The Shocking Serenade That Stunned Meghan Markle at Her Wedding

The newly minted duchess' sorority sisters pulled off quite the surprise when she married Prince Harry.

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The guest list for Meghan Markle's wedding to Prince Harry included members of the royal family and plenty of Hollywood A-listers, from George Clooney to Oprah Winfrey, who all gathered to cheer on the couple. But it was a serenade from an unexpected source that clearly moved the newly minted duchess on her special day.

After the wedding, as the newlyweds left the grounds of Windsor Castle in their Ascot Landau carriage, Meghan's attention was drawn to a cluster of well-wishers in the crowd who were belting out a song that sounded strangely familiar. A group of alumnae from Meghan's sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma had journeyed from the States to Britain and camped out for more than 30 hours on the streets of Windsor in hopes of getting a glimpse of the Duchess. They had one goal: to serenade their sorority sister with "Oh Pat," a wedding chant sung to Kappas on their wedding day.

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The tradition is thought to have originated with the organization's Missouri and Northwestern chapters. Meghan was the recruitment chairperson for the sorority at Northwestern University, where she graduated with a degree in theater and international relations in 2003.

When the bride spied the group standing behind the large blue and white banner emblazoned with the Greek letters that spelled out Kappa Kappa Gamma, she put her hand over her heart and leaned over to say something to Harry as she passed the women.

Margaret Phipps, an alum from Texas, told a local news outlet that Meghan's eyes "lit up when she saw them." She added: "It was a really special moment. We came all this way. It means so much for us to have that moment with her."

Another sorority member told KKG's official magazine, The Key, "The moment [Meghan] recognized us will stay with me forever. Her expression totally changed. There was a moment where she caught her breath and said, 'Oh!' and a huge smile spread across her face. You could tell she was clearly touched."

In biographer Andrew Morton's book Meghan: A Hollywood Princess, he reported Meghan's sorority "embraced her warmly" when she joined in 1999, with the exception of a few members who found her "too assertive."

Fittingly, Kappa Kappa Gamma's motto is "Aspire to be." Each chapter works closely with local charities and that's something the Duchess of Sussex has clearly carried with her into her royal life and beyond it. And for more sweet moments from the Sussexes, check out Harry and Meghan's Most Adorable Couple Moments.

Diane Clehane is a New York-based journalist and author of Imagining Diana and Diana: The Secrets of Her Style.

 

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