The Duke and Duchess's 'fairytale' wedding day (2023)

As the Duke and Duchess of Sussex mark their fifth wedding anniversary, their lives have changed exponentially since the day of their nuptials at St George's Chapel in Windsor in 2018.

The couple now have two children, Prince Archie, four, and Princess Lilibet Diana, 23 months, they live in Montecito, California, and they are no longer working members of the royal family.

Following their decision to leave the UK and step down as senior royals in January2020, a rift has formed between the Sussexes and the rest of the royal family, which has no doubt been exacerbated in recent months by the couple's £88 million Netflix series Harry & Meghan and the release of Prince Harry's bombshell memoir, Spare.

In the Netflix documentary, they revealed what their time living in the UK was like after they married in May 2018, and shared stories of feeling uncomfortable in the limelight as senior members of the royal family.

However, the couple also revealed happier times as they reminisced over their 'fairytale' wedding reception and Meghan revealed how much it had meant to her that King Charles had walked her down the aisle and how she had dubbed the day a 'modern fairytale' in her wedding speech.

As the Duke and Duchess of Sussex celebrate their 5th wedding anniversary, FEMAIL looks back on their 'modern fairytale' wedding day in which they celebrated with joyous guests and had their first dance to Land of a Thousand Dances (pictured)

The order of service itself was a break from tradition in some ways as the couple chose an American Bishop, Reverend Michael Curry, to deliver a rousing sermon which captivated audiences around the world and became one of the standout events of the day.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain after the wedding, Rev Curry was glowing about the newlywed couple saying their love and wedding had brought together a diverse group people.

'The love between those two people, between that royal couple, was so powerful, not only did we all show up, but it brought all these different worlds together,” he said on GMA.

'It brought different nationalities, different ethnicities, different religious traditions, people of all stripes and types, people of different political persuasions, actually for a moment we were together, organized around love.'

Following a dispute with her father Thomas Markle, who did not attend her wedding at St George's Chapel in Windsor, the Duchess instead asked her father-in-law King Charles to walk her down the aisle

The Prince and Princess of Wales and Prince George and Princess Charlotte were front-and-centre during the wedding day of the Sussexes

He also spoke of the hope the couple's marriage had given to people around the world, adding:'They're going to work to make this world better and empowering women is one of the ways we do that.'

The little details within the wedding ceremony also hinted at the Duke and Duchess's commitment to serving as senior royals - such as Meghan's stunning wedding veil, into which was embroidered a flower from every single Commonwealth country.

In Harry and Meghan's Netflix documentary, the Duchess revealed the difficult situation she found herself in days before the wedding when her own father, Thomas Markle, had been found to have staged paparazzi photos and communication between the pair broke down.

When it became apparent that Mr Markle would not be attending the wedding, Meghan asked King Charles, her father-in-law, to walk her down the aisle and give her away, in what was a touching moment to witness.

Speaking in the documentary, Meghan said: 'Harry's dad is very charming. And I said to him, like, 'I've lost my dad in this'.

'So him, as my father-in-law, was really important to me. So I asked him to walk me down the aisle and he said yes.'

Now-embattled brothers Prince William and Prince Harry were side-by-side on Harry's wedding day with the Prince of Wales as the best man

The Duchess also revealed in the documentary how the wedding reception had been planned so the music would be 'fun' and said the couple had had their first dance toLand of a Thousand Dances by Wilson Pickett.

She asked Harry: 'Song of Thousand Dances? A Thousand Dances? I always get it wrong.'

The Duchess added:'That was our first dance. It was so fun. Just spinning like a whirlwind. It was so great.'

The series also shared a series of previously unseen snaps from the reception in which the guests looked overjoyed to be celebrating the couple.

Photographs showed the couple cutting their cake, the Duke of Sussex giving a speech while the Duchess looked on and her mother Doria Ragland cheering next to Camilla and Prince William at Windsor Castle.

Another image showed the late Queen beaming and one showed the Princess of Wales at the drinks reception speaking to another guest.

Elsewhere, Prince Harry could be seen offering Doria a kiss on the cheek after the ceremony, while another image showed Charles and Meghan greeting one another.

There were also a number of pictures from the drinks reception which followed at Windsor Castle.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's wedding reception produced many joyful photos, including one of the groom laughing with guest and DJ Idris Elba

One showed Sir Elton John performing on a piano for the crowd which included Meghan's mother Doria.

Meghan even shared an excerpt of her wedding reception speech in the documentary, which revealed how she thought her nuptials were like a 'modern fairytale'.

Reading out a line from the speech, she referred to 'a story that I wrote about the man that I love and the way that we met. Let’s call this a modern fairytale.'

Another photograph showed the couple apparently offering a brief speech to the guests at the event. They can be seen cutting their wedding cake in another snap.

Today, following several years of a deepening rift between the Sussexes and other members of the royal family, the couple are understood to have little to no contact with their in-laws, but on their wedding day in 2018, things were very different.

Prince William, Princess Kate, Prince George and Princess Charlotte all had front-and-centre placing in the wedding ceremony, with little Charlotte as a bridesmaid (although reports later emerged that the Princess of Wales and the Duchess of Sussex had fallen out over Charlotte's dress).

And the brothers themselves appeared closer than ever as they walked into St George's Chapel in Windsor, smiling as they strolled side-by-side. With William as Harry's best man, he joked ahead of time that 'revenge is sweet'.

When asked prior to the wedding how he felt at being named Harry's best man, William said: 'It feels great. Thrilled and delighted obviously. Revenge is sweet.'

It was an apparent reference to Harry's cheeky behaviour when he played the same role at William's wedding in 2011.

Underneath the public banter, where they once regularly poked fun at each other, the pair shared a special bond which was strengthened following the death of their mother Diana, Princess of Wales, in a Paris car crash.

When Harry's engagement was announced, William said his family were 'all very excited, delighted for them both and wishing them all the happiness in this very exciting time'.

He joked: 'For me personally I hope it means he stays out of my fridge, it will stop him scrounging off all my food, he's done over the last few years.'

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