOWERS HONORED DIANA
On the wedding day, the arches placed at the entryway of St. George’s Chapel and the flower crowns of the bridesmaids were made with white garden roses, a flower closely associated with Prince Harry's mom. In fact, on the 20th anniversary of her death, William and Harry marked the occasion by planting a new garden at Kensington Palace. The White Garden, as it is called, is full of Diana’s favorite flowers, including white garden roses.
All three of Diana’s siblings – Lady Jane Fellowes, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, and Charles Spencer – attended the wedding. Jane, the older sister of Diana read from the Song of Solomon during the ceremony. A statement from Kensington Palace informed, “Prince Harry and Ms. Markle both feel honored that Lady Jane will be representing her family and helping to celebrate the memory of the late Princess on the wedding day.”
DIANA'S CLOSE PAL, SARAH FERGUSON WAS INVITED
The couple invited Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, to their wedding. Dubbed “Fergie” by tabloids, Sarah was married to Queen Elizabeth’s third child, Andrew, between 1986 and 1996. Diana reportedly introduced the two. After a messy split, Sarah was unofficially blacklisted from royal functions, including William and Kate’s wedding in 2011. But Prince Harry presumably put his foot down and insisted on inviting Ferguson to his own union.
HARRY MAY HAVE ECHOED HIS MOM'S ADVICE TO HIM WHEN HIS BRIDE ENTERED
It was the quote that was heard – or rather lip read – around the world. It happened in the moment when Charles gave Meghan away to Harry. Harry allegedly said, “You look amazing. I’m so lucky.”
Some have connected this sweet compliment to a quote from Prince Diana. During a 1995 interview, she shared some advice she gave her sons:
If you find someone you love in life, you must hang on to it and look after it, and if you were lucky enough to find someone who loved you, then one must protect it.