British Royal Family

Harry and Meghan's wedding made history, but there were subtle clues they'd never be your average royal couple

The Duke of Duchess of Sussex march to the beat of their own drum.

By Alex Lilly
When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their engagement in 2017, royal fans knew their union was something special.
The UK's most eligible bachelor had fallen for an American actress and unlike his older brother Prince William, would most likely never rule as king. So as their wedding date approached, we knew it wouldn't be the same as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's Westminster Abbey extravaganza.
On Saturday 19th May 2018, fans waved flags, donned their fascinators and toasted the couple not knowing that less than two years later Harry and Meghan would be stepping back from royal duties and living in the US.
However, if you look back on their big day knowing what we know now, you can see the subtle ways they broke protocol as they exchanged vows at St George's Chapel in front of friends, family and a global audience.
From music choices to PDA, here's how Harry and Meghan made their wedding about them rather than The Firm plus, how there were subtle signs they wouldn't be royals forever.
On 19th May 2018, Harry and Meghan became husband and wife. (Image: Getty)

Here comes the bride

One of the most mesmerising images from the royal wedding was snapped when Meghan Markle began her journey down the aisle solo.
After her father Thomas Markle revealed he would be unable to attend, the royal bride walked by herself, flanked by her pageboys and flower girls. At the half-way point, her father-in-law Prince Charles made the touching gesture by escorting her to the altar, and rather than "giving her away" the Prince of Wales stepped back as Meghan stepped forward to her husband.
According to CNN, it was the former Suits star's decision to walk solo and both Harry and Charles were "delighted" with it. What's more, she was the first royal bride to ever walk unescorted down the aisle for a proportion of time.
Meghan walked the first half of the aisle by herself and was then joined by Prince Charles. (Image: Getty)

A political sermon

Bishop Michael Curry's sermon became a viral sensation when he remarked that "love is the way" but the couple's choice to have him speak spoke volumes.
It marked the first time an American bishop had spoken at a royal wedding - a nod to the bride's home country - but his words reflected Harry and Meghan's humanitarian values. The pastor is also America's first African-American leader of the Episcopal Church and an avid campaigner for social justice and racial equality.
"When love is the way, then no child will go to bed hungry in this world ever again. When love is the way, we will let justice roll down like a mighty stream and righteousness like an ever-flowing brook," he enthused.
"When love is the way then poverty will become history. When love is the way, the earth will be a sanctuary. When love is the way, we will lay down our swords and shields, down by the riverside, to study war no more. When love is the way, there's plenty good room - plenty good room - for all of God's children.
"Because when love is the way, we actually treat each other, well... like we are actually family."
Even after stepping down as senior royals, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have passionately advocated for numerous charitable endeavours. In honour of Women's History Month, their organisation Archewell partnered with four non-profits including Smart Works, The 19th, the National Women's Law Center and the Center on Poverty and Inequality at Georgetown University.

Gospel choir gloriousness

When you picture a royal wedding, it's easy to think of the traditional organ ringing through an old church. But once again, the Sussexes had their own ideas.
During the service, the Kingdom Choir, a group of London gospel singers, performed a moving rendition of Ben E King's Stand By Me and the wedding ended with the Etta James version of Amen/This Little Light of Mine. According to CNN, the latter is a gospel song that became synonymous with the US civil rights movement.
Royal watchers also noticed that Harry lovingly stroked his new wife's hand during the Stand By Me performance and the two shared a loving look. A hint that he'd stand by her through all the ups and downs of their marriage, perhaps?

Kiss like nobody's watching

Since Harry and Meghan tied the knot in Windsor rather than London, we knew we'd be missing out on a Buckingham Palace balcony kiss. But that didn't stop them locking lips not once, but twice after the service.
Their smooch on the steps of St George's Chapel was the first ever royal kiss to be had on the steps outside the West Door, despite the fact that numerous weddings had taken place before then.
Harry and Meghan then shared another tender kiss in their carriage and years later, continue to delight fans with their regular expressions of PDA. Who needs royal protocol, especially when you're no longer a royal?