The lead-up to any wedding is stressful, but Meghan Markle certainly had more than her fair share of pre-wedding drama. With her father's health issues and paparazzi photo scandal, the poor bride had to deal with one family crisis after another leading up to her big day. But even though she had the dashing Prince Charles, Prince of Wales walk her down the aisle, there were more than a few major ways Meghan Markle honored her family at the royal wedding today.
One of the most touching moments of the royal wedding was the car ride that Meghan and her mom, Doria Ragland, shared from the Cliveden House Hotel en route to St George's Chapel. The stunning mother and daughter duo made history as they waved to the cheering crowds from inside the Rolls-Royce Phantom IV. Ragland wore a beautiful pale green dress and day coat by Oscar de la Renta, along with a chic green fascinator by Stephen Jones, according to People. She also wore an elegant diamond nose ring that solidified her status as coolest mother-of-the-bride in royal history!
It was clear from watching the mother-daughter ride to the chapel that it was a very tender moment for both of them. But that wasn't the only way Meghan paid tribute to her family.
No One Gave The Bride Away
The tradition of the father giving away the bride has a rather dubious origin, representing a transfer of ownership back when women were considered property. But nowadays, the tradition merely functions as a way for the bride to honor her father. It's an emotional moment that Meghan, unfortunately, was unable to share with her own father, Thomas Markle Sr.
Though the dapper Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, ended up walking her down the aisle, he noticeably didn't "give her away". The presiding Archbishop skipped asking the tradition question, "Who giveth this woman to be married to this man?" — and Meghan elegantly proceeded up the aisle alone to join her prince.
This is one major way that Meghan honored her father — by not having anyone other than him give her away (despite rumors that her mother would be doing the honors). Markle Sr., who was unable to attend the ceremony due to a recent heart attack, told TMZ, "My baby looks beautiful and she looks very happy. I wish I were there and I wish them all my love and all happiness."
Doria Ragland Sat Across From The Queen
Meghan honored her mother by giving her prime seating within St. George's Chapel. She sat in the second row on one of the side pews, which was directly across from Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, according to Elle.
Ragland is a yoga instructor and social worker who Meghan has described in the past as being, "a free-spirited clinical therapist," according to Town & Country. Meghan has long considered her mom her rock, and in fact, she was the only member of Meghan's immediate family in attendance at the royal wedding today.
And it's no surprise that Ragland was given such prominent placement at the royal affair, since Meghan has always sung her praises. "We can just have so much fun together, and yet, I'll still find so much solace in her support. That duality coexists the same way it would in a best friend," said Markle in an interview with Glamour.
Meghan Honored Her African American Heritage
Meghan didn't shy away from honoring her African American roots during the royal ceremony.
One of the most beautiful moments from the ceremony was the Kingdom Choir's rendition of "Stand by Me," a song long associated with the civil rights movement. Choir director, Karen Gibson, majestically led the group's performance in St.George's Chapel.
Another nod to her African American heritage came in the way of choosing the African American preacher Michael Curry to give the sermon. Curry, who quoted Martin Luther King, Jr, caused Twitter to erupt with joy and declarations of love for the preacher's message of inclusivity.
Meghan also made sure to invite a diverse group to the wedding ceremony, with prominent black figures in attendance, including Serena Williams, Oprah, and Idris Elba.