Royal Wedding: the LGBT guests and allies who watched Prince Harry and Meghan Markle marry
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle – the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex – have married with a host of LGBT+ guests and allies in attendance.
The wedding, which took place at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, was a more intimate affair than Prince William and Kate Middleton’s nuptials in 2011.
About 600 people attended the ceremony at St George’s, while an additional 2,640 members of the public were invited to the grounds of Windsor Castle to cheer on the couple.
The new Duke and Duchess of Sussex were married in front of a star-studded audience of royals, family and several celebrity guests, including several who are known for their pro-LGBT stance.
Prior to the ceremony, there had been some rumours that Sir Elton John would be performing for the newly wedded Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Although he did not perform during the ceremony, the 71-year old performed in the more intimate lunchtime reception.
Sir Elton John was seen at the ceremony wearing his trademark pink glasses with his husband David Furnish. Earlier reports had stated that the singer cancelled two concerts to make sure he’s free for the big day.
The performer was a close friend of the late Princess Diana, William and Harry’s mother, and was a guest at William and Kate’s wedding back in 2011. John was reportedly asked to perform at the reception by Prince Harry due to this close relationship.
Prominent human rights lawyer and actor Amal and George Clooney were one of the first couples to arrive.
Both of the celebrities are outspoken civil rights advocates.
In the wake of the 2017 Charlottesville riots, Amal and George Clooney made a huge $1 million donation to the Southern Poverty Law Centre in order to “stand up to hate.”
Victoria and David Beckham were also in attendance at the internationally-broadcast ceremony.
Victoria Beckham was one of a number of designers pipped to design Meghan Markle’s wedding dress, with bookmakers placing 4/1 odds on her being the designer of the moment.
The dress was instead designed by Clare Waight Keller, the Artistic Director at Givenchy.
Early reports had claimed that all five members of the Spice Girls had been invited to the Royal Wedding, with Mel B announcing in February that they had all received invitations and sparking rumours of a potential performance.
However, it was later rumoured that only Victoria Beckham, Emma Bunton and Geri Horner had been invited to attend the ceremony.
Beckham was the only member of the iconic group to attend Saturday’s ceremony, prompting thoughts that only one invite was given in the former group.
Late night host James Corden attended the wedding with his wife Julia Carey, who have both been publicly outspoken about their support for LGBT rights.
The British TV host, who has three children, said the subject of same-sex couples had not come up with any of them.
Corden said in March: “They haven’t brought it up, but we have lots of gay friends – like our friends Chris and Mark – who have come over a lot and stayed with us.
“I think my son has never questioned it as it’s always been there,” he added.
“And if he did, I would know what those answers were, which is that these are simply two men that really love each other in the same way I love mummy and grandma loves grandad and that’s it.”
Television host Oprah Winfrey was another prominent attendee at the Royal Wedding.
The star was one of Hollywood’s earliest and most prominent LGBT allies, giving a platform on her show as far back as 1991, when she held a pioneering discussion about same-sex marriage.
In 1997, Oprah interviewed Ellen DeGeneres as she came out as a lesbian – a watershed moment in the history of the LGBT rights movement considered by many to be the key turning point for gay equality.
A prominent Christian, Oprah has also been clear in condemning the use of religion to spread homophobia.
Model and actress Cara Delevingne was rumoured to attend the ceremony but later revealed that she was excited to watch from afar with her friends and was happy for the Prince.
Delevingne told People on Friday: “I’m really happy that he found love. You know when love just changes someone completely? He’s really come so far.
“I’m really happy for Harry.”
The wedding sermon was conducted by Michael Curry, the head of the Anglican church in the US.
The bishop became the surprise star of the wedding with his lively address, prompting former Labour leader Ed Miliband to tweet: “Rev Michael Curry could almost make me a believer.”
Curry is the first African-American to preside over the Episcopal Church. His father, the late Rev. Kenneth Curry, was a civil rights activist.
The bishop has long fought for LGBT rights and was one of the first bishops to allow same-sex marriages to take place in churches in North Carolina.