Fascinators — the headpieces often worn by women to weddings in the U.K. — perched on well-coiffed heads, while red, blue and white British flags were draped around shoulders and children wore blow-up crowns.
While Shah said she has long been a fan of the royals — "I’ve read all the books, watched every movie" — Markle was a particular draw.
"I’m going to wave my American flag supporting her — that’s the first thing,” Shah said after a chilly night wrapped tightly in a sleeping bag. “I think I’ll probably be crying to be quite honest."
Shah said that Markle "represents change," adding: "I like that she’s the new Britain: She’s American, she’s an actress, she’s a minority."
The Starlin family said they flew in from Wichita, Kansas, late Friday in order to view the royal wedding.
After landing at Heathrow Airport at 11 p.m. (6 p.m. ET), the family of four dropped their bags off at an AirBnB and headed to the castle.
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“We love history and it's kind of being a part of history to be here,” said Adrienne Starlin, 38. “The kids learn about it at school and it’s magical.”
As Saturday turned warm and sunny, the crowds outside Windsor Castle buzzed with a jovial festival-like spirit.
Balraj Kooner, 40, and his son Jayden, 10, from Wolverhampton, stopped to take a picture in front of a high school band. Kooner's older son Darram, 15, watched the festivities from inside the castle as one of the members of the public viewing.
Darram, who brought his mother along as his plus one, was invited to be a member of the public view because of his activism. Despite his young age, he has already spoken in front of the British Parliament about racism.
When asked whether his son or his wife was more excited to witness the royal wedding, Balraj Kooner replied, "My wife. Definitely."
Screens were set up along the Long Walk leading up to Windsor Castle and in the Alexandra Gardens park so well-wishers could watch the ceremony together.
The newlyweds took a carriage ride through town to greet the public. Markle and Harry — now known officially as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex — rode in an open-topped Ascot Landau carriage pulled by four horses.
American sisters Stefanie and Samantha Scruggs arrived prepared — with bottles of champagne in hand and fascinators on their heads.
“There’s something really exciting about the tradition, and the pomp and circumstance,” said Stefanie Scruggs, 34, who works in the oil industry in Dallas, Texas. “And all pride and happiness unfold in front of you.”