The wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry has been heralded as the most modern in royal history. While the event was more diverse than ever before, it also had a feminist edge that former royal weddings lacked.
The former Suits actress has been fighting the fight for gender equality long before it was popular to do so. She was just 11 when she was so angered by a sexist TV advert for washing-up liquid that she wrote letters to Hilary Clinton and Gloria Allred. A camera crew came to her house to the cover the story and eventually the ad’s offending slogan was changed. Markle has always wanted to make a difference - and indeed she did so today.
Here, we outline the ways that the newest member of the royal family brought her signature feminism to one of the most traditional of institutions.
1. She wore an unconventional wedding dress
Far from the stereotypical princess gown expected of her, Markle chose an understated dress by Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy couture. The gown imbued a chic simplicity reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn, one of Givenchy's most famous patrons. It was also very reflective of the bride's personal style; polished, understated and modern. While some may be dubious about her choice to wear a minimal design, in staying true to herself, she defied gender-based conventions about what a woman in her position should wear on her wedding day.
2. She walked halfway down the aisle solo
In the absence of her father, Thomas Markle, who was unable to attend the wedding due to ill health, Markle decided to walk the first half of the aisle solo. She was then joined by her now father-in-law, Prince Charles, who accompanied her to the altar. The language used to announce that Charles would partly walk her down the aisle is also noteworthy - Kensington Palace said that the future king would "accompany" his daughter-in-law rather than "give her away", the implication being that she is not a prize commodity to be sold off.
3. She changed her vows
Like the Duchess of Cambridge and Diana, Princess of Wales before her, Markle omitted the somewhat antiquated word 'obey' from her wedding vows. Instead, she told her now husband: “I Meghan, take you, Harry, to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward; for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part."
4. She travelled with her mother to the wedding
It is a wedding tradition that the father-of-the-bride travel with his daughter to the venue. However, Markle travelled with mother Doria Ragland, with whom she shares a close relationship, to St George's Chapel. Her decision to do so came before her father bowed out of the wedding this week.
5. She hired women to do many of the top wedding jobs
The royal wedding was a celebration of female talent and skills, with Markle placing women front and centre of the day. She enlisted Clare Waight Keller, Givenchy's first female creative director, to design the wedding dress. The wedding cake was created by acclaimed London baker Claire Ptak, while the floral concept was masterminded by royal florist Philippa Craddock.