Royal wedding: Big day for Harry and Meghan as they tie the knot

courtesy BBC Online

Royal wedding excitement is nearing fever pitch, as millions of people around the world prepare to watch Prince Harry marry Meghan Markle.

Crowds are arriving in Windsor, while hundreds more camped out overnight to secure the best viewing spot.

Prince Harry has been made the Duke of Sussex by his grandmother the Queen, Buckingham Palace announced.

The couple will wed at noon at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, before travelling through the town.

In her vows, Ms Markle will not promise to “obey” her husband and Prince Harry has chosen to have a wedding ring.

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

On the eve of their wedding, Prince Harry told crowds in Windsor he was feeling “relaxed” and Ms Markle said she was feeling “wonderful”.

Full coverage of the day will be on BBC One from 09:00-14:00 BST on Saturday, on BBC Radio 5 live from 10:00, and streamed live on the BBC News website or on BBC iPlayer.

Women wear wedding dresses on the Long Walk
Image caption: Spectators along the Long Walk have dressed for the occasion

Ahead of the marriage, Prince Harry was given the title Duke of Sussex, meaning Ms Markle will become a duchess once the couple marry.

The previous Duke of Sussex was Prince Augustus Frederick, the sixth son and ninth child of George III.

Prince Harry, who is sixth in line to the throne, also received the titles Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel.

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Analysis by BBC royal correspondent Jonny Dymond

This is a very different royal wedding.

It’s different because of the style of the arrangements for the day itself.

From small things, like the cake (not a traditional big heavy fruitcake covered with bullet-proof icing), to bigger things, like a gospel choir performing at the service.

To more remarkable decisions, like the invitation to 1,200 members of the public to enjoy the occasion in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

After the death in 1997 of Prince Harry’s mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, she was described by the-then Prime Minister Tony Blair as “the people’s princess”.

This may not be “the people’s wedding”, but it is about as close to it as any royal wedding has got.

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Flowers adorn the front of the organ loft inside St George"s Chapel at Windsor CastleImage copyrightPA
Image captionThe impressive display continues inside the chapel

St George’s Chapel has been filled with white garden roses, peonies and foxgloves, branches of beech, birch and hornbeam, crafted by floral designer Philippa Craddock.Crowds of well-wishers and the world’s media have been gathering in Windsor in the week leading up to the big day.

As many as 100,000 people are expected to line the town’s streets.

Nicky and Matt Pruner, from the US, extended their holiday in the UK to be in Windsor for the wedding.

Nicky Pruner, 62, said: “I camped out all night at Kate and William’s wedding and I said I would never do it again – and here I am.”

“I’m just so happy for Harry,” she said. “I can’t wait to see what Meghan’s wearing.”

Grace Gothard

Six hundred guests will watch the wedding, officiated by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, in St George’s chapel.

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

Prince Harry is expected to arrive with his brother and best man Prince William at the west door of the chapel at 11:40.

The Queen will be the last member of the Royal Family to arrive at 11:52, before Ms Markle arrives with her mother Doria Ragland.

Meghan Markle and Doria RaglandImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionDoria Ragland will be the only member of Ms Markle’s family attending the ceremony

Ms Markle has 10 bridesmaids and pageboys, all under the age of eight – including Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

The bride will be met by Prince Charles, who will walk her down the aisle of the Quire of the chapel.

During the service, the couple will pledge themselves to one another, saying: “For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part.”

The Most Rev Bishop Michael Curry, the 27th presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, from Chicago, will give an address at the wedding and the Rt Rev David Conner, Dean of Windsor, will conduct the service.

Lady Jane Fellowes, the sister of Prince Harry’s late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, will give a reading.

As the bride and groom sign the register, 19-year-old cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason – who won the 2016 BBC’s Young Musician – will perform three pieces – by Faure, Schubert and Maria Theresia von Paradis, with musicians from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the English Chamber Orchestra and the Philharmonia.

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

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

Following the service, a carriage procession will travel along a route including Castle Hill, High Street, Sheet Street, Kings Road, Albert Road, Long Walk and back to Windsor Castle.

All 600 guests will then attend a lunchtime reception at St George’s Hall, which is being given by the Queen.

During this reception, Ms Markle will reportedly break with tradition for royal brides and make a speech.

Later in the evening, the newlyweds will celebrate with 200 close friends and family at a private reception less than a mile from Windsor Castle at Frogmore House, hosted by Prince Charles.

The Royal Family will pay for the wedding, including the service, music, flowers and reception.

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