In some respect, both weddings were quite similar, however, after digging deep into the archive, we realized that the two events were nothing alike. Was this the first sign of Harry and Merkle saying goodbye to the royal family? Read on and discover what made Merkle skip her duties.
Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen designed the astonishing dress Kate Middleton wore, which cost around $434,000. It was inspired by Grace Kelly's iconic dress when she got married. She took the audience's breath away in that gown, a dress suited for a true princess.
Unexpectedly, Meghan Merkle went for the British designer Clare Waight Keller of Givenchy, who designed a relatively simple, yet stunning in its own way, pure white gown. Both brides chose long sleeves for their dresses but preferred a completely different neckline and ornaments.
Beautiful white flowers decorated Kate's veil. It was waist-length and was a modest piece alongside the dress, tiara, and other elements. The veil was traditionally designed, which enriched the overall Cinderella look.
Meghan's veil was almost the centerpiece of the day. She chose a 16.5-foot-long trail designed by Clare Waight Keller. 53 beautiful flowers, all representing the countries of the Commonwealth, were embroidered along the veil, adding a symbolic and meaningful touch.
Kate Middleton kept a modest and girly hairstyle. James Pryce designed it for her. She wore it in a half-up half-down style, allowing a few loose waves to give a lighter touch. And she was stunning.
Serge Normant was the name behind Meghan Merkle's hairstyle. The Audrey Hepburn bun look inspired it. Now, we are not sure about Hepburn being an inspiration; however, Meghan did look beautiful, and her hair went perfectly with the entire style of the day.
How long does a couple wait before tying the knot? Well, there are no rules. Kate and William were dating on and off for more than six years before 'Waity Katie' was asked the big question. William proposed while the two were traveling in Africa.
For Harry and Meghan, it didn't take that long. Their first date was in July 2016, and by November 2017, the two were already engaged.
The Engagement Ring
Kate Middleton's engagement ring is one of the most famous rings in the world. It was given to the late Princess Diana when she got engaged to the then Prince Charles, and William decided to keep it as close as he could. He gave it to Kate when he proposed.
Harry, too, gave a Diana touch to his wife's engagement ring. He proposed with a golden band with two diamonds inherited from Diana and a center stone he brought back from Botswana, where the couple apparently fell for each other.
The Wedding Ring
Kate chose a simple yet exquisite Welsh golden band to accompany the dazzling engagement ring that goes perfectly with the eye-popping sapphire rock. Sometimes the simple things stand out the most.
When it comes to the wedding ring, Kate and Meghan are very much alike. It's William and Harry that make the difference. Meghan's wedding ring is also made of Welsh gold, and unlike William, Harry wears a ring too.
Kate respected the something borrowed, something blue tradition and the gorgeous tiara she wore on her wedding day was (it wasn't blue) borrowed. The late Queen Elizabeth received it as a gift for her 18th birthday, and she herself inherited it from her mother.
Meghan Merkel had to do the same, and she also borrowed her tiara from the late queen's collection. Meghan's tiara was initially Queen Mary's extraordinary piece.
Alongside the many professional craftsmen who take a significant part in one's wedding, the makeup artist is always one of the closest ones to the bride. Not in Kate Middleton's case. Kate attended a few Bobbi Brown classes as she insisted on doing her own makeup for her big day. How noble.
Daniel Martin, a close friend of Meghan Merkel, created her look for the wedding day. She asked for a natural look and insisted on having her freckles appear. She wanted to look (and be) herself.
Regarding the bouquet, Kate went for a simple and traditional arrangement. Apparently, Queen Victoria had the same choice of flowers when she got married and included Lily of the Valley, Hyacinth, and sweet William. How sweet.
It is thought that Harry picked some of the flowers that composed Meghan's bouquet. How romantic. Philippa Craddock designed the enchanting arrangement, which included Lily of the Valley, Astrantia, and Jasmine.
The Best Man
When Prince William married his gorgeous Kate, it was only natural that his brother Harry serves as his best man. The two were dressed in their military uniform, looking as if they were pulled out of 'The Tails of Prince Charming.'
Harry followed his brother, and of course, William served as Harry's best man at his wedding. They were seen in the frockcoat uniform, one of the official uniforms of the British Military.
Maid of Honor and Page Boys
If one person besides the bride and groom stood out in the 2011 wedding, it has to be Pippa Middleton, Kate's maid of honor. The stunning Pippa carried her sister's long trail and left behind a lot more than just flowers.
As it turns out, Meghan didn't want a maid of honor. She had two little page boys carrying her extra-long veil. Although a maid of honor is a tradition that has never been broken before, the new and modern scene seemed to work.
Four cute bridesmaids and two adorable pageboys escorted Kate and William on their wedding day. Now although Kate Middleton herself was a commoner, all bridesmaids, and pageboys were related in some form or another to the royal family, leaving Kate's side ....on the side.
Meghans' pageboys were carrying her veil, and the bride called for no less than ten bridesmaids. Princess Charlotte, William and Kate's daughter was one of them. Unlike sister inlaw Kate, Meghan had her fair share of bridesmaids sourced from her side of the chapel.
The Queen at the Wedding
The late Queen Elizabeth chose a cheerful yellow suite designed by Angela Kelly. She added a dazzling diamond brooch and a matching pearl neckless. Like always, the outfit was color coordinated, making Her Majesty noticeable enough amongst the enchanting bride and groom.
On Harry and Meghan's big day, lime was the color that ruled. Stuart Parvin was responsible for the design of the matching dress and coat, and Angela Kelly gave her purple touch on the hat.
King Charles and Camilla
In 2022 King Charles was still Prince Charles and Queen Consort Camilla was just Camilla. For William's day, he wore a military uniform, and Camilla was in a champagne and light blue colored dress. Anna Valentine, who designed the dress, is also the name behind Camilla's 2005 wedding dress.
Camilla stuck to what (or who) she knows best and wore a baby pink dress designed yet again by Anna Valentine. On the other hand, Charles left his military uniform locked up and arrived in a gray morning suit.
Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie
The two sisters, daughters of Prince Andrew, wore unforgettable outfits for the wedding of Prince William and Princess Kate. Eugenie was in a bright blue dress with the same color hat, and Beatrice wore a pale pink Valentini dress and coat. The extravaganza style of hats made the two play the role of Cinderella's sisters in this fairytale of a day.
The two sisters decided to calm things down for Meghan and Harry's wedding. Eugenie was seen in a beautiful 1960s-inspired baby blue dress, and Beatrice was in a teal dress, also in blue, and a matching handbag.
The Bride's Mother
Carole Middleton called for Catherine Walker's talent and wore a smart plain blue dress. With a matching colored hat, heels, and a bag in a sand shade of gray, the mother of the bride looked sophisticated and elegant. For Merkel's wedding, she wore a Catherine Walker too.
Doria Ragland, Meghan Merkel's mother, had to get used to the British weather (although it was sunny) and wrapped herself up in a wool crepe dress and coat colored green and designed by Oscar de la Renta.
David and Victoria Beckham
Some may say the Beckhams are more royal than any other family member on this list. For William and Kate's wedding Victoria was pregnant and wore a stunning loose navy dress designed by her. David came in a purple Ralph Lauren suit. Stunning.
At Harry's wedding, the Becks were still stunning as always. Victoria stuck to her favorite navy blue and matched red heels. David came in a three-piece suite, looking cheerful and charming.
Elton John at the Wedding
You would have expected Elton Jhon to wear something outrageous, being the character he is; however, for William and Kate's wedding, he arrived in a simple and smart morning suit breaking the boring look with a purple tie and yellow vest.
For Harry's wedding, Elton wore a gray morning suit too, this time with no added colors. He did add a pair of pink, dazzling glasses and a pocket square decorated with flowers. At the wedding, he honored the couple by performing one of their (and our) favorites, "Your Song."
The Bride's Arrival
Kate Middleton was accompanied by her father, Michael Middleton. They drove to Westminister Abby, where the couple arrived in a black Rolls-Royce Phantom VI. The car had massive windows so the crowds could see the bride just before she entered the Abby.
Meghan Merkle arrived at Windsor Castle accompanied by her mother, Doria Ragland. Meghan was in a vintage Phantom IV too. Ironically, or coincidentally, the same car was used 46 years earlier by her fellow American, Mrs. Simpson.
Almost two thousand people crowded in Westminister Abby for the wedding of the future king of England and his beautiful Kate. The Abby is mostly known for where coronations are held, however, over the years, it has hosted almost twenty royal weddings.
St. George's Chapel, located in Windsor Castel, is where Harry and Merkle were married. Their wedding was much smaller, with only 800 people at the ceremony. We still don't know if the place was deliberately chosen, as it cannot hold more than 800 people, allowing the couple to have the small wedding they longed for.
The Bride's Father
Michael Middleton proudly led his gorgeous daughter down the aisle. Midleton is a businessman born in Leeds who held a respectable career in British Airways until he opened his own business. He didn't need his daughter's relations to place him on a higher rank, as over the years, he inherited obscene amounts of money, enabling him to climb society's ladder.
We don't know if Meghan's father didn't attend the royal wedding because of his health condition or because Meghan preferred him not to be there. On the big day, she walked the nave alone; however, King Charles himself, who was then only a prince, led Meghan down the aisle.
Walking up the Aisle
Kate and William gave the audience the entire Cinderella story. Besides being exquisitely stunning, the couple walked down the aisle after the ceremony, followed by the page boys and bridesmaids. This was the beginning of a new era for the British Royal family, with young blood giving its tone.
The decor on the aisle at Meghan and Harry's wedding captured our hearts. It was remarkably enchanting. The couple walked through a floral arch that Philippa Craddock designed. Meghan's pageboys and bridesmaids followed too. A true fairy tale.
The entire city of London awaited William and Kate to come out of the church and greet the crowds. Thousands were cheering the newlyweds. These were precious moments for the people of England as not every day a future queen is crowned.
At Harry and Meghan's wedding, things were more modest. Of course, there were cheering fans and joyful masses; however, it was all at a much lower scale than their in-laws.
Even in modern days, the British monarchy holds on to tradition, and when there's a royal wedding, the dust off the vintage carriages is wiped away. Kate and William rode the Imperial State Landau. It was the same one Charles and Diana uses for their wedding.
Ascot Landau carriage is what Harry and Meghan chose to ride on their big day. This is a relatively smaller cartridge, and other royals have used it in the past. The big cartridges are usually kept in London, and a smaller style had to do as this wedding was in Windson.
Traditionally, Kate and William couldn't ditch the balcony. It was expected of them. Usually, members of the royal family have a unique way of waving; however, as evolution kicked in, the royals bowed down to the commoners and waved as humans do these days.
If Meghan and Harry would have married in London, they would have probably been obliged to wave to the people from the balcony of Buckingham Palace, just like Kate and William were. Instead, they gave their wave during their thirty-minute carriage ride in Windsor.
There is no ending to a wedding, royal or not, without a kiss. Like the wave, the royal kiss is one of the day's highlights, and people eagerly wait for the sweet moment. Kate and William smooched on Buckingham Palace, adorned by a grumpy little bridesmaid.
Meghan was very lucky when the kissing moment arrived as no moody bridesmaid was there to take her wind. The newlyweds posed flawlessly for the snapshot, and yet again, the floral arch was placed in perfection.
Fiona Cairns was responsible for William and Kate's wedding cake. We don't know what it tasted like, but it was magnificent. It was composed of eight tiers that were made out of fruit cake, traditionally used in British Royal cakes.
Meghan had to do things differently and escape the tradition. She chose a lemon and elderflower cake from Claire Ptak of London's Violet Bakery. The cake wasn't as expected on tiers and was presented as three separate layers.
As this was a royal wedding, Kate couldn't just go to any graphic designer and pick out something she liked. A royal invitation had its own language. White, gold, and black are the traditional colors used. The invite was sent on behalf of the late queen, and it read; The Marriage of His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales, K.G. with Miss Catherine Middleton."
Also, Meghan had to go with the traditional white, gold, and black; however, it wasn't sent by the late Queen Elizabeth, and King Charles, who was just a prince at the time, sent out the invite. Another significant difference between both invitations is that as Meghan had been married before, she was referred to as Ms. and not Miss, as Midleton was.
The Getaway Car
After the wedding ceremony, Prince William drove his beautiful wife from Buckingham Place to Clarence House in a car that was iconically associated with King Charles. The blue Aston Martin was given to Charles on his 21st birthday and has been in the family since.
The 1968 Jaguar E-Type Concept Zero was what Harry Drove Meghan to the evening reception held in Frogmore House. The car was rented for the day; however, if you wished to buy something like this, you would probably have to say goodbye to about $500,000.
The moment we've been all waiting for. The second dress. To the evening reception, breathtaking Katy wore a white gown made of satin and designed by Alexander McQueen. She added a white shrug completing the princess look.
Meghan's evening dress has to be one of the most spectacular evening gowns we have ever seen. Stella McCartney did an incredible job; we must admit, Meghan wore it perfectly. It was a high-neck gown that intentionally or not resembled a dress the late Diana once wore.
For both weddings, Princess Anne, daughter of the late Queen Elizabeth, wore the same color just in different shades. For William and Kate's wedding, she wore a shocking purple and green coat accompanied by a purple hat. Not sure what she was trying to say here.
For Meghan and Harry's big day, she wore a dark purple wrapped coat. This time she left the big hat at home and added a modest headpiece which seemed to work. She completed her intelligent look with a matching colored clutch.
Lady Kitty Spencer
In both weddings, it was impossible to ignore the absence of Lady Diana, William, and Harry's late mother. Lady Kitty Spencer, Diana's nice and the groom's cousin, represented the Spencer family. For William's wedding, she wore a tight-fitted beige dress and came with a matching clutch.
For Harry's wedding, she was dressed in a completely different character. She stuck to the squared-neck dress; however, it wasn't as tight as the one she wore for William's day. The blueish-greenish color flattered her, and the floral design cracked the conservative look. She looked beautiful.
The late Prince Phillip was privileged enough to attend his grandchildren's weddings. He wore a traditional Grenadier Guards Uniform for William and Kate's big day. This matched the red uniform William, the groom, wore that day.
For Harry's wedding, Prince Phillip left his uniform behind and wore a formal suit and added a blue tie. We are unsure if the uniform was replaced by the suit following Philip's medical condition, preventing him from wearing the uncomfortable and awkward military uniform.
The Guest List
There's nothing more frustrating than deciding who to invite for your big day and who, unfortunately, not. For Kate and William, this wasn't an issue. Everyone had to be there. From ambassadors to world leaders, prime ministers, and mega celebs, everyone was invited, not forgetting close friends and family.
For Meghan and Harry, things were different. They acknowledged that it was going to be an 'all or nothing deal. Their wedding was packed with Hollywood stars and a list of celebs, including Oprah, apparently a dear friend of Meghan.
The ceremony itself was very different at both weddings. Kate Middleton was marrying the future king of England, and this was, at least to the Brits, a very big deal. It was formal with no between-the-line jokes, and the speeches and songs were as tradition dictated.
At Meghan and Harry's ceremony, things were much loosened up. It included gospel singing, as Meghan insisted, the minister was an American from Chicago, and throughout the speeches, people were joking, giggling, and having a great time.
The 9th Earl Spencer is the late Lady Diana's brother. Over the years, there were many scandals involving him and his feelings toward the royal family following the death of his sister. He attended William and Kate's wedding wearing a conservative morning suit. Initially, he was supposed to give a speech at the wedding; however, there was a change in plans at the last minute.
Unlike William and Kate's wedding, where he kept silent, the Spencers had a few things to say at Harry's wedding. They seemed much closer to Harry than William, possibly due to Harry and Meghan's more open views of the crown. For this wedding, he wore a morning suit too.
How Much Did the Wedding Cost?
Both weddings cost a fortune and much more than any other average big day. Every little detail had to be thought of, there was no room for mistakes, and only the best could do. William and Kate's wedding had 2500 guests and cost $34 million.
Harry and Meghan's wedding was much smaller and had only 800 guests, but the check was higher for some reason. We appreciate that they got married in 2018, seven years after William and Kate, and there might have been a price increase on several items but spending $55 million in one day?
The Wedding Portrait
When you are born into, or marry into, the British royal family, a wedding portrait is part of the to-do list whether you like it or not. The two portraits are very different, shedding light on the diversity between these two couples. William and Kate were obliged to have a conservative portrait done, with not much creativity or uniqueness.
Harry and Meghan, on the other side, were able to bend the rules slightly. Their portrait is much more personal and inviting. The love between the two can be felt just by looking at the photograph, making you think everything behind the scenes was perfect pink.
Another significant difference between what was known as a very traditional wedding and a more modernized one. With William a Kate, the formal phrase of 'man and wife' was used, usually preserved for more conservative ceremonies.
Harry and Meghan adopted the everyday term 'husband and wife,' which is an acceptable and updated choice of words. This doesn't surprise us, as the entire event was much more updated and contemporized than the 2011 William and Kate version.
There is no room for mistakes when choosing a photographer. After all the guests have gone and after changing into more comfortable clothing, the photograph is the only perceptible thing left from the wedding day. Kate and William went with a familiar photographer who has been working with the royal family for years. They stayed on the safe side.
On the other hand, Meghan and Harry went with British Lubomirski, a very respectable photographer known for taking shots of Beyonce, Jennifer Aniston, and Gwyneth Paltrow.
The Family Photo
Even the family photo taken after every wedding has its differences. In Kate and William's wedding, it is visible that there is a division between both families. William had his family on his side, and Kate had hers on her side.
For Meghan and Harry's photo, things were yet again different. As Meghan only had one family member (her mother), the positioning of the people in the photo was almost random.
The British even have a tradition for the day a wedding takes place. Royal weddings have always been held on Fridays, preserving the long custom of having such an event on a working day and giving the people an extra day off to celebrate. William and Kate had their wedding on a Friday.
Harry and Meghan were married on a Saturday, which is very uncommon. Firstly many primary sport events are held on Saturdays, and besides, Saturday is already the weekend, so no one could benefit from an extra day off to party.
For those who are not native Brits, camping outside before a special day is a well-known custom in the kingdom, and William and Kate's wedding was no exception. People put up their tents and rolled out their sleeping bags a few days before the wedding, securing the best viewing point possible.
Unfortunately for the crowds, the council of Windsor, where Harry and Meghan's wedding took place, didn't allow any camping along the procession route, making the entire event much more closed and intimate. Maybe that's how they wanted it.
There is one person who benefits most from any royal event, and it's the guy from the memento shop. There is something you can't take away from the British people, and that is anything that's got to do with souvenirs. Towels, t-shirts, posters, cards, keyrings, and anything you can think of are adorned with the portraits of whoever is involved. And that's how it was at William's and Kate's wedding.
For Harry and Meghan's souvenirs collecting, things went one step further. Alongside the traditional teatowels and standard t-shirts, an additional line of mugs was produced, reading things that weren't exactly considered 'royal.' 'Game Changers' and ' Free Spirits' were only some.
The International Viewers
Almost 23 million American viewers were glued to the TV and watched William and Kate's wedding. Even though there was a significant time difference, nothing was going to come between the US and the royal wedding.
For Meghan and Harry's wedding, there were even more. A record of 30 million American viewers watched the beautiful wedding ceremony of a British prince and an American star on their home screens.