Meghan Markle Made History As She Married Prince Harry Six Years Ago This Month

The stunning bride wore Givenchy for her May 19, 2018 wedding—and did something no royal bride before her had ever done.

Meghan Markle
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Now that Meghan Markle and her husband, Prince Harry, live in California, she rarely spends any time with her father-in-law, King Charles—at least in person. (Only they know how much they speak on FaceTime or Zoom.) But in the leadup to her royal wedding to Harry six years ago this month, the then Prince Charles and Meghan had a warm relationship, and in her and Harry’s six-part Netflix docuseries, Harry & Meghan, she reminisced on the moment she asked her soon-to-be father-in-law to walk her partway down the aisle as she married Harry in Windsor on May 19, 2018. (Meghan’s estranged father, Thomas Markle, was not in attendance at the wedding, but her mother, Doria Ragland, was there; the mother and daughter duo share a very tight bond.)

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Charles escorted Meghan partway down the aisle at St. George's Chapel and right to her groom at the altar.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In episode four of the Liz Garbus-directed series, Meghan said of Charles that “Harry’s dad is very charming. And I said to him, ‘I’ve lost my dad in this,’ so him as my father-in-law was really important to me, so I asked him to walk me down the aisle, and he said yes.”

As footage of Charles and Meghan walking together played, Meghan said that “The whole thing was surreal. It was at that moment I could also see H,” her pet name for Harry.

Meghan Markle on her 2018 wedding day

When Meghan married Harry on May 19, 2018, she made history as the only royal bride to walk herself down the aisle.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Meghan made the decision to walk herself halfway down the aisle at St. George’s Chapel before she was met by Charles, who accompanied her the rest of the way to the altar. “It was the first time any royal bride had walked down the aisle of her wedding on her own,” The Mirror reports.

On the eve of Harry and Meghan’s wedding, Buckingham Palace announced that Meghan had asked Charles to accompany her, and a statement released at the time said that the then Prince of Wales was “pleased to be able to welcome Ms. Markle to The Royal Family in this way.” (It was no doubt an emotional moment for all, as Charles never had a daughter of his own.)

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Harry and Meghan said Charles was extraordinarily important in the planning of their wedding in Windsor.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

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Meghan wore Givenchy for her big day, in a gown designed by Clare Waight Keller.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Harry himself spoke of his father’s role in his wedding in the documentary Prince, Son, and Heir: Charles at 70: “I asked him to and I think he knew it was coming, and he immediately said, ‘Yes, of course, I’ll do whatever Meghan needs, and I’m here to support you guys,’” Harry said. “For him that’s a fantastic opportunity to step up and be that support and, you know, he’s our father, so of course he’s going to be there for us.”

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Harry and Meghan headed off to their wedding reception, hosted by Charles at Frogmore House.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

That wasn’t Charles’ only contribution to the 2018 royal wedding. “My father helped us choose an orchestra, which made all the difference,” Harry said. Charles also helped select the Kingdom Choir, the gospel choir that famously sang “Stand By Me,” which Harry said was “More help from my dad on that one.” That evening, Charles hosted the couple’s evening reception at Frogmore House, and reportedly gave a moving speech at the party “which left the audience in tears,” The Mirror writes. “Referring to him as ‘my darling old Harry,’ he was apparently emotional about the marriage of his youngest son, who he said he still remembered so clearly as a baby.”

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.