9 Ways This Royal Wedding Was Way More Modern Than Past Ones

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The newly named Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, made history with their storybook courtship and wedding. What's more, there are myriad ways the royal wedding 2018 was more modern than previous royal weddings. From deciding against being "given away" to forgoing the fruitcake, Markle and Prince Harry are ushering the royal family into the 21st century by opting to marry longstanding royal-wedding traditions with their own style and values.

While the couple did adhere to several traditions like Prince Harry wearing a military uniform, the bridal party containing children, and embracing a new title upon marriage, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex also decided to go their own way. One meaningful tradition Markle did incorporate into her wedding is the inclusion of a sprig or myrtle in her bridal bouquet.

"Myrtle, which represents love, fertility and innocence, has been grown at Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s holiday home on the Isle of Wight, for about 170 years," Kensington Palace noted on its official website. "It was first given to Queen Victoria in a posey by Prince Albert’s grandmother in 1845. The descendants of this plant are still in the grounds of the house today."

As an advocate for political participation and leadership for the women's agency of the United Nations, some of Markle's other wedding decisions reflected her commitment to women's rights and maintaining her identify, which are just some of the ways in which the 2018 royal wedding was more modern than previous royal weddings.


Markle Opted Not To Be 'Given Away'

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While Markle did ask Prince Charles to walk her part of the way down the aisle, she walked solo for the first portion of her wedding march and opted not to be "given away" in the traditional sense.


Harry's Ring

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Royal wedding bands are traditionally made of Welsh gold, according to Kensington Palace. "The wedding rings of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, The Queen, Princess Margaret, Princess Anne, and Diana, Princess of Wales, were all made from the same nugget of Welsh gold, which came from a Welsh mine, Clogau St David's at Bontddu," the official royal family website stated. While previous royal grooms have opted to forgo a wedding ring altogether, PEOPLE magazine reported that Harry opted for a platinum ring instead, while Markle opted for the traditional Welsh gold ring.


Open Displays Of Affection

Prince Harry and Markle have been openly affectionate with one another throughout their entire courtship, and they held hands during most of their wedding ceremony, which Town & Country reported is a break from formal royal-wedding tradition.


The Ceremony Was Multicultural

The first African-American leader of the Episcopal Church, Bishop Michael Curry of Chicago, delivered an inspiring speech during Prince Harry and Markle's wedding. Bishop Curry's presence at the wedding is a break with tradition because historically only British priests are invited to preside over royal occasions, Vox reported.

The impassioned speech, reminiscent of Martin Luther King Jr., incorporated scripture, social and political commentary, and messages of love. Bishop Curry speaking at the wedding is a nod to Markle's background as a mixed-race American, and a sign that the royal family acknowledges and respects the qualities she will bring to her role as Duchess of Sussex.


They Changed Up Their Wedding Vows

Since the wedding of Princess Diana and Prince Charles, royal brides have opted to remove the word "obey" from their wedding vows because men and women are equal partners in marriage. Markle did the same, following in the footsteps of the Princess of Wales and the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton. While this isn't a new break with tradition, it signifies that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are committed to moving the royal family forward and that Markle is committed to being an equal partner in her marriage.


They Opted For A Non-Traditional Wedding Cake

A multi-tiered fruitcake is typical for royal weddings, but Markle and Prince Harry opted for an organic elderflower cake with buttercream frosting. The royal couple also decided to forgo the traditional tiered wedding cake in favor of a funky design. "Made with elderflower syrup from the Queen’s Sandringham estate’s own elderflower trees, the cake features two one-tier cakes and one two-tier cake decorated with peonies, garden roses and greenery," Delish reported. "Each cake is displayed on its own golden pedestal."


They Kissed The Buckingham-Palace Kiss Goodbye

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Per royal-wedding tradition, the royal couple waves to the crowd and shares a kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after their wedding. Because Prince Harry and Markle broke tradition by marrying outside of London at St. George's Chapel in Windsor, there wasn't a kiss at Buckingham Palace. However, the newly minted Duke and Duchess of Sussex did share a post-wedding kiss for crowds in Windsor.


Markle's Dress Was Understated

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While elegant, sophisticated and stunning, Markle's wedding dress was a departure from the extravagance of previous royal wedding dresses. Designed by Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy Couture, Markle's no-frills dress reflected her personal style. And, as the first female creative director of Givenchy, choosing Keller to design her dress is another subtle feminist statement from Markle.


The Public Was Invited

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Clearly they sensed that we love them so much that we all wanted an invite to the royal wedding because Prince Harry and Markle invited more than 1,000 members of the public to their nuptials. The BBC reported that Kensington Palace released a statement that said the royal couple wanted "members of the public to feel part of the celebrations too," and the guest list would reflect the personal values of the bride and groom.

If you weren't able to make to the royal wedding in Windsor, and you didn't get up early enough to watch it live, you can watch the entire royal affair on YouTube to see Prince Harry and Markle's modern take on the royal-fairytale wedding for yourself.