Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to tie the knot today

Well-wishers are gathering around Windsor Castle, fans are fussing with fascinators and millions of people around the world are tuning in ahead of today's royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Live coverage has begun on and will continue through the big event at 7 a.m. ET and afterward.  

Harry, 33, and Markle, 36, will tie the knot at St. George's Chapel, where around 600 guests are expected to attend.

After the ceremony, the pair will take a horse-drawn carriage tour through Windsor, where huge crowds of people will get a glimpse of the newlyweds.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, seen here last November, are getting married in Windsor today. The wedding will be smaller than Prince William and Kate's nuptials, but security is still tight as huge crowds are expected. (Matt Dunham/Associated Press)

The marriage between Harry, who is sixth in line to the throne, and Meghan, an American actor who lived for years in Toronto, has drawn intense interest worldwide. 

The two will be given the titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex. 

The excitement has been building for weeks and by Friday crowds were already lining the streets. Some came to greet the groom, who came out with his brother (and best man) Prince William.

Harry's father, Prince Charles, will also play a major role in the ceremony.

Kensington Palace said Friday that Charles will be part of Meghan's trip down the aisle after it was announced her own father would not be able to attend because of his health.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who will conduct the wedding ceremony, said Charles is "a very warm person and that he's doing this is a sign of his love and concern and support. And I think it's wonderful. It's beautiful."

Markle will not have a maid of honour, but there will be 10 young bridesmaids and page boys, including four-year-old Prince George and three-year-old Princess Charlotte, the elder children of William and his wife, Kate.

The couple's big day will differ from previous royal affairs in many ways, as CBC's Janet Davison has explained, including the smaller scale and a guest list that leaves off the high-profile politicians seen at so many royal weddings.

And of course, there's the now famous organic lemon elderflower cake from a hip London bakeshop.

Master baker Claire Ptak said the cake will have an "ethereal" taste and be presented in a non-traditional way.

Harry greeted this young well-wisher during a walkabout with William outside Windsor Castle on Friday. (Ben Birchall/Associated Press)

The high-profile party also comes with a sprawling security operation. Barricades are in place to deter an attack using vehicles, such as the one on Westminster Bridge in London last year. Sniffer dogs and mounted patrols are also out and about.

The wedding is undoubtedly going to be a costly affair, but the exact bill is far from clear. Kensington Palace said the Royal Family will pay for the wedding but hasn't revealed details.

Britain's Home Office has also been quiet about costs. When asked by the BBC about security costs, it declined to comment, citing "national security." 

Check out the procession route the newlyweds will take after the ceremony.

Two mounted police officers patrolled the area as royal fans took their positions on the Long Walk, near Windsor Castle, on Friday. (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

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