Tuesday 16 July 2019

Royal wedding: Inside the exclusive Frogmore House reception with DJ Idris Elba and compère James Corden

Harry raised the roof as he told Meghan "I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with you"

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, (R) and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, (L) leave Windsor Castle after their wedding to attend an evening reception at Frogmore House. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, (R) and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, (L) leave Windsor Castle after their wedding to attend an evening reception at Frogmore House. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Calum Adams in London

The reception for the royal wedding was a star-studded affair, with actor Idris Elba taking to the DJ decks and comedian James Corden acting as compère at the highly exclusive party.

In a contrast to the pomp and ceremony of the service at St George's Chapel, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex ended their first night of married life on the dance floor with a soundtrack of R&B hits and Eighties classics.

Read more: Harry and Meghan's first dance: Couple boogie to Whitney Houston's 'I Wanna Dance with Somebody' at evening reception

Close friends mingled with global celebrities among 200 guests under a glass marquee in the grounds of Frogmore House for a sit-down meal, emotional speeches and the letting down of hair. The evening, hosted officially by Prince Charles, saw younger members of the royal family mixing with Hollywood's finest, who were banned from taking their mobile phones for fear of indiscreet photography.

The newly married Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, leaving Windsor Castle after their wedding to attend an evening reception at Frogmore House. Photo: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
The newly married Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, leaving Windsor Castle after their wedding to attend an evening reception at Frogmore House. Photo: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

George and Amal Clooney, who were briefly stopped at the gates before security guards recognised them, were joined by Tom Hardy and Charlotte Riley and Elton John and David Furnish, while Elba, star of 'Luther' and 'The Wire' banged out the sounds.

Read more: Royal wedding: The best dressed wedding guests at Harry and Meghan's big day

Idris Elba and Sabrina Dhowre arrive at St George’s Chapel on Saturday. Photo: Getty Images
Idris Elba and Sabrina Dhowre arrive at St George’s Chapel on Saturday. Photo: Getty Images

The bride delivered her own speech, sweetly complimenting her new husband and expressing her joy at being welcomed into his family. The groom, with his brother and best man Prince William, made moving references to their late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, who Harry has said would have adored his new wife.

Earlier, the Duke had praised the Duchess for her "grace", raising the roof as he told her: "I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with you."

Amal and George Clooney arrive at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle before the wedding. Photo: Getty Images
Amal and George Clooney arrive at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle before the wedding. Photo: Getty Images

The evening was marked by a spectacular firework display over Frogmore House, where the couple's relationship blossomed in its early days.

As comic actor and television presenter Corden held the entertainment together, there were rumours of surprise guest appearances by such as Harry Styles, the former One Direction singer who had been spotted in the area.

Charlie van Straubenzee, a friend of the family, is reported to have joined Prince William in teasing the groom mercilessly.

Read more: 'It was so special' - Irish charity workers 'watch history unfold'

Then, as the dancing started, the Duke and Duchess, who is said to have excellent taste in music, led the way.

The newly weds are said to have eschewed a slow first dance for livelier tunes and are reported to have chosen Whitney Houston's 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody' as an opener to a selection of soul classics.

A live band also played favourites including Martha Reeves and the Vandellas' 'Dancing In The Street' and 'Heat Wave', before Sam and Dave's 1967 hit 'Soul Man'.

'My Girl' by The Temptations was also on the revellers' playlist along with Stevie Wonder's 'Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours', Marvin Gaye's 'How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You' and the 1966 hit 'Knock on Wood'.

The strains of Aretha Franklin's 'Respect' also drifted over the grounds of Windsor Castle before seguing into Franklin's 1968 classic 'Think', with its Civil Rights era cry of "Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!"

In the early hours, soul music gave way to hits from the Eighties and Nineties, with the Eurythmics and Madonna's 'Holiday' being spun by guest DJ for the night, A-list film star Elba.

Die-hard revellers finally made their way home at around 2am, with buses back to London for after-parties arranged by the most eager.

The Duke and Duchess spent the night at Windsor Castle before making a private getaway yesterday.

Wedding guests staying at the nearby Coworth Park Hotel in Ascot, where Prince Harry had slept the night before the service, appeared bleary eyed but joyous yesterday morning.

Corden told hotel staff it had been an "amazing" evening. However, as he left shortly after breakfast alongside his wife Julia Carey he would not be drawn on the details of the party.

The hotel had played host to many of the Duchess's co-stars in the long-running American television legal drama 'Suits', including Patrick Adams, who appeared at breakfast in sunglasses.

Some guests, including Gina Torres, who plays Jessica Pearson in the series, were spotted clutching an armful of souvenir newspapers featuring photographs of the big day.

Idris Elba and Sabrina Dhowre arrive at St George’s Chapel on Saturday. Photo: Getty Images
Idris Elba and Sabrina Dhowre arrive at St George’s Chapel on Saturday. Photo: Getty Images
Oprah Winfrey attended the big day. Photo: PA
Victoria Beckham and David Beckham were also in attendance. Photo: Getty Images
Amal and George Clooney arrive at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle before the wedding. Photo: Getty Images
US actress Gina Torres leaves after the ceremony. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
James Corden and Julia Carey leave St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle after the wedding. Photo: Getty Images
The Duchess of York arrives at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Saturday May 19, 2018. Gareth Fuller/Pool via REUTERS
Jonny Wilkinson and Shelley Jenkins arrive at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 19, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
Gina Torres arrives at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in Windsor, Britain, May 19, 2018. Ian West/Pool via REUTERS
Patrick J. Adams and wife Troian Bellisario arrive at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in Windsor, Britain, May 19, 2018. Ian West/Pool via REUTERS
Queen Elizabeth II arrives at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Saturday May 19, 2018. Gareth Fuller/Pool via REUTERS
Princess Eugenie arrives at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 19, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
(left to right) Princess Eugenie, The Duke of York and Princess Beatrice arrive at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 19, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with Prince George and Princess Charlotte leave St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle after the wedding. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 19, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
David and Victoria Beckham arrive at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in Windsor, Britain, May 19, 2018. Andrew Milligan/Pool via REUTERS
James Corden and Julia Carey arrive at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 19, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian arrive at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
Sarah Rafferty arrives at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 19, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
Will and Caroline Greenwood arrive at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 19, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Chris Radburn/PA Wire
James Haskell and Chloe Madeley arrive the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in Windsor, Britain
Cressida Bonas leaves St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle after the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 19, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
Oprah Winfrey arrives in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (Danny Lawson/PA)
Members of the Royal family, including Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Countess of Wessex, watch as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ride in an open-topped carriage through Windsor Castle after their wedding in St George's Chapel. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 19, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Sofia Wellesley and James Blunt arrive in St George’s Chapel (Danny Lawson/PA)
George and Amal Clooney were among the A-list stars attending (Chris Radburn/PA)
Idris Elba and Sabrina Dhowre arrive at St George’s Chapel (Ian West/PA)
George and Amal Clooney arrive for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Windsor Castle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 19, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
Pippa Middleton and James Matthews arrive at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
Jonny Wilkinson and Shelley Wilkinson (centre) arrive at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 19, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Chris Jackson/PA Wire
Marcus Mumford and Carey Mulligan arrive at St George’s Chapel (Ian West/PA)
Jonny Wilkinson and Shelley Jenkins arrive at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 19, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
Abigail Spencer and Priyanka Chopra attended the wedding. Photo: REUTERS

Irish Independent

Editors Choice

Also in this section