Windsor (dpa) – prince harry and meghan drive through the evening sun in a shining blue convertible. It's the last public appearance on their wedding day. The jaguar is chic and classic – and yet different.
The model, originally from 1968, is now equipped with an electric motor. A balancing act between modernity and tradition – this is something like the leitmotif of this couple and their "royal wedding".
The weather plays along perfectly. Everything else the palace has planned down to the minute. And exactly according to plan the celebration also runs off. This is not self-evident: first there was trouble about the relatives of the U.S.-based meghan, some of whom do not hold with the strict code of conduct of the british royals. But this wedding also offers surprises without mishaps.
There's the african-american bishop whose fiery sermon has stiffed brits in awe and liberal commentators thrilled. "Two young people fell in love, and we're all here," says michael curry of the u.S. Episcopal church. "Love has power." he quotes martin luther king, opposes hate and racism. After the ceremony, a gospel choir sings "stand by me". The late gothic st.-georgs chapel probably not seen yet.
600 guests at the wedding ceremony also provide topics of conversation. "So colorful," many black. Of meghan's family, only her mother doria ragland is there, but the ex-actress has invited friends and colleagues in abundance. Of course, many more and less famous royals are there, as well as the top british celebrities from film, music and sports. Hollywood star george clooney strokes the arm of his wife, top british-lebanese lawyer amal clooney. Idris elba waves to onlookers, david and victoria beckham are cheered, cuddly singer james blunt winks at the sun, u.S. Presenter oprah winfrey arrives in a pink dress with a powerful hat.
Pippa, sister of harry's brother-in-law kate, wears subtle mint green – it's been seven years since her tight, feminine dress at kate and william's wedding earned her the nickname "her royal hotness. Even superstar elton john came. He was friends with harry's mother diana, at her funeral in 1997 he moved the world to tears with "candle in the wind. At post-wedding reception, he performs – a personal request of harry, british media want to know.
There are many small, modern accents that harry and meghan set. 1200 ordinary people who have distinguished themselves with special social commitment were allowed into the palace courtyard at the couple's request. Instead of the traditional heavy fruit wedding cake that was served to prince william and kate, there is a lighter organic lemon cake with elderberry blossom. Meghan promises no obedience in marriage vows.
The bride wears pure female – because it is fresh and modern, the palace announces. For some this came as a surprise, after all it is already the second marriage for meghan. After the cancellation of her father, the father-in-law and heir to the throne prince charles brings the bride to the altar. There harry receives her with the words: "you look like a brute"."
The obvious infatuation of the two stirred many brits. And the royal house can be satisfied for the time being: harry and meghan, the young couple with a mind of their own, that fits well. The prince picks his own flowers for the bride robbery – and the press office makes sure that the world finds out too.
William, kate and their three children are likeable, but also seem a bit spitzy. Harry was once considered a party-loving worrier until he found a place in the army. Now he and his wife, a divorced actress from the U.S. With african-american roots, are marketing themselves as the modern face of the royals. The two have more freedom as harry, sixth in line to the throne, is unlikely to become king.
Nevertheless, even for her, freedom has limits. For example, meghan had to give up her acting job when she got engaged. She now has her own entry on the royal family's website, which tells, among other things, how she successfully rallied against a sexist ad campaign when she was just eleven years old and helped out at a soup kitchen in los angeles as a teenager. "I am proud to be a woman and a feminist", this quote from her speech to the united nations particularly highlights the page.
Many brits are counting on the former actress and the prince to bring a breath of fresh air to the monarchy even after the wedding. On the wedding day, the balancing act between tradition and modernity succeeds. Even meghan's mother, who wears nose piercings and dreadlocks, seems to have arrived in the royal house: after the service, prince charles shakes her hand.