06:24PM, Saturday 19 May 2018
Photos by Ian Longthorne and Emma Sheppard. Rota pictures by Jason Dawson
A hushed silence fell over the grounds of Windsor Castle as the service began which would see Prince Harry marry US actress Meghan Markle.
Members of the public had cheered on as global celebrities including actor Idris Elba and former England football captain David Beckham arrived for the ceremony.
But once the glowing bride arrived, those within the castle grounds sat listening to every word as a new chapter of British history unfolded within the walls of St George’s Chapel.
American Bishop Michael Curry spoke passionately, telling people to believe in the power of love.
His message was echoed by Harmohinder Bhatia, a 53-year-old from Smethwick who was invited to enjoy the proceedings from within the castle walls in recognition of his work promoting unity and diversity in the West Midlands.
He said: “I personally feel that we are all one family and this wedding proves that.
“20 years ago you never could have imagined this could happen.
“I think that the Royal Family are role models and we feel Harry is not just the Prince of the UK but the Prince of the Commonwealth.”
Bob and Lorraine Carter, from Manchester, also had front-row seats for the proceedings in recognition of Lorraine’s work promoting charities in the Northern city.
While Alexander Willis, a 17-year-old from Newport, received an invite to Windsor Castle for his work raising awareness of mental health issues in South Wales.
He said events like the Royal Wedding had helped revitalise the monarchy in the 21st century.
He added: “They have given a fresh face to the monarchy and by inviting ordinary people they’ve shown they’re in touch.”
After singing along to a gospel choir rendition of Stand By Me, the crowds rose to belt out a rendition of God Save the Queen.
They then waved off the newlyweds as they set off in their horse-drawn carriage to meet the tens of thousands who had lined The Long Walk to welcome them into married life.
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