Meghan Markle Reveals the Royal Wedding Tradition She Broke During Her Reception

The Duchess of Sussex reflected on her 2018 wedding and the "atypical" speech she gave to her guests.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding

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From skipping the traditional balcony kiss to serving a lemon and elderflower cake, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding—which took place on May 19, 2018—didn’t follow the typical royal wedding protocol. In the final three episodes of their new Netflix docuseries, Harry & Meghan, which was released on Thursday, December 15, 2022, the Duchess of Sussex reveals how their nuptials broke yet another rule. “I gave a speech the night of our wedding, which is atypical for a bride in the U.K. I think,” Meghan says in the episode. Harry chimes in, agreeing with the statement. “Very,” he says. 

Then, the Meghan pulls out her phone and reads some of the words that she shared with her guests after she said “I do” to Harry. “On to the crux of why I wanted to speak tonight,” the speech begins. “First of all, it’s been a while, but mostly, I wanted to share a story. A story that I wrote about the man that I love and the way we met. Let’s call this a modern fairy tale.”

The bulk of Meghan’s speech is a tale about how an actress from California and a prince from England fell in love. “All of those people didn’t fully get it because this is the love story of a boy and a girl who were meant to be together,” she shares. She recounts meeting Harry on July 3, 2016, where she spent most of the evening laughing. “The next day, they have their second date, and he brings her cupcakes because it’s Fourth of July,” Meghan continues. “‘A bittersweet celebration,’ he says. Ironic, really. Her country’s independence from his country. Yet, in this moment, they know they don’t want to be independent of each other, and after a month of long-distance courtship, they settle into the quiet of Botswana. And amidst whatever momentary worries that creep in, they look at each other and think, ‘Whatever, world, we’re in.’”

In her speech, the former Suits star discusses their shared love of gardening and traveling before mentioning how their support helped them overcome countless obstacles. “And when the tides were rough, they squeezed each other tighter,” she reads from her phone. “‘Nothing can break us,’ they’d say. ‘For this love, she was a fighter.’” Meghan wraps up her speech by expressing her love to Harry and toasting their marriage. “I appreciate, respect, and honor you, my treasure, for the family we will create and our love story that will last forever, so I ask you to raise a glass to the astounding assurance that now life begins and the everlasting knowing that, above all, love wins.”

In the last three episodes of their docuseries, the former actress also opens up about the emotions she felt before tying the knot. Although their nuptials was broadcasted to a worldwide television audience of 1.9 billion people, according to The Economic Times, the bride managed to keep her cool. “On the day of our wedding, it’s like I went into a really calm space,” she admits. “I don’t know how I was so calm. I look back at that. How was I so calm? And all I wanted was a mimosa, a croissant and to play the song ‘Going to the Chapel.’ Oh, that’s what I did, and it was great.”

The duchess adds that King Charles played a part in helping her feel at ease. Since Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle, couldn’t attend the wedding due to medical reasons, Charles stepped in and walked the bride halfway down the aisle, according to People. “Him, as my father-in-law, was important to me,” she says.

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