Harry and Meghan’s marriage celebration on May 19, 2018 was like no other royal wedding seen before. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s big day at Windsor Castle was energetic, inclusive, colorful and – above all – enormously good fun. Naturally, the event was also photographed, filmed and reported on by the global media in excruciating detail. Nevertheless, plenty of fascinating and heartwarming facts about the ceremony, the outfits and the after-party still managed to slip through the net. Here are 20 things you may have missed about the wedding of the year…
20. Wills roasted Harry with a very bald speech
As a high-ranking member of the British royal family, Prince William is accustomed to speaking publicly… but certainly not giving speeches like the one he delivered at his brother’s wedding. According to The Times newspaper, Will’s address was very lewd and rude indeed, and included not only some bold ribbing about Harry’s bald patch, but also a very un-princely joke concerning “wet knickers.” Sadly, however, the full extent of the regal naughtiness will probably never be known. But, maybe that’s for the best…
19. Rick Hoffman’s visage became a viral meme
Among the many celebrity guests congregating at the wedding was Rick Hoffman, Meghan’s co-star on the television drama Suits. But what the viewing public could not help but notice, was that when the TV cameras caught the actor in the chapel, he was pulling a pretty strange face. His contorted visage became such a viral meme that Hoffman took to Instagram a few days later to explain why his face was “all over the place.” Apparently, someone sitting near Hoffman had halitosis. However, the actor was too much of a gentleman to divulge the source of the bad-breath.
18. James Corden reportedly hosted a right royal dance-off
Comedian James Corden has achieved transatlantic success – and he has an OBE medal from the Queen – so he was probably the perfect person to take on MC duties at the royal wedding after-party. Reportedly, Cordon presided over a dance-off that saw the newlyweds, Prince Charles, Wills, and Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, all take part. “Everyone was laughing because it’s something no-one expected,” an anonymous source told U.K. tabloid The Sun. If only Corden, or anyone, had been allowed to take pictures of that – or at least tell us who the winner was…
17. Jester Cordon looked to history for a very old joke
Rumor has it that Corden could not resist the chance to make an elaborate royal joke earlier in the day. Apparently, after the speeches took place, the funny man suddenly appeared disguised as an iconic figure from British history. Cordon was claimed to have addressed the assembled, “Your royal highnesses, ladies and gentlemen, I had no idea what to wear to a royal wedding so I looked it up in the royal-etiquette manual and found this outfit. I hope I’ve come in the right gear.” The jester was dressed as King Henry VIII.
16. Pippa Middleton displayed a thirst for fashion
Pippa Middleton came dangerously close to stealing the show at the wedding of her sister Kate to Wills in 2011. The younger sibling’s bridesmaid’s dress was considered just that little bit too risqué, and royal fans went wild. This time around, Pippa played it safe, and opted for a simple mint green dress with pink floral detail. Unfortunately for her, however, the outfit’s design bore a strong resemblance to the branding of Arizona Iced Tea, and everyone – even the drink’s official Twitter handler – pointed it out.
15. The wedding was ex-rated
Usually, inviting ex-partners to your wedding is about a big a no-no as you could possibly commit. But perhaps things are different if you happen to be a prince. Harry’s most high-profile former squeezes – Cressida Bonas and Chelsy Davy – were both in attendance for his big day, but there were no big bust ups reported whatsoever. Maybe it was just because Harry does amicable splits with style? Allegedly, Chelsy even hugged Meghan at the reception –now that’s the way to handle things.
14. The reception tables had a pronounced difference
Details about the wedding reception were kept secret from the media as much as possible. But nevertheless, Meghan’s actress friend Janina Gavankar was persuaded to spill one titbit to Town and Country magazine a week later. Apparently, every table at the reception was named after a food pronounced differently in Britain and America – toMAto, toMAYto, and so on – as made famous by the old song. Gavankar said, “It was so sweet. There were so many nods to the beautiful mashup of two cultures.” Happily, no-one quoted the pay-off to the song lyric, “Let’s call the whole thing off…”
13. The bridesmaids were a shoe in
Meghan’s bridesmaids were all young children. There was Princess Charlotte – who almost stole the show – Ivy, the daughter of Meghan’s bestie, Jessica Mulroney; Harry’s goddaughters, Zalie Warren and Florence van Cutsem; and Meghan’s goddaughters, Rylan and Remi Litt. And each of the little girls was given a personal gift from the bride – a pair of white leather shoes to wear on the big day. But it’s all in the tiny details – each little shoe was monogrammed with the bridesmaid’s initials and the date of the wedding. Awww!
12. Meghan had a special delivery for Harry
It is not traditional for the bride to deliver a speech at a royal wedding, but – quite rightly – Meghan did not care. But the protocol-busting speech she delivered to her groom was no conventional address either – it took the form of a love poem. An anonymous source discussed it with U.K. tabloid the Daily Express later that May. “It was the most special part of the entire day and the most unexpected…” the inside informer said. “She read her poem like the professional actress she is. Harry looked so proud and had to wipe away a tear.”
11. Bride and groom turned out to be good mixers
What’s a wedding without a little alcohol? Harry and Meghan went all out to provide some refreshing entertainment for their guests, with an added twist of humor. They served rum-and-ginger cocktails. The ginger, of course, being a nod to the groom’s reddish locks; the rum, perhaps in reference to the bride’s Caribbean heritage? Anyway, the resulting drink was named “When Harry Met Meghan.” To add an even more Hollywood touch to the whole proceedings, according to People magazine, no less a personage than George Clooney ended up serving the cocktails behind the bar.
10. Tom Hardy bested Wills in the baldness stakes
Among the many celebrities on the wedding guest list was heartthrob actor Tom Hardy. However, the star shone a little differently than usual… because he had shaved all his hair off to play Al Capone in a movie. The internet just could not resist making jokes about the last time Hardy shaved his head for a role – playing Bane in The Dark Knight Rises. One wag tweeted, “Please end the ceremony by having Tom Hardy say a reading in the Bane voice. Thank you.” Alas, it was not to be, and the actor forever held his piece.
9. The opportunity to slipper into something more comfortable
Some of the high heels worn at the royal wedding were spectacular, yet incredibly uncomfortable looking. Luckily, someone had thought ahead about people’s toes and help was at hand. In fact, Pretty Little Liars actress Troian Bellisario, the wife of Patrick J. Abrams, Meghan’s Suits co-star – and onscreen husband – snuck some foot footage from the afternoon reception on to Instagram. “How amazing is this, because these shoes have come off!” she said on the video. “They have slippers for us, slippers! I’m so ready.”
8. Serena Williams was all set and sneaked in her own footwear
However, Serena Williams did not feel the need to take the complimentary slippers. The tennis star wore pink heels to the wedding ceremony, but she changed into a pair of sensible sneakers for the reception. The pain-free footwear was cunningly hidden under a flower-print Valentino dress. Williams confessed on Instagram, “Little known fact: I often wear sneakers under my evening gown.” She then thanked Valentino director Pierpaolo Piccioli for slipping them to her in the first place – advantage Williams!
7. Meghan felt blue thinking about Princess Diana
Sadly Princess Diana, the mother of the groom, died in a car crash in 1997. But nonetheless, mementos of the People’s Princess were present at her youngest son’s wedding. In fact, Meghan’s bridal bouquet contained forget-me-nots, which was very fitting as they were Diana’s favorite flower. But also – even more touchingly – Meghan was snapped wearing one of Diana’s old rings as she and Harry left for their reception. The jewelry was one of the bride’s “something blue” wedding accoutrements, and also a way of ensuring Diana passed on something to the daughter-in-law she never met.
6. Harry and Meghan wanted to dance with somebody who loved them
Harry and Meghan reportedly had their first dance to Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” Indeed, the classic pop hit was definitely the perfect song for them – being romantic, modern, and pretty damn sexy to boot. Additionally, it features lyrics that the previously divorced Meghan may have found pretty resonant – “I’ve been in love and lost my senses/Spinning through the town/Sooner or later the fever ends/And I wind up feeling down/I need a man who’ll take a chance/On a love that burns hot enough to last.”
5. Real life imitated art – twice
Controversially, just before the nuptials, cable TV company Lifetime released the Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance biopic. In the circumstances, you may have thought it a major faux pas to rock up to the actual wedding wearing anything related to the movie… and you would be quite correct. Nevertheless, that is exactly what a couple of fearless female invitees did. Eagle-eyed Twitter fans highlighted the fact that two guests sported the same black-and-white patterned dress that “Meghan” wore in the movie.
4. Many guests got served at beer pong
The beloved American pastime of beer pong was reportedly played at the wedding reception. To the uninitiated, this drinking game involves trying to throw a table-tennis ball so that it lands in someone’s beer. If the chucker succeeds, the owner of the beer has to throw it down their neck. Needless to say, it can lead to some pretty wacky antics at the best of times, but what about if one of the players handles balls on a day-to-day basis? As U.K. tabloid The Sun reported, “Serena Williams played beer pong like it was tennis. Everyone had so much fun with it.”
3. Sir Elton John made everyone’s knight
Sir Elton John has always enjoyed a good relationship with the royal family – indeed, the veteran pop star was a close friend of Princess Diana. So it was not at all surprising when Prince Harry asked the hit maker to bash out a couple of tunes on the old joanna at the reception. Reportedly, Harry introduced Sir Elton with the cheeky remark, “Can anyone play the piano?” The famous musician then sang for his supper, belting out four of his greatest hits – “Your Song,” “I’m Still Standing,” “Tiny Dancer” and “Circle of Life” from The Lion King.
2. Harry and Meghan received baby presents
The thoughtful bride and groom asked their guests to give charitable donations rather than wedding gifts. Nevertheless, some organizations decided to delight the happy couple with some creative contributions. On the day before the big day, the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia, announced that it would be naming two baby koala bears Harry and Meghan in tribute to the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex. But the zoo operators also heeded the call for charitable contributions and donated a sum of money towards the preservation of koala habitats.
1. The royal couple had the perfect date
Much was made of Harry and Meghan’s wedding vehicle in the media and online. Their getaway car was a classic Jaguar E-type which had been converted to electric power to be a really silent runner. But the Jag boasted another subtle detail… the E-type’s customized license plate was E190518, or 19 May, 2018 – the English date formation for the day of the royal wedding.