Royal Wedding: The world flocks to Windsor for Prince Harry and Meghan′s big day | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 19.05.2018
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Royal Wedding: The world flocks to Windsor for Prince Harry and Meghan's big day

Over 100,000 people gathered in the English town of Windsor for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding. Fans traveled from all four corners of the globe to be a part of the most uniquely British of celebrations.

Windsor was awash in a sea of red, white and blue on Saturday for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding. This time, however, it wasn’t just the British Union Jack that was flying proudly. A strong contingent of Americans had traveled to Windsor to represent the new duchess, washing the small British town in stars and stripes in the process.

This was, after all, an event with worldwide appeal, and a fittingly global crowd gathered in Windsor to be a part of it.

Read more: Royal Wedding: German fans gear up for Harry and Meghan's big day

Fans began milling around the Long Walk, the road leading up to Windsor castle, from the moment the gates opened at 5 a.m. on Saturday morning, patiently waiting to catch a glimpse of the royal newlyweds.

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Harry and Meghan tie the knot at Windsor Castle

'We're here to represent Meghan'

Rob and Allison traveled from Los Angeles to represent Meghan, their hometown girl. "We traveled all this way, so we had to arrive early and make sure we got a front row seat for the procession," said Allison. “We’ll probably embarrass ourselves when Harry and Meghan come past by screaming, ‘Meghan, we’re from Los Angeles!’

Her husband Rob had a different approach to attracting the duchess’ attention. "I’m wearing my LA Dodgers cap, so maybe she’ll notice us in the crowd," he said. "But I wouldn’t blame her if she ignores it. We’re having a rotten season."

Royal wedding crowds (DW/D. Martin)

Rob and Allison traveled from Los Angeles to represent their "hometown girl"

Meghan’s US compatriots were truly out in force. CJ and Jimmy Lee, from Dallas, arrived dressed for the occasion, sporting morning suits and top hats.

Read more: Dressing for the queen: A royal wedding dress code

"When we decided to go to the British royal wedding, we agreed to go all out," said Jimmy. "So we rented some morning suits and took a hot glue gun to stick feathers to our top hats. We couldn’t decide on fascinators or top hats, so we went both. It’s a new era for the royal family so maybe we’ll start a new trend."

Royal wedding crowds (DW/D. Martin)

CJ and Jimmy Lee arrived on the Long Walk dressed to impress

Dawna, Michelle, Erika and Tremeki also made the nine-hour flight from Texas to attend the royal celebrations together. "We all have an affinity for Diana, Princess of Wales," said Dawna. "We all remember watching her wedding to Prince Charles when we were little girls. Since then, the fairy tale of the royal family has always enthralled us."

UK | Hochzeit Prinz Harry & Meghan Markle | Royal wedding crowds (DW/D. Martin)

From left to right: Erika, Tremeki, Michelle and Dawna

Royal fans from Germany

Not to easily outdone, Germany was also well represented in Windsor.

Germany’s most famous fan of the British monarchy, Evelyn Marie Seidel, the matriarch of the Lady Di Club Germany, arrived clad in navy blue and sporting a hat fit for a royal. Close by her side was the cardboard heart she’d put together especially for Prince Harry and Meghan’s big day. "I’ll be lifting it up proudly when the couple passes by," she said. "I did something similar when William visited Germany. He noticed it and said he liked my hat. Who knows this time?"

Read more: Royal Wedding: German fans gear up for Harry and Meghan's big day

Royal wedding crowds (DW/D. Martin)

Evelyn Marie Seidel is well-known as Germany's biggest fan of the British royal family

Alexandra and Stefanie, both from Dusseldorf, also flew over especially for the event. "I remember watching the royal weddings with my mother when I was young, and this fascination has always stuck with me," said Alexandra. "And now seeing this all in person, it’s like witnessing something out of a fairy tale."

Stefanie added: “It’s also funny to see the English go a little bit wild, so you let yourself get carried away in it all.”

Read more: London is going all out for the royal wedding

Fans from all corners

There were also plenty of royal fans in the crowd who had traveled from other half the world.

Tim from Cairns, Australia, traveled almost 24 hours to get to Windsor. It’s a long way to come but he was adamant it was totally worth it. "I love the royals because they really represent Britain's history," Tim said. "But Harry and Meghan are a new generation and part of a new history. I’m here to watch it happen."

Royal wedding crowds (DW/D. Martin)

Aussie Tim and his boxing kangaroo

Yan Shen's father, Jianhua, arrived a month ago from Shanghai to visit his daughter in the UK. He is set to travel back next week, so the timing of the wedding was perfect, she said. "What better way is there to experience English history and tradition?" she said. "This will definitely be the highlight of his trip."

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle royal wedding crowds (DW/D. Martin)

Yan Shen's (center) was joined by her father Jianhua and best friend Nicola

The crowd holds its breath ...

The crowds in the center of Windsor thickened as the ceremony approached.

There were no public screens in the center of town, so once the big moment arrived, fans all took to their phones to stream the ceremony – a gesture fit for this modern royal couple.

Read more: The 'Markle sparkle': Why Prince Harry's fiancée reminds people of Princess Diana

Then, for just a brief moment, the loud cheers and singing that had bellowed through Windsor all morning suddenly stopped. As Meghan and Harry exchanged their vows, a pregnant silence filled the small town.

But as soon as Meghan said the magic words, “I do,” the celebrations erupted again, louder than they had been all day.

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