Prince Harry’s girlfriend Meghan Markle was a surprise no-show at Pippa Middleton’s much-anticipated wedding ceremony, but later joined in celebrations at the lavish reception.
The American Suits star was noticeably absent at St Mark’s Church in Englefield, west of London on Saturday for what was considered by many to be the society wedding of the year.
Pippa Middleton, now Pippa Matthews after her wedding to 41-year-old billionaire hedge fund manager James Matthews, is the sister of Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge.
Ms Markle was allegedly invited to the wedding ceremony despite a strict “no ring, no bring” policy, but decided not to attend in an effort to avoid stealing the spotlight, British media reported.
Ms Markle joined her royal beau at the private reception at the Middleton family home in Bucklebury, where guests were treated to a spectacular flypast by a Word War II Spitfire plane.
Following the ceremony, Prince Harry travelled back to London to pick up Ms Markle for the wedding reception.
Ms Markle, who arrived in London on Tuesday for pre-wedding festivities, was reportedly wearing a modest long black dress with a white jacket and sunglasses on Saturday evening.
The lavish reception was held in a massive glass marquee, which reportedly spared no expense, featuring a top-shelf whisky bar, caviar and copious amounts of expensive champagne.
The airspace above the reception was closed to prevent intrusive press crews flying overhead or launching drones to get video footage. Guests were banned from using their mobile phones to ensure privacy, the Daily Mirror reported.
The interior of the marquee was decorated with pink cherry blossom trees with purple fibre optic lights to fit with an “enchanted forest theme”, according to the Daily Express.
Tennis ace Roger Federer reportedly provided the entertainment with a game of table tennis before the five-course dinner.
The celebrations continued until the late hours of Saturday, with a live band heard belting out renditions of Call On Me by Eric Prydz and The White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army.
Why was Prince George so upset?
The wedding wasn’t all smiles for the young Prince George however, who was seen crying after a royal telling off from his mother.
Kate Middleton was pictured having a stern chat to her three-year-old son after he trampled on Pippa’s £40,000 ($A69,000) wedding dress.
Video emerged showing Prince George stepping on Ms Middleton’s dress as they emerged from the church, before Kate pulled the pageboy aside.
The young prince looked glum as he tipped his confetti basket upside down before walking away from the other children.
However, he appeared to cheer up on the way to the reception, waving to onlookers.
See the best bits of the wedding ceremony below
The newlyweds were all smiles on their way to the reception, leaving in a vintage 1961E-Type Jaguar.
Earlier, Ms Middleton, 33, arrived at the church accompanied by her father Michael in the vintage Jaguar convertible. Father and daughter had a quiet moment together before entering the church.
She wore a custom wedding gown designed by Giles Deacon, a long veil by prominent hat-maker Stephen Jones, and a sparkly tiara.