US Women Are Stronger In The Tennis World Than US Men

American men’s tennis is at a nadir. No Grand Slam singles champion in 11 years. No Grand Slam singles semifinalist in over five years. The U.S. Open unfolding now in New York is the 12th straight Grand Slam without an American man in the quarterfinals, and the seventh of the last eight with none in the fourth round.1The only active American man to even reach a major semifinal is Robby Ginepri, who is 31 and ranked 204th in the world.American women’s tennis is led by the No. 1 player in the world, Serena Williams, who has won 17 Grand Slam titles and remains the favorite to win the U.S. Open for the third year in a row.I wondered, though: Are the American women a stronger force in world tennis than the American men are? Beyond Serena and Venus Williams — who are 32 and 34 years old, respectively — are the women any deeper and stronger than the men?To check, I downloaded the latest singles rankings from both the men’s ATP World Tour and the women’s WTA tour — every player in the world who has a professional ranking point, even just one.As of Aug. 25, the start of the U.S. Open, there are 2,232 ranked men and 1,323 ranked women. About one in 12 of the ranked women are from the U.S., more than from any other nation (Russia trails narrowly). U.S. men make up one in 16 of all ranked professional players, tied with France for most in the world.Counting ranked players is a pretty rough gauge of national tennis strength. A player outside the Top 500 will appear in few tour events, let alone Grand Slams. Getting a ranking can be a product of opportunity as much as merit. An American player who’s just as good as, say, an Algerian player lives much closer to events where he can earn points, and therefore doesn’t have to spend as much to play.So I went beyond merely counting ranked players and added up the ranking points for each nation. This is a decent proxy for how much money players have earned in the sport, because ranking points generally scale with earnings. The bigger the tournament, the more points and dollars are available; and the further a player advances, the bigger a piece of the pie she earns. By this math, Serena Williams’s 2,000 points for winning the U.S Open last year — which still counts in the latest 52-week ranking — is worth slightly more than No. 24 Sloane Stephens’s cumulative tennis accomplishments in the last year. And Serena’s annual achievements are worth about five Sloanes in national tennis strength.That feels about right. Having lots of Top 100 players is nice in the first couple of days of a Grand Slam tournament. Having one player who can consistently reach the last couple of days of a Grand Slam is much nicer.Here, the U.S. women dominate their peers, and their male counterparts. They hog 12 percent of the world’s female tennis talent — half again as much as runner-up Russia. The U.S. men have just 5 percent of global male talent. The U.S. trails four European nations — Spain, France, Serbia and Switzerland — that combined have less than one-half the population of the U.S.Just five years ago, American men and women were much closer in their global tennis standing. American men held 8 percent of tennis ranking points, compared to 10 percent for women. The women have rebounded slightly while the men have lost ground.American men’s tennis boosters can point to a few reasonable explanations. First, the men’s long-term slump is less precipitous than the women’s. I checked by downloading pre-U.S. Open rankings data from the ATP and WTA websites for prior years, with major help from my colleague, Paul Schreiber. At this stage of the season in 1999 — the first year for which WTA ranking data is available on the WTA website — American women commanded 21 percent of global tennis power. American men held 11 percent. The men have narrowed the gender gap even as they have fallen further behind the rest of the world.2Any comparison can look different depending on which dates we choose to start and end with. The U.S. men’s slow decline over the last 15 years followed a crash, from 26 percent heading into the 1990 U.S. Open and 18 percent in 1994.Globalization also has brought more competition to the men’s game. Over the last few decades, the sport’s footprint has expanded further beyond the traditional bases in the four Grand Slam-hosting nations (the U.S., U.K., France and Australia). This is particularly so in the men’s game. That’s partly because of unequal opportunities; many countries still haven’t given girls the same chance to play sports as boys, or have done so only recently. Economic incentives have also favored the men: The Grand Slams equalized pay only seven years ago, and many other tournaments still pay men more than women. There also are more men’s professional events, which helps explain why there are more ranked male players than female players.The result is that 104 countries have ranked men, compared to just 79 countries with ranked women. That represents an increase of 14 countries from this time in 1999 for the men, but a rise of just four countries for the women.American women also are competing with fewer talent bases around the world. Russia is the only other country with at least 5 percent of the world’s ranked women. Three other countries besides the U.S. have a share that big of all ranked men.Another way to understand the men’s relative struggles is that the Williams sisters might be outliers who skew the whole comparison. Their story often has been described as one of the most remarkable in sports history, and rightly so. Their parents, Richard Williams and Oracene Price, trained them at a very young age with the goal of making each the No. 1 player in the world. Their daughters each achieved that audacious goal, and did so outside the well funded national centers. They have remained so good, past the age that most other women’s greats retired, that they account today for more than one-third of all U.S. women’s ranking points.What if the Williams family had never picked up tennis rackets? Then U.S. women would account for less than 8 percent of global talent today, much closer to their male counterparts.3Comparable earlier figures are 5 percent before the 2009 U.S. Open, 13 percent in 2004 and 17 percent in 1999. American women other than the Williams sisters have rebounded slightly after a steep decline. That group includes a number of young players who could one day enter the Top 10 but so far have performed inconsistently, including Stephens, Christina McHale and Madison Keys. None of them — nor the other three American women who rank behind the two Williams sisters but inside the Top 50 — reached the third round of the U.S. Open.4Remove John Isner and Donald Young, the top two American men, from the sport and the U.S. men’s share of global pro tennis power drops just one percentage point, to 4 percent.Here’s an even more outrageous hypothetical: What if Richard and Oracene had trained two young sons instead of daughters, and Jupiter and Steve had the same success that Venus and Serena have had? American men would hog a greater portion of global tennis talent than American women would today.While that scenario is farfetched, it is rooted in the reality of a sport usually dominated by just a few superstars. Even when American tennis was much deeper than it is today, one or two singular talents carried most of the load for winning big tournaments and contending for No. 1. Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe gave way to Pete Sampras, Jim Courier and Andre Agassi. Those men won 41 of American men’s 46 Grand Slams in the last 42 years. Maybe it’s just a fluke that another player with that kind of talent hasn’t come around since Sampras and Agassi retired — or hasn’t played tennis.As it happens, Richard Williams, who is 72, has a two-year-old son. But if Richard has his way, Dylan won’t help pick up the mantle for the American men. “He’ll never be a billionaire in tennis,” Richard Williams said earlier this year. He wants his son to buy a gold mine. read more

Draws And Politics At The World Chess Championship

On Saturday, as thousands of protesters, dissatisfied with the results of the presidential election, were marching from Union Square to Trump Tower, just a few miles north, the two grandmasters sat down in the spaceship to play again. Game 2, with Karjakin handling the white pieces, began with the all-too-familiar Ruy Lopez opening, a staple of chess for 500 years. The rest of the game was an equally uncreative and plodding affair. One prominent grandmaster on Twitter called certain passages “flaccid.” After just under three hours, and not much else to speak of, they arrived at a second draw. (The computer chess engine Stockfish was in full agreement, seeing both games as nothing but deadlocked.) The last time the World Chess Championship was held in New York City, titleholder Garry Kasparov met challenger Viswanathan Anand on the 107th floor of the south tower of the World Trade Center. They played their first game on Sept. 11, 1995.That tower is now gone, a new one stands nearby, and the grandest board in chess is again set in lower Manhattan. This year, the venue is the new Fulton Market Building in the South Street Seaport, an area of the city that was ravaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. It was rebuilt and has been thriving in recent years.The players are different, too. Magnus Carlsen of Norway, ranked No. 1 in the world, is defending his title against Russian challenger Sergey Karjakin, ranked No. 9. The first weekend of their best-of-12 match is in the books, and after two games — and two draws — the score is level at 1-1.This year’s chess venue is sparse and sleek, heavy on concrete and hypermodern black-and-white branding. Large flat-screen televisions dot the open floor, providing live views of the tense and slowly unfolding games. The sellout crowd mills around, stealing meaningful-looking glances at the game on TV, listening to live commentary on headphones, eating sandwiches and playing their own games of speed chess in the cafe’s Eames-style dining chairs.The two grandmasters play alone in a separate room, accompanied only by two stoic match arbiters. On the inside, the room resembles the bridge of a sci-fi spaceship. To the spectators on the outside, though, it evokes a reptile house in a zoo. You enter the dark, hot and humid viewing gallery through thick black curtains. You’re hushed as you enter and reminded to silence your phone. The lights inside are dimmed, and an eerie purple light glows from behind the thick glass of the one-way mirror. You can see Carlsen and Karjakin, leaning in close to each other over the board in deep thought. They can’t see you.In Game 1, Carlsen, playing with the white pieces, chose an unusual opening called the Trompowsky Attack. The joke around the Fulton Market Building on Friday was that he played it as a homophonic nod to the new president-elect. There was truth to the joke. Asked after the game whether his choice had anything to do with Donald Trump, Carlsen replied: “A little bit.”“I’m a big fan of Donald Trump,” Carlsen told Norway’s TV2 in March (in Norwegian). “Trump is incredibly good at finding opponents’ weaknesses. He speaks only about that the other candidates are stupid or smelly. There should be more of this in chess, too.” Carlsen then offered a Trumpism of his own: “Karjakin is incredibly boring!” Karjakin, for his political part, is an avowed supporter of Vladimir Putin.By the end of that first game, each side had pushed its wooden army as far as it’d go — two phalanxes scrumming at the center of the board. No further blood was drawn, however, and the players agreed to a draw after the 42nd move and just under four hours of play. (Draws are quite common in championship chess.) The actor and chess fan Woody Harrelson was on hand for Game 1. The star of “True Detective” brought to my mind that show’s oft-quoted line, bastardized from Nietzsche: “Time is a flat circle.” In chess, and at this championship, what’s old is new again, and moves and characters are strangely familiar. Donald Trump made the ceremonial first move at a qualifying event for that 1995 New York championship, at Trump Tower. And Rudy Giuliani, then the mayor and now rumored to be high on the list to be Trump’s attorney general, made the ceremonial first move in those finals. (Giuliani was late — and made the wrong move.)Carlsen remains the heavy favorite, although his chances according to my Elo-based simulations have dipped from 88 percent at the start to 84 percent now, as Karjakin has held serve.1I simulated 10,000 iterations of the remainder of the match using the players’ current Elo ratings and assumed that they draw half their games, as grandmasters historically tend to do. The players seemed to sense that the large crowds were getting a bit restless. “I ask you for your understanding that this is a long match,” Carlsen said at Saturday’s postgame press conference. “Not every game will be a firework.”Game 3 begins Monday afternoon. I’ll be covering the rest of the match here and on Twitter. read more

The Heat Do as Much Damage in the Fourth Quarter as in

With just over five minutes left in Game 2 of the NBA’s Eastern Conference finals and the Miami Heat trailing by three, LeBron James threw a wild alley-oop attempt toward Dwyane Wade. The ball sailed 10 feet over Wade, off the backboard and into the hands of Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert. At that point, the win probability models at InPredictable gave the Heat just a 29 percent chance of winning.Then the Heat turned those probabilities inside out, outscoring the Pacers 15 to 8 in the last five minutes of the game; James and Wade scored all 15 points.Poof! After a frustrating fourth-quarter performance by Indiana, its home-court advantage was gone. The series is tied 1-1.Maybe we should have seen this coming; end-of-game struggles have been all too common for the Heat’s opponents in these playoffs. Through Tuesday night, the Heat have outscored their opponents by an average of 14.7 points per 100 possessions in the fourth quarter, the best mark by any team in the playoffs.Miami Heat Point Differential Per 100 PossessionsThe Heat’s differential by quarter was fairly even in the regular season, although there’s a tilt toward the second half. Miami has often gotten off to slow starts in the playoffs, but, more often than not, the Heat have finished by blowing teams apart down the final stretch. If we narrow the focus to those mystical “clutch” moments (less than five minutes left in the game, neither team ahead by more than five points) the Heat’s per 100 possession point differential jumps to a ludicrous +82.1 (of course, that’s in a sample of just 14 minutes, three of which came in Tuesday night’s game).Seeking matchups to exploit in the fourth quarter has been part of a consistent pattern in the Heat’s rotations. Nine different five-man units have played at least five or more fourth-quarter minutes for the Heat in the playoffs, compared with just four such units in the first quarter. Of those nine units, six have a positive point differential. Only one of those first-quarter units does.Case in point: In Game 2, guard Norris Cole and big man Chris Anderson gave the Heat a boost of energy and defensive intensity off the bench in the first half. Seeing how effective those two were early in this game, Erik Spoelstra, the Heat’s coach, left them in for almost the entire fourth quarter. The key stretch, when the Heat turned a four-point deficit into a six-point lead, came when Cole and Anderson were playing with James, Wade and Chris Bosh. That lineup had not played a single minute for the Heat in the playoffs before Game 2.The Pacers have shown they can compete with, and beat, the Heat. But doing that four times in a series will require much more in-game consistency, because on most nights the Heat are building toward something. read more

Derek Jeter And the Other Worst AllStar Starters of the Past 40

When the American League takes the field in Tuesday’s MLB All-Star Game, Derek Jeter will walk out of the dugout to what is sure to be thunderous applause and take his familiar place at shortstop.That’s nothing new. Jeter, who plans to retire at the end of this season, has been named an All-Star 14 times in his storied career, starting the game at shortstop nine times. This year, though, he’s playing at nothing near an All-Star level. According to wins above replacement (WAR), Jeter has been one of the AL’s worst shortstops this season.It’s tough to get too worked up, though, about Jeter getting the starting nod — however undeserved — in the final All-Star Game of his career. Although Erick Aybar of the Los Angeles Angels almost certainly warranted the accolade instead, baseball has a long history of awarding statistically unjustified All-Star Game starts. Surprisingly, though, the worst All-Star starting bids (since 1974 — excluding 1981, due to the players’ strike — according to FanGraphs’ WAR through the end of June for the season in question) are not exclusively the realm of sentimental picks like Jeter:Forty-year-old Cal Ripken Jr.’s 2001 All-Star Game start was awarded purely out of legacy, and it’s been frequently compared to Jeter’s this week. Ripken, however, had the worst first half of any All-Star Game starter from the past four decades, having played much worse than Jeter has thus far in 2014. Ripken’s first-half triple-slash line in 2001 was .240/.270/.324 (good for a 56 Weighted Runs Created Plus); Jeter’s 2014 line is .272/.324/.322 (80 wRC+), despite playing in a more difficult offensive environment. Jeter may not be playing like a typical All-Star, but he hasn’t been as bad as Ripken was at the same age.Perhaps more interesting is the fact not all — or even most — ill-advised All-Star starting picks went to sentimental selections. Of the 50 worst starters listed above, there are more players under age 30 (18) than 35-or-older (16). For most of the prime-aged players who started the All-Star Game despite poor first halves, though, their presence can be explained by a good season the year prior. This phenomenon is fueled by baseball’s long-standing confusion over whether the All-Star Game is supposed to honor the players who played best in the first half of the season in question, those who played best since the previous All-Star Game, or simply the best players in general.Jeter falls into none of those three categories, but he will carry on the proud tradition of the legacy pick when he takes the field tonight. read more

The ACC Is Having A Bowl Season For The Ages

2015SEC119+9.2+1.7+25.6+5.9 Expected wins and point differentials are according to pre-bowl Elo ratings. Conferences classified as “independent” were excluded from the ranking.Source: College Football at Big 1264+7.3+0.9+19.1+2.7 Pac-1263-10.3-0.4+5.8+1.5 CONFERENCEBOWLSWINSPOINT DIFF./GAMEWINSPOINT DIFF./GAMEWINS Sun Belt64+5.8+1.7+1.4+1.0 VS. EXPECTEDVS. FBS AVERAGE 2013SEC107+3.1+1.0+19.5+4.6 Big Ten103-4.2-1.5+6.4+0.8 Which conference is winning the 2016-17 bowl season? MWC74+2.9+0.1+2.9+0.1 CUSA74+1.2+0.5-2.1-0.0 Expected wins and point differentials are according to pre-bowl Elo ratingsSource: College Football at 1996SEC55+10.0+2.2+27.0+4.0 Independent22-8.5+0.4-6.1+0.5 2002Big Ten75+8.9+2.6+19.8+3.9 It’s also the second-biggest gap for any conference since 1936, trailing only the SEC’s 5.9 excess wins of a season ago.1If you’re curious, here’s the all-time top 10: 2008SEC86+7.0+2.3+18.1+4.2 VS. EXPECTEDVS. FBS AVERAGE 2006SEC96+9.7+2.1+20.7+4.1 2016ACC118+10.3+3.2+18.5+5.0 If Clemson knocks off the historically dominant Crimson Tide in the CFP championship game — and Elo gives that scenario a 33 percent chance of happening — the ACC would take over the No. 1 slot.2Again — this is, in part, a function of there being so many more bowls nowadays. If we limit ourselves to conferences with at least six bowl entries since 1970 (the year bowls stopped matching Division I-A/FBS teams with non-FBS ones), the 2015 SEC ranks seventh on a per-game basis, and the 2016 ACC 16th. But it’s also worth remembering that as a conference’s bowl contingent grows, the quality of its worst bowl-bound teams also decreases, depressing its per-game rating.Now, there are a few caveats to be had there. Although the ACC has won far more than we’d expect against a very tough slate of opponents, it’s also gotten a little lucky in the process. According to the Pythagorean formula, which generates an expected record based on the points a team scores and allows, the ACC’s bowl record should be more like 7-4 than 8-3, which matters when discussing the razor-thin margins atop all-time leaderboards. Relatedly, its adjusted scoring margin (+18.5) doesn’t even rank No. 1 this season; the Big 12 has a +19.1 mark, albeit in half as many games. By contrast, the SEC was +25.6 in bowls last season.ACC teams were favored by Elo in only four of the conference’s 11 bowls, and although one of those favorites lost (Pittsburgh in the Pinstripe Bowl), the rest of the ACC’s bowl teams picked up the slack with five upset victories. (Including Clemson’s 31-0 rout of Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl.3Although Vegas listed Clemson as 1-point favorites, computer power rankings such as Elo and ESPN’s Football Power Index were (wrongly) slightly higher on the Buckeyes.) When the SEC won nine bowls last season, it was only a slight improvement on the 7.3 they were expected to win going into the bowls. The ACC’s eight wins this year are much more out of step with the 4.8 wins Elo would have predicted, a gap that will grow to 5.5 wins if Clemson upsets Alabama.Regardless of how much good fortune has been involved, however, the ACC has been the class of this year’s bowls. And a Clemson victory on Monday night would add more than just one bragging right to the conference’s trophy case. ACC118+10.3+3.2+18.5+5.0 SEC126-0.5-0.3+11.0+2.7 1998Big Ten55+9.7+2.5+25.9+4.2 2014SEC127-0.5+0.0+14.0+4.0 After Oklahoma cruised past Auburn in Monday night’s Sugar Bowl, college football’s 2016-17 bowl season is nearing its finale. The only game left? Next Monday’s national championship game between Alabama and Clemson, a rematch of last year’s title tilt. That game — a 45-40 Alabama victory — concluded a dominant season for the Crimson Tide’s Southeastern Conference, one that punctuated the first nine-win bowl season by a single conference in college history.But in a surprise twist, it’s Clemson and the Atlantic Coast Conference — not Alabama and the SEC — that are winning the bowl battle once we adjust for expectations. And with the Tigers carrying the conference’s banner into the title game, the ACC has a chance to top last year’s SEC for the most impressive bowl season ever.The ACC has gone 8-3 this bowl season, already the second-most wins by a conference in a single bowl season since the AP poll era started in 1936. (Of course, because bowl season has become so bloated in recent years, this year’s ACC teams have also played in the third-most bowls ever, tied with four other conferences since 2013.) But the ACC’s record is still notable because of its difficulty: FiveThirtyEight’s Elo ratings — which estimate the relative quality of every FBS team — would have expected an average team to go 3-8 against ACC teams’ bowl opponents, losing by an average of 2.7 points per game. Instead, ACC teams have won by 7.6 points per game. That five-win gap between the ACC’s bowl record and what Elo would have expected from an average group of teams is easily the biggest of any conference this season: 2007SEC97+4.3+2.6+15.7+4.9 Most dominant bowl seasons by conference, 1936-2016 MAC60-4.5-2.1-5.7-2.3 YEARCONFERENCEBOWLSWINSPOINT DIFF./GAMEWINSPOINT DIFF./GAMEWINS American72-9.5-2.5-3.0-1.5 read more

Who Are The NBAs Best Defenders Right Now

For the past few seasons, the best defenders in the NBA have been some combination of Draymond Green, Rudy Gobert and Kawhi Leonard. But with Leonard and Gobert out for all or much of the season so far and Green’s production falling off just a bit, we’ve got some new blood in contention to be the NBA’s best defender.To put a number to this, we’ll use data from Second Spectrum that shows us both the total number of shots defended by a player and how much he affected those shots. There are a few ways to get at this, but we’re going to use “quantified shot probability” (qSP) — which determines the expected value of shots defended using shot distance, shot location and defender position, among other variables — and “quantified shot making” (qSM) — which subtracts the expected effective field goal percentage on those shots from the actual eFG to determine how much of an effect the defender had. In other words, does the defender make shots worse? And if so, by how much?We’ve used metrics like this in the past, but the rub with this set is it adjusts for who’s taking the shot, meaning weak defenders who guard bad shooters don’t get as much credit, and defenders tasked with guarding superstars aren’t punished for their assignment — the star’s excellence is baked into the stat.The per possession numbers will look a little different from the overall effect — players like Tarik Black and Marreese Speights have defended a lot of shots very well in short minutes — but this chart should demonstrate that there is a wide spread on defender effect. What we’re missing here, though, is how many shots a defender actually affects. Kevin Durant, Golden State WarriorsThe Warriors are unfair. Draymond Green — for my money the best defensive player in the league — has for whatever reason been a little off during the first quarter of the season, possibly because the Warriors can sleepwalk to a bare-minimum 2-seed. He’s not been bad, mind you, just not quite as dominant as usual. That’s left quite a lot of slack in the Golden State scheme, and Durant has picked up more than his fair share of it. Golden State ranks eighth in defensive rating, down from second a season ago, but that almost feels like a threat more than a falloff given how flat the team has looked at times. Beware, it says, this is a top 10 defense even while almost completely half-assing things, just on the virtue of Kevin Durant showing up to work. Durant has been improving as a defender for years, going back to his time with the Thunder. (If you ever go back and watch the 2016 series between OKC and San Antonio, watch Durant on defense — he was the best defensive big man in that series.) His style is also entirely his own: KD gives up relatively “great” shots — ones his opponents would be expected to turn into 52.3 eFG against an average defender, or about what Austin Rivers gives you as a defender. Not great. But because Durant is so long, so mobile and so smart positionally, the actual shots against him fall at a rate of just 45.2 eFG. This still happens within the overall Golden State system — Andre Iguodala and Steph Curry have similar opponent eFG numbers, albeit on fewer shots defended — but Durant’s role has him not only locking down his own man but also covering up for lapses by his teammates.Green may remain the more important defender for the Warriors — he’s the anchor, and what he does from his position is impossible to replicate. But Durant’s play so far has been the strongest on a Golden State defense that should end up being a top-3-type unit, at minimum. But despite the limitations, these metrics are a pretty good way to look at who’s having the best defensive season. A few players stand out on the list: Honorable mentionGiannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid have both been outstanding through the first quarter of the season, but they don’t have quite the same track record as some of the players listed above. Just the same, neither seems to be a fluke. We’ll be a little more certain how permanent their new defensive excellence is by the All-Star break. The same goes for Kristaps Porzingis, who last season was in the tier just behind Gobert and Green for overall defensive value, but this year fell off early before making up some ground in the past few weeks.Some others seem more like early-season mirages — Josh Richardson, Gary Harris and Eric Gordon are all having excessively good years by the metrics but are playing way above the levels they had in previous seasons.Check out our latest NBA predictions. Anthony Davis, New Orleans PelicansFrom the time he was a rookie, Anthony Davis has had all the tools. He’d block shots and steal alley-oops and tug on his shorts and check the opposing point guard 30 feet from the basket. He came into the league as a destructive defensive force, but for reasons ranging from injury to scheme to sheer offensive burden, Davis’s aggregate effect on the defensive end hasn’t always lived up to the promise of those moments. This season, it has. Davis ranks seventh in the league in shots defended overall, and the defense gets 12.7 points per 100 possessions worse when he sits down. That’s nearly double his defensive on/off split from last season, which was already by far the best of his career.Partly this is because of his partnership with DeMarcus Cousins. Defensive intensity hasn’t always been Cousins’s strong point, and that’s still true today, but he has defended the most shots in the league, and done so while holding opponents to a middle-of-the-road 51.4 eFG on shots he defends. Not great, certainly, but it’s a respectable backstop for the defense.Because of Cousins’s role as a reliable constant, Davis is free to cover more ground without making risky moves to get back into plays. And because of that, his personal foul rate is at an all-time low (2.6 fouls per 100 possessions). This allows Davis to do what he does best — stick to his man, rotate to help in the paint without overextending, and blitz spot-up shooters on the perimeter faster than anyone else his size in the league. Here we’ve got total shots as well as the qSM (the difference a defender makes on each shot) plotted against each other to show who’s affecting how many shots to what degree. This isn’t perfect. For one, a great defender doesn’t simply challenge shots — he denies them from happening, forcing a team to reset its offense. But by the same token, great defenders also work their way back into plays, affecting shots by playing smart help defense and covering acres of ground. Another thing these numbers don’t reflect the is overall quality of the shot — there are a few defenders who don’t depress value of each individual shot by as much as others but who force opponents into low-quality shots in general (through hard work and smart positioning) so that the overall effect is the same. Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown and Al Horford, Boston CelticsThe Celtic defense has continued to crush opponents. Boston is 18-4, with a league-leading defensive rating (100), the second-lowest effective field goal percentage allowed (48.6) and a roster full of live-bodied defenders who can switch practically any assignment. Even Kyrie Irving is chipping in on the effort. But while every Celtic is doing his part, some parts are more critical than others. It’s undeniably been the play from Smart, Brown and Horford that has carried the Celts so far.Smart does not possess the most graceful set of skills, but what he provides is unmistakable to anyone watching. He’s all over the floor, hounding ball handlers, bodying up on bigger players in the post and bumping cutting players he isn’t even guarding, like a middle linebacker jamming a slot receiver.Brown is a little different. While the Boston defense is built on interchangeable pieces switching and denying an offense space, it also needs players who can stick to their man across multiple screens, then square up and check their man as he plants and drives. Brown has stepped into that role and dominated so far. He can fight over screens (or just outright avoid them) to allow the defense to keep its shape, and he has the quicks to shut down first steps with the length to challenge pull-up attempts.Horford, meanwhile, does not have nearly the same reputation as the other two, but this season, he looks livelier than he has in the past when making switches, and he has defended the most shots of any Celtic. The newfound agility in space is especially important — because the defense will semi-regularly ask him to survive on an island against a wing, but also because his role at the center of the defense requires him to scuttle shooters who’ve just run over two or three screens trying to escape Smart or Brown. read more

The Eastern Conference Battle Just Escalated Quickly

Not everybody has been bought out yet. But there are a few key ones, Tony. Among them: Robin Lopez, who’s thought to be headed to the Warriors. Wesley Matthews, who sounds set on Indiana.natesilver: What if Houston traded Chris Paul for the Lakers’ young guys this summer?Not that crazy if AD goes elsewhere, right?chris.herring: I don’t think the young Lakers shoot well enough to put them around Harden.But that idea is still kind of fascinating. I don’t trust CP3 health-wise beyond this year — especially not with that money he’s making. So they would be smart to get something for him if someone is willing to give them a king’s ransom.natesilver: The 76ers really need a buyout guy. The drop-off from their starting five to their bench is about as steep as you’ll ever see.tchow: Scouring on NBA Twitter right now, and Wayne Ellington (Tar Heel!!) is another name that is being mentioned a lot.chris.herring: Yeah. Ellington def isn’t playing with Phoenix, so he’s another — maybe to the Rockets, even. He waived a no-trade clause to leave Miami, so he’d probably only join a contender.natesilver: Speaking of Philly, the Fultz move actually opens up some cap space, so they could decide to keep Harris and target another max guy if Jimmy Butler leaves.chris.herring: That Harris deal was such a big, interesting move for them.Being able to keep him as insurance depending on what happens with Butler — who isn’t my favorite long-term max option anyway — is huge. Harris is also a lot younger than people realize because Philadelphia is already his fifth team at age 26.tchow: He’s only 26???natesilver: I like it more for the Sixers than a lot of people do, in part because it gives them several different options going forward.chris.herring: Yep.natesilver: Also, if Ben Simmons is your point guard, you need forwards who can make a 3.chris.herring: I was tough on them last year, but can we circle back to the Pistons right quick? Because they are seemingly punting on this season. They gave up Stanley Johnson for Thon Maker, which I don’t mind on its own. Thon could be good. But they dealt away a very decent/good player in Reggie Bullock to the Lakers.neil: And according to our projections, Detroit has a 56 percent chance of making the playoffs!chris.herring: THAT’S WHAT I’M NOT UNDERSTANDINGneil: Same.chris.herring: Like, there’s a possibility they could be trading themselves out of the playoffs.Now, maybe that risk isn’t terrible — especially now, with what happened with the Wizards.neil: Making the playoffs is a pretty low bar, especially in the East. But Detroit has only done it once since 2009.natesilver: Top to bottom, Detroit has to be in one of the worst situations in the league. They’re stuck in that in-between zone, but without very many young assets to pull them out of it.chris.herring: As it stands, they still wouldn’t be in. And I feel like they hurt their chances, if anythingtchow: Yea, I was about to say. Detroit making the playoffs might be surprising, but if you look at the East, who else would be the 7 or 8 seed that seems more probable? 56 percent seems about right to me.neil: The Wizards basically blew everything up. (Although I was a little surprised Bradley Beal wasn’t on the move.)chris.herring: Miami. I trust Erik Spoelstra and that group more than Blake Griffin and the Blakettes.natesilver: If the Pistons decide they want to blow things up, then I wonder if they’d consider moving Blake this summer.chris.herring: I guess they probably want to build around him going forward. But yeah, Blake probably should be moved. He could make several teams really interesting.tchow: Man, I feel so bad for Wizards fans.chris.herring: Yeah. Speaking of the Wizards, I liked the Bulls jumping in on the Otto Porter situation. Some Bulls’ fans didn’t like it. But Chicago has done literally nothing to make itself more appealing to free agents this summer. So they sacrifice that space by getting Porter, who’s young. But they at least have a young vet who is decent on both ends to put around that young core.natesilver: There are so many teams with max cap slots open that some of these “bad” contracts, e.g. Blake or CP3 or maybe Kevin Love, could start to look like assets.All of those guys can still play obviously, but they get very expensive in the back half of their contracts.tchow: Aren’t all those teams waiting for the summer though, Nate?natesilver: Yeah, I think the summer is going to be totally wild. Dallas also cleared a max slot, or close to it.chris.herring: Yeah! The Dallas situation was big. Last week, when we discussed them, we talked about how they didn’t have space. By moving Barnes now, they do. Accelerates the timeline quite a bit, which you obviously want to do now that you have Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis together.chris.herring: LOL neil: I didn’t realize FuckJerry was referring to Jerry Buss.Loltchow: LOLnatesilver: But maybe the Lakers deserve some blame for that. The chemistry around the team is really weird and there are a lot of mixed messages about what their objectives are.chris.herring: Completely. I don’t think it was ever fair to assume they could get the deal done. But I do understand L.A.’s frustration if, as reported, they weren’t even getting counteroffers back from the Pelicans.natesilver: A lot of the better deals of the past few years, like Paul George or Kawhi Leonard or on a smaller scale Mirotic today, are just about teams being opportunistic.Instead of trying to call their shots.chris.herring: Yeah. It would’ve been something had Milwaukee or Toronto been able to land Davis. Probably too big of a gamble for Toronto, and maybe Milwaukee didn’t have enough outside of Giannis.But the gamble for PG paid off; especially considering OKC generally isn’t in play for the biggest free agents because of location.natesilver: It was sorta funny that AD’s list included the Lakers plus three teams that didn’t really have pieces that fit.neil: Yeah, there was another conspiracy theory floating around that that was to provide cover when eventually talks circled “back” to the Lakers.chris.herring: Yeah. It was Lakers or bust this whole time.natesilver: If the Knicks get the No. 1 pick, what are the odds they flip it for Davis? Gotta be at least 50/50, no? It just feels like a very clean transaction.chris.herring: Nate, I think the Knicks would be very well-positioned if they win the lottery. They would have the No. 1 pick (Zion Williamson), two recent lottery guys — in Frank Ntilikina and Kevin Knox — AND the future first-round picks they just got from Dallas.I don’t think too many teams can touch that. Not a whole lot in the way of players who can make a big, immediate impact. But Zion alone is something you can sell to your fans, as well as a boatload of future picks. And now that the Davis saga is being pushed out to the offseason — and with Boston perhaps being put in a weakened situation, given the lack of clarity around Kyrie — the team that wins the lotto could be best position to make NOLA an offer.tchow: Circling back to things that did happen, outside of the AD saga, the story of these trades seems to be about the moves the top Eastern Conference teams made. FWIW, this is how the top of the East looked a week ago, compared to now: neil: I love the East horse race this season! I think the favorite changed hands, like, three times in the last few days. Everyone is making their move now that LeBron is out of the picture.chris.herring: As they should!tchow: The King is gone — the throne is wide-open. It’s like “Game of Thrones” in the Eastern Conference.chris.herring: I really do like the Mirotic trade for Milwaukee. When I tweeted about it, someone said, “Yeah, but how does he help them against Golden State?” Milwaukee hasn’t gotten out of the first round since 2000. They have a real chance to make the finals now, with an elite player, offense and defense and an explosive scheme that allows them to rain threes.tchow: So. Many. Shooters.neil: Right, Ray Allen and Sam Cassell were Bucks the last time they were in a spot like this.chris.herring: Mirotic isn’t perfect. But he really helped AD and the Pelicans down the stretch last year. Can certainly help Milwaukee.tchow: All right, enough about the trade deadline. Who’s ready for the All-Star draft?Check out our latest NBA predictions. chris.herring (Chris Herring, senior sportswriter): While there wasn’t the blockbuster deal that some thought might come at Thursday’s NBA trade deadline, there were plenty of moves — and non-moves — that affected each of the top teams in the East and will factor heavily in the playoff race from here on out.And on the flipside, there are a handful of teams that aren’t in contention that made trades I liked for their future. (And one that did almost nothing, which confuses me.)This is insane, by the way: The way the Pelicans handled this whole scenario is ridiculous.neil: So petty.tchow: The NBA is the pettiest league. But that’s also what makes it the best league.chris.herring: Although the Lakers’ core wouldn’t have had me excited to make a deal, either.neil: No, and I think part of it was New Orleans feeling like planting a flag for the small-market teams of the league. The Lakers can’t just have anyone they want whenever they want.natesilver: If Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram had played, like, 20 percent better this season, everything would be so much easier.neil: That’s definitely true.chris.herring: I think the Pelicans’ social media team just called the Lakers’ offer the equivalent of the Fyre Festival. neil: Hard as it is to believe a LeBron James team misses the playoffs.chris.herring: The Clippers are interesting because even after dealing Harris, they aren’t by any means in a bad spot.natesilver: Yeah, the Clippers have a lot of guys on expiring contracts, so they have incentive to play hard.In the abstract, the Kings are not tanking, but our numbers hate Harrison Barnes, so that trade didn’t help their chances at all.chris.herring: I didn’t like that deal for the Kings.I like that they’re going for it. But I didn’t love trading Justin Jackson.The Bulls’ deal for Otto Porter was better, IMO.neil: But it also felt like the Lakers and AD overplayed their hand a little here. It felt like an orchestrated effort to bully the Pelicans into trading a generational player for less than attractive prospects. And the Pelicans didn’t blink.To hear some tell it, out of spite.chris.herring: There were a handful of things that played out today that I didn’t understand.tchow: Fellow Justin Jackson fan here, checking in.chris.herring: Toronto’s deal for Marc Gasol was interesting. He’s a former defensive player of the year but has slowed down. You deal Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, CJ Miles and a second-rounder for him. I don’t know how much better that makes the Raptors. Maybe Gasol is less of a defensive liability, but Valanciunas could beat up on second-string bigs pretty well. And I like Wright’s versatility at times.What did our projections have on that one? The way the Raps handled deadline was interesting. You kept hearing Lowry’s name floated around, etc.neil: Our projections still like Gasol quite a bit. Mainly for his defense.chris.herring: Also, to Nate and Neil’s question about the Lakers, at this point, I’m more interested in how the youngsters play from now on. Many of them had never been through this, with it being public that they’re all for sale. How they respond, how hard LeBron pushes himself and how much the Lakers push him will say a lot about whether they’re in the playoffs. It may not be totally worth it for LeBron to push himself to the limit, given how old he is and how slim a chance they have of taking out the West’s contenders.natesilver: I think literally every player on the roster other than LeBron was rumored to be going to New Orleans at some point, which can’t have helped with morale.chris.herring: Exactly.neil: Probably no coincidence they lost by 40+ on Tuesday.chris.herring: YUP.natesilver: Plus, the Lakers’ plan B isn’t that bad. Sign Klay Thompson or something this summer, give the young guys more chance to develop, and be opportunistic; there are still several ways you could end up with AD, and if you do, you’re going to have a lot more assets to surround him and LBJ with.chris.herring: Some teams surprised me by not making a deal today. I thought Atlanta — with guys like Kent Bazemore, Jeremy Lin — could have dealt away a vet to get something in return. Utah seemed to want Mike Conley, yet Memphis decided not to trade him just yet.But I love Orlando getting Markelle Fultz. They badly need someone at point guard. So I like the first-round pick as a gamble there.tchow: But our projections HATE Fultz, Chris.chris.herring: Of course. He hasn’t been good yet!neil: I don’t think anybody’s projections know what to do with Fultz.natesilver: Fultz isn’t a guy that projection systems are set up to deal with.neil: Right.chris.herring: One team that continues to confuse me some is Houston. They kind of cheaped out. Moved James Ennis for very little. Picked up Iman Shumpert, but also dealt away Nik Stauskas right after landing him in a trade. All seemingly to stay beneath the luxury tax. Those guys could’ve been useful. Maybe not great, but useful. On a team with a ton of injuries and little depth.It would be interesting to know how James Harden views that sort of thing as he’s doing everything by himself, damn-near.natesilver: Shumpert with good coaching/management could be an interesting fit. But yeah, Daryl Morey is sort of a home run hitter, and this felt like him fouling off a few pitches instead.chris.herring: True. They’ve always been bold, when it comes to certain things, that boldness pays off. They washed their hands of Carmelo Anthony a lot earlier than some would have, but they turned things around shortly after. Now the Lakers are interested in picking Melo up off the waiver wire, apparently.tchow: Speaking of Melo, Chris, in the beginning of the chat, you mentioned something about buyouts, and I keep hearing NBA circles talking about a robust or much coveted buyout market this time around. Who are some of the players that are being circled right now? I have no idea why it’s “robust.”chris.herring: neil (Neil Paine, senior sportswriter): Chris, this has to be up there with the most active deadlines ever.chris.herring: So what stood out to you all as the deadline came and went? The trades themselves are over, but a number of teams seem likely to keep an eye on the waiver wire for big names that could become available via buyout.I have to be honest: I loved Milwaukee’s trade for Nikola Mirotic.neil: Yes, a week ago, the Bucks were third-best in the East in our ratings. Now they are No. 1. (At least, in terms of full-strength rating.)chris.herring: They took four second-rounders and the spare parts they got in deals from the past couple of days to get a stretch big who fits their offense perfectly.Tobias Harris is a more complete player than Mirotic, but the fact that they could get the deal done without giving up much on the personnel side was really impressive.natesilver (Nate Silver, editor in chief): What stood out to me is that the biggest losers of the whole trade deadline period were the Lakers and the Celtics, even though they didn’t make any moves. (Well, the Lakers traded for Mike Muscala, but I’m not sure that counts.)tchow (Tony Chow, video producer): It doesn’t.chris.herring: The Sixers could have benefited from a deal like Milwaukee’s.neil: Yes, the Sixers gave up a ton in that Harris deal.tchow: The thing that stood out to me is it seemed like Toronto, Milwaukee AND Philadelphia all made moves with the assumption that their time is NOW. They all seem to believe they can win, if not the NBA Finals, then at least the East. Now, obviously, all three of them (four if you include Boston) can’t make it out on top, so it’ll be interesting to see who, if any, regrets these moves at the end of the season.natesilver: The Celtics were the biggest losers because all three of the other Eastern contenders made trades that make them much tougher outs. Obviously Philly gave up a lot more to do it than Toronto or Milwaukee did, and I agree that the Mirotic trade is the best of the three.chris.herring: That’s interesting, Nate.natesilver: The opportunity cost of not making a move is pretty high if you’re Boston.Especially if they’re now underdogs to make it out of the second round, which won’t help their case for keeping Kyrie Irving.chris.herring: I actually didn’t feel like Boston was a massive loser here. On the one hand, yeah, they didn’t change the roster. But they also seem to have played a role in Anthony Davis not being moved, which is a win in some ways, no? I guess it depends on whether you’re looking at short-term (which you probably have to, since the Celtics are a contender) vs. long-term/summer.neil: Certainly Davis staying in play for the summer is a win for Boston, although Davis’s agent and his father have said he’s not interested in signing long-term in Boston.natesilver: My thing is like: Kyrie has very openly flirted with the idea of leaving. And both the Knicks and the Clippers, two of the most attractive destinations, have totally cleared their books in way that make them very plausible fits for him.chris.herring: That’s certainly truenatesilver: The Celtics have to fade a lot of risks: AD openly griping about going there, Kyrie not leaving, the Knicks getting the No. 1 (or maybe the No. 2?) pick — in which case their offer for AD could be pretty darn attractive — and maybe none of the Lakers players having a breakout in the playoffs, which would make them more attractive trade assets, too.chris.herring: All completely fair.tchow: Yea, if the Celtics get knocked out in the first round or even the second round of the playoffs this year, I feel like they’re going to really regret not making any moves before this deadline.natesilver: Like, what if the Celtics had traded for Tobias Harris as a rental?chris.herring: Maybe I’m just of the opinion that the Celtics doing nothing AND watching AD get dealt to the Lakers would’ve been worse for them.natesilver: The weird thing about Boston is that they don’t have any obvious weaknesses, so they’re a little hard to improve unless you’re actually getting a star. But still…chris.herring: I don’t know if I would have liked them dealing for Harris, who is kind of a taller Jayson Tatum with less upside, given their difference in age.neil: Are the Lakers even going to MAKE the playoffs?tchow: Maybe? Right now, we project them to be a 9 seed.chris.herring: That’s a good question, Neil.natesilver: We have them as 2-to-1 underdogs, although they’re going to benefit from the Clippers semi-tanking. And maybe our numbers don’t account for motivation, as much.tchow: read more

The Warriors Should Be Worried About The Rockets

Embed Code More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed FiveThirtyEight This week on Hot Takedown, we’re joined by FiveThirtyEight editor in chief Nate Silver as we look ahead to the second round of the NBA playoffs and the potential Warriors-vs.-Rockets rematch. Some experts are picking Houston to advance, but our model still favors Golden State. Who’s right? As for the other opening rounds, with the exception of the all-knotted-up Nuggets-Spurs series, the higher seeds seem likely to advance — which leads us to ponder some possible restructuring of the NBA’s playoff format.With the NFL draft starting Thursday, the big question on everyone’s mind is whether the Arizona Cardinals will take Kyler Murray with the No. 1 pick. We discuss Murray’s draft position and take a look at the draft value of quarterbacks in a year when there aren’t a lot of great QB prospects available. As for the teams in general, is it better to draft for need or draft for talent?We’re also introducing a new segment called “Get Off My Field.” This week, Nate thinks there are too many home runs and strikeouts in baseball.Here’s what we’re looking at this week:Chris Herring writes about Russell Westbrook’s continued playoff woes.We’re following the playoffs with our NBA predictions.We eagerly await Kirk Goldberry’s new book, “SprawlBall: A Visual Tour of the New Era of the NBA.”Michael Salfino explores the value of different NFL draft positions.We marvel at Giannis Antetokounmpo laughing in the face of the laws of physics. read more

Freshmen spark Buckeyes in seasonopening victory

For the past two seasons, the Ohio State men’s basketball team was, for the most part, all Evan Turner, all the time. But with Turner now in the NBA, the Buckeyes appear to be, after one game, much more balanced. In Friday’s 102-61 win over North Carolina A&T, five Buckeyes scored in double figures, including freshman forward Deshaun Thomas with a team-high 24 points. Thomas, who scored 15 points in the first half, shot 10 for 16 from the field including 2 for 3 from outside the arc. “I was feeling it,” Thomas said. “When you’re on the bench, you have to be ready to play and play hard, and that’s what I did.” Known for his prolific scoring in high school, Thomas admitted that it took him a while to get up to speed in other areas of the game, specifically his defense. Though Thomas might not be quite as good as he needs to be yet, coach Thad Matta said the freshman showed how much he’s improved with his performance. “Deshaun has been so focused on his defense in practice,” Matta said. “We always tell the guys, ‘When you focus on the defense the offense will come’ and I think he found it today.” Freshman Jared Sullinger, despite a less-than-stellar first half in which he played just eight minutes and scored only three points, finished with 19 points in his OSU debut. But it was his 14 rebounds that Sullinger said were most important. “What I focus my game on is how many rebounds I get,” Sullinger said. “That’s something that has been established by my brothers and my father. (My father) being my basketball coach in high school, he told me if I don’t get a lot of rebounds, I’m not trying hard.” Senior center Dallas Lauderdale recorded his first career double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds to go along with eight blocks, and guards William Buford and David Lighty both scored in double figures, with 11 and 10 points, respectively. The Buckeyes play at No. 11 Florida on Tuesday. read more

Lavender leads Buckeyes to Big Ten Tournament title

INDIANAPOLIS — The Ohio State women’s basketball team slogged through confetti and streamers as it cut down the nets after claiming its third consecutive Big Ten Tournament title Sunday. Following a Feb. 6 loss to Northwestern at the Schottenstein Center, the Buckeyes had a 4-6 record in Big Ten conference play, and their future seemed bleak. Fast-forward to 3:30 p.m. Sunday. OSU (22-9), the Big Ten Tournament’s No. 5-seeded team, was tipping off in the championship game against No. 2-seeded Penn State (24-9) at Conseco Fieldhouse. Fast-forward again to about 5:25 p.m. At that moment, the Buckeyes were hoisting the Big Ten Tournament championship trophy above their heads at midcourt as confetti showered over them. The title was the fourth in program history. Senior center Jantel Lavender and junior guard Samantha Prahalis propelled the Buckeyes to the victory, grabbing a game-high 23 points apiece. Lavender, Prahalis and sophomore guard Tayler Hill were named to the Big Ten All-Tournament team. Lavender was also named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. The Buckeyes’ heroes of the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds were senior guard Brittany Johnson and Lavender, respectively, and it appeared that Prahalis assumed that role in the first half against Penn State. The Lady Lions led, 12-8, at the first media timeout, thanks to a balanced offensive attack led by junior guard Zhaque Gray. Prahalis had an early answer for Gray, scoring six points in the first half during a 13-4 run that put OSU ahead, 21-12, with just more than 11 minutes until halftime. The teams went on to match each other nearly bucket for bucket, for much of the first half. Prahalis continued to drive the Buckeyes’ offense, accumulating 14 points and three assists. Prahalis said Penn State’s defense allowed her open looks at the basket. “I had a lane,” she said. “Every night is different for me. It’s just what the game brings.” Lavender added nine points of her own as OSU took a 44-39 lead to finish the half. But eight points from Gray and 12 from Penn State sophomore guard Alex Bentley meant the Big Ten title was far from decided. But the Buckeyes were within 20 minutes of accomplishing a goal that seemed unattainable in early February. A determined Lavender opened up a personal 6-0 run to extend the Buckeyes’ lead. Then, a steal and some quick passing led to an easy layup for her, which extended the lead to 59-46 in the second half. OSU supporters cheered, and Lavender signaled to the fans for even more noise as she ran back on defense. Hill drilled a step-back jumper to increase the Buckeyes’ advantage to 63-49 with less than 13 minutes remaining. OSU was on its way. Penn State redshirt sophomore forward Mia Nickson scored 15 points, with 11 coming in the second half. But it wasn’t enough to help the Lady Lions claw back into the contest. Bentley misfired on numerous 3-point attempts as OSU extended its lead. Johnson missed a 15-foot jumper after nearly letting the shot clock expire, and Lavender hauled in the offensive rebound with 2:12 remaining. The Buckeyes retained possession for the remainder of the game, coasting to an 84-70 win. Lavender credited the win, at least in part, to OSU’s experience in prior Big Ten title games. “I definitely think our experience here has helped us win this game,” Lavender said. “I think us having that experience in the last three years (helped us to) just deal with three games in three days.” That’s exactly what the Buckeyes did. OSU had to overcome No. 4-seeded Iowa, No. 1-seeded Michigan State and No. 2-seeded Penn State before the indoor fireworks could be detonated overhead at Conseco Fieldhouse. Each opponent presented a different challenge, but the Buckeyes were up to the task. By virtue of its 10-6 regular-season record in conference play, OSU earned a bye into the tournament’s quarterfinals and began play Friday against the Hawkeyes (22-8). Lavender and Prahalis, the Buckeyes’ top two scorers, were slow to get involved on the offensive end of the court that night, but Johnson picked up the slack. Johnson scored a season-high 23 points on 8-of-16 shooting, and her 7-of-14 shooting from 3-point range was instrumental in OSU’s 71-61 win. “I was just in the zone, I guess,” Johnson said following the game. “I just wanted to step up and help my teammates out. That’s what I did.” After her team suffered elimination from the tournament, Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said Johnson is a threat on the court. “You’ve got to know where she is all the time,” Bluder said. “She is a really, really good 3-point shooter.” On day three of the tournament, OSU played Michigan State (26-5) with a berth in the championship game on the line. Lykendra Johnson, Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, was standing between the Buckeyes and a third consecutive tournament title — literally. But Lavender made quick work of her with a historic performance. Lavender torched the Spartans for 37 points, a Big Ten Tournament single-game scoring record, en route to a 72-57 win. Lavender also tied the tournament’s single-game record with 15 field goals on 15-of-20 shooting to help the Buckeyes get to Sunday’s championship game. With his team on the doorstep of history, OSU coach Jim Foster lauded the Buckeyes’ focus after Saturday’s win. “We’re smart enough, patient enough,” Foster said. “Good teams don’t get real high and don’t get real low. We just go about our business.” Despite her record-breaking performance, Lavender did not emphasize her personal accomplishments, but focused instead on what her team did well in its three wins against the Spartans this year. “The times that we’ve played Michigan State our team has really (understood) who we are as a team,” Lavender said. “It’s not any different situation, except for the number by our team is No. 5, and I think we’re playing like the No. 1 seed right now.” Lavender said after Saturday’s win that she “likes playing at Conseco Fieldhouse.” Sunday’s championship game against the Lady Lions afforded her, along with senior teammates Johnson, guard Alison Jackson and forward Sarah Schulze, a chance to exit the arena as Big Ten champion one last time. Foster said the 2010–11 team is better than the previous two teams he coached to Big Ten titles. “I would say this was the best team of the last three,” Foster said. “I think how we won this is a reflection of that.” With the win, the Buckeyes clinched the Big Ten’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. The Buckeyes now await the announcement of their seeding and opponent. With the NCAA Tournament still to come, Prahalis said her team has a good sense of where it is and where it’s been. “We’re very confident,” she said. “We don’t forget where we was a month ago. All we have is each other.” OSU will represent the Big Ten in the NCAA Tournament for the ninth consecutive year. read more

Behind Diebler OSU sets 3point record

When Jon Diebler arrived on campus in 2007, he was joining an Ohio State men’s basketball squad that had been in the National Championship the year before. At the time, the basketball program’s recent success left the incoming freshman with a chip on his shoulder. “We expected things to just be given to us,” Diebler said. “I mean, we worked extremely hard, but we didn’t do what we had to do to win enough games and get into the tournament.” That year, the Buckeyes went 24-13 and missed out on the NCAA Tournament, settling for a berth in the National Invitation Tournament. “But along with that, freshman year I think we all learned from it, from going to the NIT. It gave us a whole different perspective on things,” Diebler said. “We’ve come a long ways and I know we couldn’t be happier to go out with this team. We’ve got a pretty good team right now.” Three years later, the Buckeyes are the Big Ten champions, and the catalyst for their last two wins has been Diebler. After shooting a record-breaking 10-for-12 from beyond the arc against Penn State on Tuesday, Diebler again led the team in scoring after shooting 7-of-8 from 3-point territory in Sunday’s 93-65 win against Wisconsin. “We needed to pressure the strong hands, and we needed to get up a little, especially on Diebler,” Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said. “When you hit 10, I thought we did a great job of holding him to seven.” Diebler, who participated in the Senior Night festivities before the start of the game, finished with 27 points, six rebounds and four assists. After the game, Diebler was having trouble figuring out why he’s been shooting so well lately. “I’ve just been getting a little bit of daylight, and (my teammates) are doing a great job of screening for me and getting me the ball,” he said. “I’m just fortunate enough to knock them down. I don’t even know how to explain it.” Diebler has now gone 17-for-20 from deep over the last two games, an 85 percent shooting display. Some basketball players are lucky to be that automatic from the free-throw line, much less from the 3-point line. “It’s an amazing run for him, and I told the team after the game that we were 14-of-15 from three and Jon apologized to everybody for missing,” OSU coach Thad Matta said. “All of the shots that he shoots, and all of the practice that he does, you know it’s very gratifying to see him shoot like that.” OSU set an NCAA record for 3-point shooting percentage in a single game with 93.3 percent accuracy from deep. “That’s, what, the first time in six or seven games that we’ve had the same guy lead us in scoring twice?” Matta said. “And I know this: Jon will score zero points for us; as long as we win, he’s fine with that.” read more

Mens Lacrosse Ohio State barrages No 20 Michigan with 44 shots on

Ohio State senior attack Jackson Reid looks for an open shooting lane against Michigan on April 13, 2018. Ohio State won 8-5. Credit: Edward Sutelan | Assistant Sports EditorA rowdy No. 20 Michigan lacrosse team entered Ohio stadium today with one thought on its mind: to end Ohio State’s perfect 6-0 all-time record against it.Unfortunately for the Maize and Blue, Ohio State had a different result in mind and defeated its arch-rivals 8-5, marking its first victory inside The Shoe this season. It also snapped Ohio State’s five-game losing streak.Michigan’s confidence, due in part to the team owning its longest ranked streak in school history, was quickly suppressed when the Buckeyes (6-6, 1-2 Big Ten) came out of the gate with three rapid goals. Ohio State’s cohesive defense and aggressive offense made sure that it never gave up the lead to the No. 20 Wolverines (7-5, 0-3 Big Ten) and, amidst the roaring cheers of an enthusiastic home crowd, closed out the game with a refreshing win that broke its losing skid.“It’s special. I grew up knowing all about the rivalry, and I grew up a Buckeye fan,” Ohio State senior midfield Bo Lori said. “To go undefeated against those guys is special. I mean ultimately for this team right now we just needed that win, and it was a big win for us in this season, so that’s the most important thing.”Ohio State’s All-American sophomore attack Tre Leclaire paced the team’s offense, recording a hat-trick before the end of the third period. Five other Buckeyes found a home on the scoreboard as a result of a composed and dynamic offensive effort.Ohio State sophomore attack Tre Leclaire walks off the field with his teammates after scoring his first goal of the game in the first quarter against Michigan on April 13, 2018. Ohio State beat the Wolverines 8-5. Credit: Edward Sutelan | Assistant Sports EditorOhio State rattled the cage more than a few times, putting up 44 shots on goal, while its effective defense, spearheaded by senior defensemen Ben Randall and Erik Evans, held Michigan to just 23.Ohio State senior defenseman Erik Evans tries to block an incoming Michigan attack just off to the side of the net on April 13. Ohio State beat Michigan 8-5. Credit: Edward Sutelan | Assistant Sports EditorEvans, Lori and Ohio State head coach Nick Myers all agreed that Ohio State’s defensive success was a primary reason the offense came out firing on all cylinders. “We took a lot of confidence knowing the way our defense was playing, we did a great job battling for ground balls between the lines, I thought that was huge,” Myers said. “We came up with some loose balls, some transition goals. Faceoffs really picked up in the third quarter, but at the end of the day we left a lot of goals on the board.”Michigan’s offense was led by junior midfielders Decker Curran and Brent Noseworthy, who combined for three of five of the Wolverines’ goals. Defensively, Michigan’s senior goalie Tommy Heidt did the best he could, making 15 saves on the night, but was ultimately overpowered by the Buckeye onslaught.Michigan’s loss is its third in Big Ten play, while Ohio State broke new ground and recorded its first victory in the conference and kept its playoff chances alive.  “This is a Big Ten win – they’re hard to come by at home, a much-needed win. I know this team’s got a lot of confidence and knows there’s a lot more out there for us,” Myers said.Next weekend, the Buckeyes will be put to the test when they hit the road to face No. 1 Maryland (9-1, 2-0 Big Ten) on its home turf. read more

Roller coasters could be a cure for kidney stones

first_imgThe research, led by Michigan State University, was prompted by the case of a patient suffering from kidney stones who reported passing a stone after each of three consecutive rides on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster at Disney World in Florida.Scientists then used 3D printer to create an anatomical model of a kidney filled with urine and three kidney stones of differing size.The device was placed aboard a front seat on the same Disney World attraction, where over numerous rides it showed a stone passage rate of 16 per cent, while a ride on the back seat yielded a rate of 63 per cent. Dr David Wartinger, who co-authored the study published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, said: “Preliminary study findings support the anecdotal evidence that a ride on a moderate-intensity roller coaster could benefit some patients with small kidney stones.“Passing a kidney stone before it reaches an obstructive size can prevent surgeries and emergency room visits.” Over the years numerous remedies have been prescribed to treat kidney stones, but until now climbing aboard a theme park roller coaster has not been one of them.That could be set to change, however, after a US medical journal reported that riding a “moderate-intensity” roller coaster helped facilitate the passage of small kidney stones in a dummy on more than 60 per cent of occasions. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. A ride on a moderate-intensity roller coaster could benefit some patients with small kidney stonesDr David Wartinger, Michigan State Universitylast_img read more

Pippa Middleton granted injunction over photos stolen from iCloud account

first_imgPippa Middleton has been caused “considerable distress” by the alleged theft of photographs and information from her iCloud account, a court has heard.The 33-year-old sister of the Duchess of Cambridge was granted an injunction in the High Court preventing the publication of any of the material stolen from her online account.A High Court judge made the order against “person or persons unknown” after hearing that Miss Middleton and her fiancé, James Matthews, did not know exactly what material had been accessed during the hack. Adam Wolanski, representing the couple, said the hack had been “flagrant and dishonest” and “indeed criminal act” which had caused them both “considerable distress”.More than 3,000 photographs featuring Miss Middleton, members of her family and her friends were allegedly stolen when her Apple’s iCloud account was illegally accessed.Some of the images were understood to feature the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.It was also reported that other pictures featured Miss Middleton, who recently became engaged to Mr Matthews, a hedge fund manager, trying on her wedding dress.The court heard that Scotland Yard launched an investigation into the alleged hack after a journalist from The Sun newspaper contacted Miss Middleton’s representatives to say they had been offered material for sale. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The case was heard at the Royal Courts of Justice on Wednesday morningCredit:NIKLAS HALLE’N/AFP High Courtcenter_img Pippa Middleton On Sunday, it was revealed that website designer Nathan Wyatt, 35, from Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, had been arrested on suspicion of an offence under the Computer Misuse Act.His three-bedroom house was searched by forensic officers investigating the case.He was subsequently bailed by police to return to a south London police station on a date in late November.Mr Wolanski said the claimants were not concerned that the stolen material would be published by the mainstream press, but by “rogue elements” on the internet or overseas.The hacking of cloud based accounts has becoming increasingly common with more than 100 celebrities reporting that their personal photographs had been accessed and unlawfully posted elsewhere online. Pippa Middleton ‘suffered considerable distress’ following the alleged theftCredit:Dominic Lipinskilast_img read more

Revealed How the Romanian gipsy boy pictured being hugged by Prince Charles

first_imgPrince Charles takes a walking tour of the Old Town in Bucharest and hugs Valentin Blacker Credit:Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock Chris Jackson/WPA Pool/Getty Images Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The prince has known the schoolboy since he was a toddler and they frequently meet on the Prince’s regular forays to Transylvania, where he has dedicated almost two decades to preserving its rich heritage and architecture.“They get on very well,” said Mr Blacker. “Valentin is a very effervescent child. He is very full of life and Charles thinks that’s great. Charles finds it fascinating that he is half-gipsy. Charles always says to him ‘When you are older you will have to take on all these jobs and look after all the old buildings.’ Prince Charles admires the statue of Vlad the ImpalerCredit:RADU TUTA / AGERPRES FOTO / POOL “Valentin is not shy or withdrawn and he talks to Prince Charles in a very natural way. It’s very nice. He’s not afraid of hugging Prince Charles and vice versa.“Valentin thinks Prince Charles is absolutely marvellous and rather exotic. Both of them think each other rather exotic. They have this very fun, easy relationship.”Mr Blacker first “stumbled into” Romania in 1990 just after the fall of Nicolae Ceacescu’s brutal, communist regime and began living with the local Roma.He initially fell in love with one young gipsy woman but later embarked on a relationship with her sister. In 2006, the couple had Valentin – Mr Blacker’s only child – although the unconventional relationship foundered after three years.  Mr Blacker subsequently wrote a best-selling and critically acclaimed book of his experiences – called Along the Enchanted Way – in which he described falling “under the spell” of “Natalia” before moving in with her sister “Marishka”, whose names he changed to protect their identities. In the book, Valentin is given the name Constantin.Valentin has grown up in the village and now attends the local state secondary school in Sighisoara. Once a year for a month, he attends a Church of England school in the UK where his father lives part of the time. Valentin’s schooling is a far cry from Eton where Mr Blacker was educated.“Valentin is well travelled but when he’s in Romania he is the same as all the other boys at school,” said Mr Blacker. “He doesn’t get any special treatment. He just mucks in. I have taught him all the important things, which are speaking English, playing tennis and swimming.” It was a rare display of genuine Royal affection. On a tour of Romania yesterday, the Prince of Wales spotted the son of a close friend, wrapped his arms around and gave him the biggest of hugs. Prince Charles beamed with joy. So too did the 11-year-old boy.The child is Valentin Blacker, the son of an old Etonian and whose mother is a Romanian gipsy. William Blacker, 54, told The Telegraph yesterday that his son, who lives in a remote village in Transylvania, is not put off by Royal protocol in the way that children brought up in the UK might be.“Valentin is not inhibited by the formalities that a British boy in awe of the Royal family would have,” said Mr Blacker, “Theirs is a very touching relationship.”The heir to the throne was on an official visit to Bucharest’s Old Town, as part of a nine-day tour of Europe, when he spotted Valentin among the invited guests. “It’s not the first time he’s hugged me,” explained the youngster afterwards. Credit:Chris Jackson/WPA Pool/Getty Images In 1996, Mr Blacker  wrote a 20-page pamphlet, warning of the threat to Transylvania’s architecture and heritage, especially its famous fortified churches. Prince Charles requested a copy and embarked on his own passionate campaign to preserve rural Transylvania.  Prince Charles takes a walking tour of the Old Town in Bucharest and hugs Valentin Blacker  It inspired the Prince to visit Romania for the first time in 1998 and since then he has bought a number of estates and houses and renovated them in keeping with local tradition.Mr Blacker, who is chairman of the Anglo Romanian Trust for Traditional Architecture, has most recently worked to revive the tradition of making handmade terracotta tiles and in 2015 Prince Charles opened a new kiln. Valentin was in attendance at the event.Prince Charles likes to make much of his family connections to Romania’s most feared historical figure, Vlad the Impaler, said to be the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula.The Prince is reckoned to be related to Vlad through his great-grandmother Queen Mary, the consort of George V.He has joked that Romania is “in his blood” and at a reception this week, he told local dignitaries he “has a stake in Romania”. Prince Charles admired the statuelast_img read more

Dog with bag of cement tied around neck found in canal

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. The body of a dog with a bag full of cement tied around its neck has been found in a Liverpool canal.RSPCA staff and members of the public pulled the dark-coloured male Staffordshire bull terrier canal in Bootle on May 6.The rucksack full of cement was tied around the dead canine’s neck with blue rope, the RSPCA added.RSPCA inspector Helen Smith said she could not be certain how the dog died, or whether he was alive when he was thrown into the canal.“The vet who looked at him noted that he had bloodshot eyes and fresh blood in his mouth, which indicates strangulation,” she said.“If he was dead when he was thrown in, it would have taken at least two people to get him in there as the dog was heavy, as was the rucksack.“He could have also been walked down there alive, thrown into the canal and choked by the weight around his neck.“Sadly it does seem suspicious, so we are keen for anyone who has any information to contact us.”Anyone with information is urged to contact the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018.last_img read more

Wimbledon warns supporters against political chants and slogans amid fears of outbreak

first_imgIt seems an unlikely thing to happen amid the genteel environs of SW19, but then it’s already been a summer of unlikely outcomes.Which may explain why the All England Lawn Tennis Club has taken steps to prevent any displays of Corbynmania, or any other political expression, during the Wimbledon championships.The tournament’s organisers have issued a strict ban on political slogans during the fortnight, which opens on Monday.After all, the last thing they want is for cries of “Oh Jeremy Corbyn” to ring out across Centre Court. Should that fail to halt the noise stewards would get involved, with any persistent protesters likely to be ejected from the grounds. Last year David Cameron was met by boos from some in Centre Court after Andy Murray highlighted his presence during his victory speech for his second Wimbledon title.The ‘No Political Slogans’ rule stands alongside a ban on so called ‘ambush marketing’ techniques used to promote products during matches.Wimbledon officials last year confiscated Peperamis from fans entering the grounds over fears that the snack, which had been distributed to the queues from a truck.The AELTC said: “There has been a sharp increase in the amount of free unauthorised commercial advertising material, which is distributed to the queue and ticket holders in order to obtain free advertising in our grounds or on television.”Club officials added that their ban on political slogans was consistent with that of other major sporting events. Although rare, there have been political protests at Wimbledon in the past. On 2011 a group of Spanish activists from the anti-austerity 15-M movement had to be prevented from entering the grounds, where they were planning to stage a protest during one of Rafael Nadal’s matches. Among the rules issued for spectators by the AELTC in the run up to the championships is one prohibiting “any objects or clothing bearing political statements”.A warning sign stating “No political slogans!” is on display at the entrance gates to the grounds.An AELTC spokeswoman told the Daily Telegraph: “We wouldn’t want people to use this kind of event as a platform for their specific views or causes.”The rule is aimed principally at barring spectators wearing political slogans on T-shirts, or brandishing flags and banners with slogans.But officials have said that match umpires would intervene if any political chanting takes place, initially by calling for “quiet please” in their characteristically firm manner. Corbyn at Glastonbury Notice at Wimbledon highlighting banned objects and behaviourcenter_img Notice at Wimbledon highlighting banned objects and behaviour But there are already suggestions that some of those attending Wimbledon, particularly the younger spectators queuing overnight, may be planning to show their admiration of him.And social media users have voiced their relish at the prospect of the Centre Court ringing with the chant.Ryan Murray, a Twitter user from Swansea, wrote: “It would make my life if the ‘Ohhhhhhh Jeremy Corbyn’ chant became the soundtrack of this year’s Wimbledon.”Medical student Mouad Elhmaidi, said: “Why I am looking forward to Wimbledon?  Hearing Jeremy Corbyn chants in the stands.”Another Twitter user, Vic, wrote: “Last night I dreamt Corbyn was in the Royal Box at Wimbledon and I started this chant there.” Mr Corbyn has been invited to watch play from the Royal Box, alongside other political figures and celebrities, although it is not yet known on which day.The club is keen to avoid any hint of the scenes witnessed at last month’s Glastonbury festival, when the chant was taken up by thousands of revellers as the Labour leader addressed crowds from the main Pyramid Stage. Corbyn at GlastonburyCredit:Paul Grover Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Fans say its just not cricket after team deliberately loses to win

first_imgDivision 1 Champions 2017 #VLR— Carew Cricket Club (@CarewCC) August 28, 2017 “I can’t think that anyone in the Carew team would have wanted to win that way. If I had been in that team I wouldn’t have been able to celebrate,” he said.Gareth Rees, another former Glamorgan cricketer, tweeted: “Just heard what happened in the Pembs league today. What an embarrassment from Carew Club shocking behavior.”A photograph of their victorious team posted on Twitter by Carew Cricket Club also drew a barrage of critical comments.Cresselly made clear their disappointment with Carew’s behaviour, saying in a statement  that the club “felt hard done by at not being able to play a proper game” to decide the winner of the division.Cresselly said that it had expected Carew to “want to beat us the right way and show everyone they are indeed the very best” and that the decision to lose on purpose “was at odds with their title of champions of the county”.The statement added: “We are disappointed for our supporters some who travelled quite a few hours to watch what should have been a top game and also people who took time off work to play and to watch.”Richard Merriman, vice-chairman of Pembroke County CC, said he could not comment on the matter until the general meeting of the club in February. Carew were not available for comment. While Carew’s legal if rather underhand tactics may have won them the championship they earned the opprobrium of cricket lovers.Steve James, who played for England and captained Glamorgan, said that the club’s attitude was shocking.“It’s against the spirit of the game, Unfortunately it’s within the rules of that game.center_img It is a game in which fair play is still held in high regard and a certain type of behaviour is expected on and off the pitch.So when Carew Cricket Club ensured they won their local county championship simply by denying the opposition the opportunity to accumulate extra points condemnation was swift and forthright.In order to become champions of division one of the Pembroke County Cricket Club the team, based on the edge of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, forced the deciding game to an early close.By declaring an end to their innings after less than three overs, with a score of 18 runs for one wicket, Carew prevented their rivals Cresselly from scoring more than 40 runs or taking more than one wicket.That meant that although Cresselly won easily by scoring 24 for one, there was no opportunity for them to accumulate the bonus points required to overtake Carew in the league. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more

Prince Harry and Meghan Markles royal wedding day Best moments pictures and

A royal kiss: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle kiss after their wedding ceremonyCredit:AP 12:06PM’You look amazing’: Harry’s whispers to Meghan at the altar Royal fans keep warm in sleeping bags early on Saturday Prince Harry places the wedding ring on his bride’s fingerCredit:Jonathan Brady /PA 2:24AMSuits actor congratulates his co-star Prince Harry and Meghan Markle leave St George’s ChapelCredit:Andrew Matthews /PA 1:40PMMeghan’s father: ‘My baby looks beautiful and very happy’ 12:50PMHymn: Guide Me Oh Thou Great Redeemer The Archbishop then asks Ms Markle the same, and she responds: “I will.” Meghan Markle meets Prince Harry at the altar There was something distinctly unusual about the 05.18 train from Paddington this morning, reports Judith Woods.The fancy frocks, the Union flags, and the air of excited merriment set the service to Windsor & Eton Central apart.Strangers not only made eye contact, they chatted animatedly, someone whistled a wedding march and there was talk of nothing but Harry and Meghan’s nuptials.“I’ve been up since midnight,” said Laurie Walls, 33, a bookseller and librarian from Indiana, who took two weeks off work to travel to Britain for the wedding. “I was too hyped up to sleep. I’ve always been fascinated by the royals and ever since I watched William and Harry at Diana’s funeral I’ve followed them avidly from afar.” 3:03AMFront pages from around the world Royal fans enjoy the post wedding celebrations and atmosphere in Windsor 9:19AMMood in Windsor grows more festive as chill gives way to sunshine Shopkeeper Roshan Sang outside his shop on the high street. 10:48AMHundreds of  ‘golden ticket’ holders gather outside chapel Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex leave Windsor Castle Flags are handed out to wedding spectators in WindsorCredit:BENOIT TESSIER /Reuters Princess Diana wearing the ring in Sydney, Australia in 1996 Prince Harry and Ms Markle gazed into each other’s eyes as they exchanged vows.Loud cheers could be heard from outside St George’s Chapel as the Archbishop of Canterbury proclaimed the couple husband and wife.Prince George and Princess Charlotte did not follow directly behind Harry and Meghan as they made their way back up the aisle, like the other bridesmaids and page boys.Instead, the youngsters held the hand of their parents the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as they made their way out of the chapel. Prince Charles and Meghan Markle’s mother Doria RaglandCredit:Getty Here comes the bride! Meghan Markle has arrived at the Chapel’s West Steps by car. She will now walk through the Nave on her own followed by her bridesmaids and pageboys, who include Princess Charlotte and Prince George, before being accompanied by Charles down the aisle of the Quire.Her dress is by Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy. The Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex have also taken their seats inside the Quire of St George’s Chapel.  Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Sir Elton John, who has arrived for the ceremony with husband David Furnish, was seen warmly embracing David and Victoria Beckham, as well as singer James Blunt. Meghan Markle's father Thomas was forced to pull out of the wedding just two days before the ceremony Prince Charles, who will walk Ms Markle down the aisle, has arrived with his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.Meanwhile, Prince Harry has taken his place in St George’s Chapel, sitting with his brother the Duke of Cambridge. The pair sat on chairs at the top of the altar.At one point, Harry turned to talk to guests, and let out a sigh as he waited for his royal bride to arrive. 11:26PMFireworks over Frogmore House 1:43PMRoyal couple join their guests for lunchtime reception 8:41PMHarry gave Meghan her Diana’s ring as wedding gift 10:05AMWedding rings will be made of platinum and Welsh gold 5:39PMMeghan to give speech at evening reception Joe Shute reports from Windsor: While the Royals and their inner circle celebrate at Frogmore House their fans are continuing the party on the streets of Windsor.Outside the newly-named “Prince Harry” pub on the High Street (until this week formerly The Three Tuns) revellers in Royal family masks are drinking toasts to the happy couple.Nicola Glimmerveen, 32, of Sunningdale, her partner Simon Jones and friend Elizabeth Cartmell came dressed as the Duke of Edinburgh and the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex.While they bought the Harry and Meghan masks in a shop, Glimmerveen admits she found the Prince Philip one abandoned on the pavement.Drinking Pimm’s and pints of Windsor Knot, a specially-brewed beer to celebrate the wedding, Glimmerveen says they plan to stay up all night in the town celebrating.“It’s been such a fun day,” she says. Tom Nicholson, a 35-year farmer from Surrey, had sailed his pleasure craft, Jarni, down the River Thames to Windsor for the day and rigged the boat in Harry and Meghan bunting.Dressed in a blue suit and straw boater he admitted he had been enjoying “a couple of jars” to celebrate the day.   Despite the bulk of the 100,000 strong crowd departing from Windsor following the wedding many of its pubs and restaurants are still doing a roaring trade as well-wishers keep partying on.At one stage at Meat At the Parish, a steak and lobster restaurant on the High Street, the entire room broke out into an impromptu rendition of the hymn, Jerusalem. Huge crowds line the streets of WindsorCredit:EMMANUEL DUNAND /AFP  Crowds gather ahead ofthe wedding of the year. Meghan Markle’s father Thomas, unable to attend the wedding after undergoing emergency heart surgery, was believed to be watching in California, unperturbed by the 4am start, reports Rozina Sabur.”My baby looks beautiful and she looks very happy,” he said.The 71-year-old told US site TMZ he was “emotional and joyful” as he watched the ceremony.”I wish I was there and I wish them all my love and happiness,” he added. Two years later, she was appointed creative director of French fashion house Chloe, a move widely derided at the time, but she proved a runaway success and soon left to launch her own label.Since then, she has built up her business and now runs more than 20 stores around the world selling her designs to some 100 countries and has teamed up with brands including Adidas and H&M.In 2012 she was named Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards, in part for her work designing the kit worn by Team GB and the nation’s Paralympians.In the past McCartney has dressed a host of stars including Amy Poehler, Kate Hudson, Karlie Kloss and Adele.And Meghan is no stranger to her fashion either, wearing a black coat by the designer while visiting Cardiff with Prince Harry. Meghan “was the strength” of her wedding ceremony to Prince Harry, as her body language showed she was constantly reassuring him, an expert said.Despite the whole experience being completely new for Meghan she did not display a single sign of anxiety or nervousness – while her new husband, the Duke of Sussex, “was so patently nervous”.Judi James, a body language expert, said Harry performed about 12 self-touching body checks, like pulling at his gloves and wringing his hands, within a few paces of getting out his car after arriving at St George’s Chapel in Windsor. Follow Sunday’s live updates as Meghan and Harry start married life hereNewlyweds greeted by 100,000 on tour of WindsorHarry and Meghan get a chance to party at evening receptionPrince Charles reduces guests to tears with speech”Do we kiss?” “Yeah”Dress: British Givenchy designer behind gownRoyal cuties: Princess Charlotte sticks tongue outBishop: US wedding preacher who stole showGuests:  Worlds collide as LA glitterati meet WindsorsView from sofa: Gleeful gossip and Partridge momentsThe Duke and Duchess of Sussex begin their first day as a married couple following an emotional ceremony that captivated the nation and a night spent partying with close family and friends. They are expected to travel home to take up their royal duties following a day that saw them exchange rings, process through Windsor in a carriage and listen to an emotional speech made by Prince Charles.The celebrations culminated in a black-tie wedding dinner staged at Frogmore House and hosted by Charles for 200 of the couple’s closest friends and family. James Corden reportedly acted as compere.The married couple arrived at the evening reception in ultimate style – riding in a silver blue Jaguar E-Type Concept Zero, which was originally manufactured in 1968 and has since been converted to electric power to Frogmore House in Windsor.The car’s number plate bore the date of the wedding – E190518 – and Prince Harry proved he was the perfect gentleman as he opened the door of a vintage car to let his bride step in, as he drove her to their private evening reception in a scene akin to a James Bond film.Earlier, at the top of the vast West Steps, where the West Door was decorated with hundreds of cream and white flowers and green foliage, Harry and his bride stopped and kissed to the delight of cheering onlookers. 10:35PMThe Royal Family give thanks to all who celebrated the happy day 12:19PMAddress by The Most Reverend Michael Curry 5:11PMPrince Harry’s friend: It was a really lovely occasion, a beautiful day  Doria Ragland arrives at St George's Chapel  9:44PMNew York Mayor tweets his support The New York Post As Ms Markle entered the chapel, a fanfare was played. The bride, having been greeted by the Dean of Windsor, then moved in procession through the Nave where she was joined by the Prince of Wales – in place of her father, Thomas Markle, to the High Altar. The bridegroom and his best man await. Prince Harry’s mentor, former Welsh Guards officer Mark Dyer, has also arrived ready to take his seat. Thousands of spectators line the Royal Mile in Windsor 12:40PM’I therefore proclaim that they are husband and wife’   Ms Markle gazes at Prince Harry Crowds gather outside Windsor Castle The newly married Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle and Prince HarryCredit:Steve Parsons/PA The ring given to Meghan Markle as a wedding giftCredit:Steve Parsons/PA 8:31PMMeghan’s Stella dress Prince Harry too will be thinking of his late mother Diana, Princess of Wales, who died in car crash when he was 12.He has invited her three siblings, Earl Spencer, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes, as a way of honouring her. Lady Jane is giving a reading.Ms Markle will leave her country hotel with her mother to be driven to Windsor Castle, giving the first glimpse of the bride in her wedding gown.She will walk through the Nave of the stunning chapel on her own, followed by a procession of bridesmaids and pageboys, before meeting Charles at the start of the Quire.Prince William, whose children Prince George and Princess Charlotte will be among the young helpers, will be supporting his younger brother Harry at the altar. Meghan Markle listens during her wedding ceremony Credit:Sky News/AP 9:41AMAfter royal wedding… it’s the FA Cup final! Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are holding hands as the wedding ceremony begins. Now the Archbishop of Canterbury, is leading the vows.As Prince Harry and Ms Markle face each other and join hands, the bridegroom says:”I Harry, take you, Meghan, to be my wife, to have and to hold from, this day forward; for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part; according to God’s holy law. In the presence of God I make this vow.”  A huge firework display has lit up the night sky over Windsor .Crowds still celebrating in the town centre cheered as rockets flew above Frogmore House, where guests are gathered for the evening party. 12:05PMService begins: Prince Charles walks Meghan down the aisle Meghan Markle has left the Cliveden House Hotel in a vintage Rolls-Royce limousine to travel to Windsor Castle for her wedding to Prince Harry. Ms Markle sat in the rear of the Phantom IV car with mother, Doria Ragland.Wearing a white veil and white dress with a boat neck, she waved to onlookers as the car departed at 11.19am. 1:05PMNewly married couple now set for Windsor procession Amal and George Clooney Credit:Gareth Fuller /PA Prince Harry salutes members of the Royal family Charlynne Moyer, 60, reacts as she watches a television screen As the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex left Windsor Castle to travel to their evening reception The new Duchess wore a sizeable blue cocktail ring on her right hand, nicely matched by the blue soles of her white Aquazurra shoes.Eagle-eyed wedding watchers were quick to point out that the ring looks like the emerald-cut aquamarine ring owned by the groom’s late mother, Princess Diana. Many reports state that it is the same ring, which the Duke gave to his new bride as a wedding gift.  Read more from our fashion team here: Prince Harry places the wedding ring on his bride's finger But in a video he posted on Instagram, he defended himself, saying whoever was sat to his right had bad breath, and that was the reason for the face. In the video, he appeared to be sat in a hotel lobby wearing a New York Giants baseball cap. Meghan travelled in a Rolls Royce with her mother 11:05AMSerena Williams and Meghan’s Suits co-stars Fans arrive along The Long Walk to watch the carriage procession after the weddingCredit:AP Oprah WinfreyCredit:Ian West /PA The Duke of Edinburgh in St George’s ChapeCredit:Jonathan Brady /PA When Meghan Markle enters St George’s Chapel to begin the last steps in her journey to join the Royal family, the state trumpeters will sound a fanfare that has accompanied its brides for generations, reports The Telegraph’s Royal Correspondent Hannah Furness.Before long, as she says her vows to Prince Harry, that time-honoured tradition will give way to striking modernity, with the soaring voices of a gospel choir singing music from Ben E King and Etta James.Saturday’s Royal wedding ceremony, with each detail chosen by the couple, will blend the best-loved elements of British pageantry with a modern outlook that reflects the Prince and Ms Markle, in a service designed to capture the best of each of their heritage.From the music of Sir Charles Hubert Parry and a reading from the Bible to a procession of a newlyweds accompanied by a rendition of This Little Light of Mine, their choices go to the heart of their relationship: English customs blended with an American influence, offset by an overriding message of joy. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in St George's Chapel Meghan Markle leaving the Cliveden House Hotel 5:45PMJessica Mulroney posts of her royal wedding pride 10:27AMThe Clooneys and the Beckhams lead A-listers in Windsor Harry, who drove Meghan through the Windsor Great Park in the early evening sunshine, was dressed in black tie.Royal bride Meghan had changed into a second dress – a white halter neck – for the glamorous evening reception.Meghan’s hair was in a relaxed up do, and she tucked loose strands behind her ears amid the breeze as they headed to Frogmore House. However Meghan, the latest member of the royal family, maintained complete calm throughout the ceremony to “help Harry through it”.Ms James said: “Meghan was amazing. Walking up the aisle by herself, I looked for every smallest sign of suppressed anxiety and nervousness – there was absolutely nothing.”I think she probably saw it as her role to help Harry through it rather than the other way round. She sat with her hand over his for quite a bit of the service as though she was reassuring him.”To me, she was the strength when it came to the day and the actual performance.” To the sound of champagne corks popping and cameras clicking, the crowd, basking in the sun, provided a jovial running commentary on the guests’ outfits.Many stood to watch the steady procession while others simply sat and soaked up the atmosphere, reading newspapers and sipping prosecco.A few dipped into their “goody bags” – canvas bags inscribed with Harry and Meghan’s initials and packed with branded chocolate, shortbread, a magnet, a bottle of Windsor Castle water and a wedding programme, not to mention a voucher for 20 per cent off in the castle shop.On occasion, the crowd fell silent as they studiously watched the procession, trying to identify well-known faces and admiring the colourful parade.“Try and get to know your neighbours really well,” a member of staff yelled at them. “Make friends, sit tight, enjoy yourselves.” The newly married Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Meghan waves to photographers as she leaves her hotel The grand finale of the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is underway as 200 of their nearest and dearest gather for the first dance. The private affair at Frogmore House in Windsor will allow the selected guests to relax and celebrate with the happy couple. Pippa Middleton Credit:Danny Lawson /PA Some 250 members of the Armed Forces were on parade in Windsor today to help celebrate the Royal Wedding, with The Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force are all providing ceremonial support to mark the occasion.Many of the troops involved  served alongside Prince Harry during his ten years in the Army.Captain William Calder, who commanded a Half Company of 3 Regiment Army Air Corps lining the streets during the carriage procession, said:It’s an honour for us to be on parade in Windsor today, helping the man we knew as Captain Wales celebrate an important day for him and his family. I hope the ceremonies we take part in today will help the whole country celebrate this happy occasion. Mr Stott, who attended the wedding with his wife Alana, added: “We wish them all the best. I’m afraid I can’t comment at all on what was in the speeches.”Several other guests left saying they did not want to divulge the content of the speeches given at the reception. At the High Altar, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is now beginning the declarations. The Archbishop says to the bridegroom: “Harry, will you take Meghan to be your wife? Will you love her, comfort her, honour and protect her, and, forsaking all others, be faithful to her as long as you both shall live?”There is laughter in the chapel as Prince Harry answers: “I will.” 5:51PMGospel version of Stand By Me ‘was Prince Charles’ idea’ Crowds gather early in WindsorCredit:David Rose  Castle Hill and Windsor High Street are packed with excited well wishers already, many of whom have camped overnight, or arrived at the crack of dawn to get a spot, reports Eleanor Steafel in Windsor.Jules Arrowsmith, 58, has been in Windsor since 4am. Mrs Arrowsmith, from Cheshire, said this was the first royal wedding she has come out to watch.“It’s been on my bucket list for ages. I wanted to come and see one while I still can. And I love Meghan and Harry. I can’t wait to see what Meghan is going to wear, but she looks beautiful in everything.” Ms Markle’s delicate veil was five metres (16ft) long and made from silk tulle, with a trim of hand-embroidered flowers in silk threads, with two of her page boys carrying the ends as she made her way up the steps.Her hair was styled in an up do and she wore the glittering Queen Mary’s Diamond Bandeau tiara, loaned to her by the Queen.The Duke of Cambridge, in his role as best man, stepped forward to deliver the rings, with the couple smiling as they placed the bands on each other’s hands.Unlike his brother, Prince Harry has chosen to wear a wedding ring. The Archbishop of Canterbury, who will marry Prince Harry and Ms Markle, has spoken of the strong bond the couple share.”There’s profound affection between them which is wonderful and a deep understanding and mutual support,” he said.”You see in the way they respond to each other, caring for each other, which is something you see in many couples but not always. But it’s very evident and that’s wonderful.”As the Order of Service was published on the morning of the wedding, it revealed Prince Harry will wear a ring – not a given for royal men – and Ms Markle will not promise to obey her husband in the vows. Prince Harry and the Duke of Cambridge 6:40AMThe key timings 5:17PMWedding revellers face two-hour waits to board train Meghan Markle arrives in St George's Chapel Idris Elba and Sabrina Dhowre Dean Stott, a friend of Prince Harry who last Saturday completed his cycle ride of the 14,000 mile Pan-American Highway in a record 99 days, was among the guests.He told The Telegraph’s Patrick Sawer: “It was a really lovely occasion, a beautiful day. It was lovely to be able to make it back in time and it was an honour and a privilege to be there.” Dean Stott arrives for the wedding ceremony As Ms Markle approached the altar, Prince Harry mouthed the words: “You look amazing.” Idris Elba and Sabrina DhowreCredit:Ian West /PA 3:06PMAdoring fans pack into Los Angeles bar to watch royal wedding Missing though, was Meghan’s father Thomas Markle, who was thousands of miles away in Mexico after pulling out just days ago due to ill health.Ms Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, was there for her daughter and the Prince of Wales was asked by the bride to step in and walk her up the aisle of the Quire to meet Prince Harry.The couple joined their guests for a reception in Windsor Castle hosted by the Queen.  The Duke of Edinburgh in St George's Chape Crowds gather outside Windsor CastleCredit:ODD ANDERSEN /AFP/Getty The Order of Service  2:23PMMeghan Markle to make speech at wedding reception  5:01PMView from the sofa: Gleeful gossip, Alan Partridge moments and a scene-stealing horse Princess Diana wearing the ring in Sydney, Australia in 1996Credit: Julian Parker/Getty Sir Elton John waves as he leaves St George's Chapel  All stand for the next hymn: Guide me, O thou great RedeemerView of Telegraph’s classical music critic Ivan Hewett: Notable not only for striking a Welsh note (appropriate for the wedding of the son of the Prince of Wales) but for its family resonances. It was sung at both Kate and William’s wedding and Diana’s funeral and so its inclusion may well be among the ceremony’s most poignant notes. Royal fans enjoy the post wedding celebrations and atmosphere in WindsorCredit:John Nguyen Prince Harry and Meghan Markle kiss on the steps of St George’s ChapelCredit:Ben Birchall /PA Prince Harry and Meghan Markle leave St George's Chapel i As the carriage pulled away from the crowds into the gated grounds of Windsor Castle, Ms Markle seemed to be in awe of the scenes, lifting her hand to her chest and saying “wow”.Harry also seemed to need some help… according to lip reader Tina Lannin, he said to his bride: “I’m ready for a drink now.” After that effusive sermon, next up Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir are singing Stand By Me, Ben E King’s 1960 pop song.View of Telegraph’s classical music critic Ivan Hewett: It’s not a sacred piece, but the words have the just the right sentiment. It’s all about standing by your loved one in testing times, and it was inspired by the spiritual “Stand by me Father” – which itself refers to Psalm 46. The Performers are Kingdom Choir – 20 singers based in South-East London directed by Karen Gibson. The website says “They are a unique group of dedicated men and women, who blend Choral discipline with the raw Gospel spiritual sound – drawn from an inner experience. Royal fans arrive at Windsor and Eton Riverside StationCredit:James Hardisty /PA As they left the chapel they paused on the steps where a smiling Ms Markle looked up at her new husband and asked: “Do we kiss?” Harry replied with a discreet: “Yeah.”The new Duke and Duchess travelled in the Ascot Landau waving to the thousands of royal fans lining the streets and up the Long Walk, with Ms Markle exclaiming “wow” at their rapturous welcome. As the horse-drawn carriage returned to Windsor Castle ready for a lunchtime reception in the magnificent St George’s Hall, Prince Harry quipped: “I’m ready for a drink now.”Ms Markle has become the first mixed race person in modern history to marry a British senior royal. She found fame in the US legal drama Suits playing the character Rachel Zane, and a number of her former co-stars, including Patrick J Adams and Gabriel Macht, were there for her big day. harry meghan windsor royal mile The Duchess of York Meghan Markle will make a speech at her reception instead of her father who could not attend the wedding, Kensington Palace has confirmed.The royal bride is one of three people to speak at the lunchtime reception, hosted by the Queen. The others are her new husband, Prince Harry, and the Prince of Wales.The Duke of Cambridge, Harry’s best man, will act as compere.The reception will also include the cutting of the wedding cake, which was designed by Claire Ptak and features elderflower syrup made at The Queen’s residence in Sandringham. With just 15 minutes until the bride arrives, here’s what music is being played inside St George’s Chapel. A folky/antique theme dominates in this sequence of pieces.EDWARD ELGAR SALUT D’AMOURElgar’s first published piece. Originally written in 1888 as a gift for his future wife Carice. He sold the rights to the publisher for two guineas, which was a really bad move. It became massively popular and could have earned him a fortune.GUSTAV HOLST: ST PAUL’S SUITE, 4 TH MOVTHolst taught at St Paul’s School for Girls and composed this in 1912 for the school orchestra. This movement based on 16 th century English balladSIR CHARLES HUBERT HASTINGS PARRY movts 2,3,5 Parry, a leading light of the so-called ‘English Renaissance’ who was the first director of the Royal College of Music in 1883. He wrote his Lady Radnor’s suite in 1894 for the all-women orchestra conducted by Helen, Countess of Radnor. It’s a kind of Baroque Suite in Victorian dress.PETER WARLOCK: CAPRIOL SUITE Set of dances based on a book of Renaissance dances composed by Peter Warlock (gifted composer who died in 1930 aged 36).RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: FANTASIA ON GREENSLEEVESVaughan Williams was a collector of folk-song, and wrote many pieces based on the songs he found. This one is especially beloved, it’s always in Classic FM’s Hall of Fame. More famous and well-known than the tune it’s based on.ELGAR SERENADE FOR STRINGSElgar’s first really successful work, completed in 1893. It remained one of his favourite works right to the end of his life. He liked it because it was ‘really stringy’ – weird phrase but a musician knows What he means – it completely suits a string orchestra, you couldn’t arrange it for something else.ELGAR CHANSON DE MATIN In his early days, Elgar was always complaining about having no money, and wrote this delicious piece in 1899 as a deliberate money-spinner for his publisher Novello. It worked. The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead has said that more than 100,000 people are estimated to have lined the route of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding procession route in Windsor. Crowds around 30 deep jostle for a view of the couple's procession Crowds around 30 deep jostle for a view of the couple’s processionCredit:Eddie Mulholland for The Telegraph  The official 10 Downing Street Twitter account posted a message to the couple from Theresa May, saying: BBC presenters Dermot O’Leary and Kirsty Young Close-up of the bride's ring 5:14AMSussex pride The wedding cake is to be served at the Reception. It was designed by Claire Ptak and features elderflower syrup made at The Queen’s residence in Sandringham from the estate’s own elderflower trees, as well as a light sponge cake uniquely formulated for the couple. #royalwedding— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 19, 2018 Meghan Markle arrives in St George’s ChapelCredit:pixel GRG  7:34PMRick Hoffman defends ‘pulling faces’ The Archbishop says: “In the presence of God, and before this congregation, Harry and Meghan  have given their consent and made their marriage vows to each other. They have declared their marriage by the joining of hands and by the giving and receiving of rings. I therefore proclaim that they are husband and wife.”The Archbishop joins their right hands together and says: “Those whom God has joined together let no-one put asunder.”The couple are now officially married! Adoring fans in Meghan Markle’s hometown of Los Angeles wept tears of joy as they packed into a bar to watch the wedding of the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex.Scores of well-wishers descended on the British-themed The Cat And Fiddle pub in Hollywood from 2am local time as Prince Harry and Meghan tied the knot in Windsor Castle.Guests wore fancy dress, while staff served traditional English food and drink with the wedding showing on televisions around the bar.At the first glimpse of Prince Harry, the crowd erupted into loud cheers and continued to welcome each royal arrival in a similar way.Many wiped away tears as Meghan emerged from her car and into the sunshine wearing her pure white gown. An armed police officer walks past well wishers According to lip reader Tina Lannin, when the newly-wed couple stopped mid-way down the West Steps there was a moment of uncertainty over their first kiss as husband and wife.Meghan discreetly asked Harry: “Do we kiss?”To which Harry quietly replied: “Yeah”. Preacher Michael Curry, who has been celebrated for his rousing royal wedding speech, said it was “a real joyful thing” to bring diversity to the ceremony.The Most Rev Bishop Michael Curry, the first black presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, said: “It was a real joyful thing because there was a sense in which you had the fullness of the church represented in many respects.”He said the event had brought everybody together: “That happened today, in different ways, different songs, different perspectives, different worlds and all of it came together and gave God thanks.”The speech was a lengthy one, with Mr Curry appearing to tell himself to bring it to a close towards the end. There appeared to be a moment of uncertainty before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle left St George’s ChapelCredit:Ben Birchall /PA 6:19PMCelebrated preacher says royal wedding diversity was ‘joyful’ Just after 1.30pm, the carriage returned to Windsor Castle, disappearing under an arch within the grounds.The couple’s guests could also be seen arriving for the lunchtime reception at St George’s Hall hosted by the Queen.Video: Couple delight crowds in Windsor 8:57AM’Strangers not only made eye contact, they chatted animatedly’: On board the first train to Windsor She arrived accompanied by two page boys who held up her train as she made her way up the chapel’s steps alone.She was wearing a simple, long-sleeved white dress, with veil covering her face.  Next, the congregation will head to St George’s Hall for a lunchtime reception hosted by the Queen. Mr Budge, who now works as the operations manager at Longhope lifeboat station, brought his daughter Helen with him.Helen, 30, said: “It’s such a privilege to be here. I’m very proud of my dad, and so excited to watch the wedding. It’s just such a special day.”Macey Kurtz, 24, has come all the way from Texas where she works as a wedding photographer. She said: “I go to weddings all the time so I had to come to the royal wedding! We got here on Wednesday so we could be here for all the build up.”Her mother Leslie, 48, said: “We wanted to come and support Meghan and be part of their special day. We’re so excited to see them come past!” A royal kiss: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle kiss after their wedding ceremony Actor George Clooney and his barrister wife Amal have arrived at St George’s Chapel, followed closely by David and Victoria Beckham. Royal fans in their sleeping bags to hold a spot at the front of barriers for the carriage procession outside Windsor Castle,Credit:Frank Augstein /AP 6:55PMPrince Charles moves guests to tears with royal wedding speech Carol Middleton  2:18PMThe food being served this lunchtime Earl Spencer, the brother of Diana, Princess of Wales 4:05PMElton John performs ‘Circle of Life and Tiny Dancer’ at wedding reception 12:08AMMeghan Markle’s cousin says “she’ll make a great wife” Now it’s Ms Markle’s turn. She repeats after Justin Welby:”I Meghan, take you, Harry, to be my husband, to have and to hold , from this day forward; for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part; according to God’s holy law. In the presence of God I make this vow.” Prince Harry and Meghan Markle beam with joy in St George’s ChapelCredit:Owen Humphreys /PA St George’s Chapel has been adorned with floral displays ahead of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tying the knot.The first pictures from inside the historic building show foliage, white peonies, white garden roses and other white blooms adorning the front of the organ loft, towering above the seats.A central arch will serve to frame the royal couple as a congregation of family, friends and well-wishers watch them take their vows. Guests including Oprah Winfrey, actor Idris Elba and Earl Spencer, the brother of Diana, Princess of Wales, are among the guests who have arrived at St George’s Chapel. 1:10PMCarriage procession through Windsor begins Not long now until they walk down the aisle. A marriage made in heaven. The world will be watching. Not everyone is invited to the event itself, of course, but you’ll get the next best seats. Join us for the Romance of the FA Cup. Chelsea v Manchester United on @BBCOne at 16.10.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) May 19, 2018 The Duke of Cambridge, in his role as best man, stepped forward to hand over the rings.Prince Harry now places the wedding ring on the fourth finger of Ms Markle’s left hand and, holding it there, says: “I give you this ring as a sign of our marriage. With my body I honour you, all that I am I give to you, and all that I have I share with you, within the love of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”Ms Markle now does the same before the Archbishop of Canterbury addresses the congregation.  4:44PMUnion Jack hats and flags aloft: Street parties across Britain 7:13AMOrder of service revealed: British pageantry, soul music and gospel Ms Markle gazes at Prince HarryCredit:Dominic Lipinski /PA Crowds applaud the couple’s first kissCredit:Danny Lawson /PA Prince Harry looks at his bride, Meghan Markle, as she arrives accompanied by the Prince of Wales 11:20AMHere comes the bride: Meghan Markle leaves hotel Royal fans sleep in their sleeping bags to hold a spot at the front of barriers for the carriage procession outside Windsor Castle, Le Dauphiné (Grenoble) Thank you Pierpaolo for making me look special on this special evening. @MaisonValentino— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) May 19, 2018 Prince Harry and Meghan Markle kiss on the steps of St George's Chapel Royal fans keep warm in sleeping bags early on SaturdayCredit:Geoff Pugh for the Telegraph  Crowds applaud the couple's first kiss 10:07PMArmed forces proud to take part in fellow soldier’s big day Prince Harry looks at his bride, Meghan Markle, as she arrives accompanied by the Prince of WalesCredit:Jonathan Brady/Reuters Just as Harry and Meghan were officially married, the horse-drawn carriage in which they will depart from St George’s Chapel was brought into Horseshoe  Cloister. During the procession of the bride and groom to the outside world the following music is played:Symphony no. 1 in B-flat – Allegro William Boyce (1711-1779)Amen/This little light of mine – Etta James Jester Hairston (1901-2000) and Harry Dixon Loes (1892-1965) 12:54PMYoung cellist from Nottingham plays during signing of the register The Duchess of YorkCredit:Gareth Fuller /PA 10:36AMTom Hardy and Jonny Wilkinson among other VIP guests Members of the Royal family have begun to arrive and enter via the Galilee Porch, some on foot and others by car.They included the Duke and Duchess of Kent; Princess Anne, the Princess Royal and Mike and Zara Tindall. Were you watching the ceremony on television at home? The Telegraph’s Michael Hogan watched all the main shows so you didn’t have to. Click here to read his review of the coverage. Huge crowds lined the Long Walk to Windsor Castle as the Rolls-Royce made its way escorted by three Range Rovers.Well-wishers cheered and waved flags as the car passed, before making its way through the gates on its way to the chapel. We are not expecting to see the bride and groom again until they depart Windsor Castle for the 7pm reception at Frogmore House, hosted by the Prince of Wales. BBC presenters Dermot O'Leary and Kirsty Young 11:56AMThe Queen arrives – and she’s in lime-green After the ceremony, the estimated 100,000-strong crowd began to head for the railway station, causing long queues.Repeated loudspeaker announcements warned well-wishers that the Cambridge Gate and the route to the station was very congested and urged: “Take your time.”Attendees were asked to take the longer route to the station by walking the length of the Long Walk away from the castle.Many families opted to enjoy the afternoon on the grass while the crowds departed, while hundreds of litter pickers set to work cleaning up any mess.An announcement on the Long Walk said the railway station remained very crowded  and there was a wait for services. People were asked to consider looking at what  else Windsor has to offer.  Video: View from the crowd during carriage tour 12:34PMAll together now: it’s Ben E King’s Stand By Me Prince Harry and Meghan Markle leave St George's Chapel  Cheers and applause erupted at the West Door as the pair arrived. The bridegroom and his best man were met by the Dean of Windsor.They stopped for a few moments and had a brief conversation, before walking inside. Harry, looking dapper in his frockcoat uniform of the Blues and Royals, walked up the aisle with his best man and was seen acknowledging a guest in the congregation with a nod. Guests described how warmly he welcomed Meghan Markle and her mother, Doria Ragland, to Windsor and into his family. Frequently, throughout the course of the reception, he was spotted with his arm around Mrs Ragland.Prince Harry, looking like “the cat that got the cream,” then gave a heartfelt, “off the cuff” speech in which he made it clear he was the happiest man in the world.He too, was effusive about how beautiful his new wife looked, and prompted laughs as he reminded the guests were they were and told them not to be too raucous and disturb the neighbours when they left the castle.He raised hearty guffaws as he promised that the Americans would not steal the swords.Veronica German, who runs the charity Dolen Cymru Wales Lesotho Link, said: “He couldn’t get very far as every time he said ‘my wife’ everyone cheered and he had to go back to the beginning. It was very funny.” As he finished his speech, Prince Harry jokingly asked whether anyone present could play the piano before introducing Sir Elton John, who belted out hits including Tiny Dancer, which he dedicated to Ms Markle, Your Song and Circle of Life. The royal couple start their procession Credit:Ian West /PA Close-up of the bride’s ringCredit:Jonathan Brady /PA Revellers have begun the weary slog back home with current waits of around two hours to board a train back to London from Windsor, reports Joe Shute.Despite the long queues, the festive atmosphere endures. Leila Souza, 61, and Adela Welch, 63, of Tampa Bay, Florida, are waiting in line still waving their custom-made placard celebrating “our American Princess”.”We don’t mind waiting,” says Souza who is wearing a pair of sunglasses shaped like champagne flutes. “It has been a wonderful day and we would do it all over again.”Rail staff are handing out free bottles of water to passengers waiting in the heat. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle leave St George's Chapel Women react during a royal wedding watching party for the wedding of Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the Cat & Fiddle pub The Archbishop of Canterbury speaksCredit:Owen Humphreys /PA Pippa Middleton  The moving, soul classic Stand By Me by Ben E King will be performed by Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir, with the gospel singers also delivering Etta James’ uplifting version of Amen/This Little Light of Mine – a favourite in African-American churches.The presiding bishop of the American Episcopal Church Bishop, Michael Curry will give the address.Celebrities including Meghan’s former Suits co-stars Patrick J. Adams and Gabriel Macht are expected to be among the guests, along with the couple’s trusted inner circle of friends.The Prince of Wales will take on the role of the absent father of the bride Thomas Markle, and walk his future daughter-in-law through the Quire up the altar to meet her groom.There will be sadness amid the joy for Ms Markle with her father missing her big day.The reclusive former TV lighting director will be thousands of miles away in Mexico after pulling out of attending on medical advice with just two days to go after undergoing heart surgery. Amal Clooney and George Clooney  Sir Elton John waves as he leaves St George’s Chapel Credit:Chris Jackson /PA Scout leader Tom Moss (L) and mother Vickie (R) pose as they arrive for the wedding ceremony  Tens of thousands of royal fans are expected to descend on the Berkshire town to catch a glimpse of the bride and groom, as police effectively create a ring of steel around the castle in a massive security operation.Weather forecasters are expecting wall-to-wall sunshine, meaning the newlywed couple will be able to ride through Windsor town centre in the open top Ascot landau for their carriage procession. The newlyweds emerged from St George’s Chapel to loud cheers from the crowd. George Clooney has arrived for the evening reception with his wife Amal, reports Stephen Walter from Windsor. Prince Edward and Sophie Andrew were also seen arriving at the after party having been escorted by police to the venue. Serena Williams is also one of the 200 guests who will celebrate with the happy couple away from the gaze of the cameras. The tennis star posted her thanks to the designer of her dress on Twitter:  11:55AMPrince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall arrive Meghan Markle commissioned a series of special bracelets for her close female friends, including the Duchess of Cambridge, to thank them for supporting her.Lisette Polny, Los Angeles-based founder of Zofia Day, produced six solid gold disc bracelets, which she named Kensington. It is now on sale for $450 (£330).“It’s an overwhelming honour to be part of history and for my pieces to be given as a keepsake for this momentous occasion,” said Ms Polny, in a statement to People magazine. The bespoke design in yellow gold was made specifically for the royal wedding and approved by Ms Markle herself, she said. The special piece is now available to buy for $450.“It’s a really simple, elegant piece that’s just very true to her personal style,” she added.Aside from the duchess, recipients included Ms Markle’s friend Benita Litt, who was seated next to Ms Markle’s mother Doria Ragland at the wedding, and Jessica Mulroney, her stylist friend that she has been leaning on in the run up to the wedding.Ms Polny also created two necklaces for Ms Litt’s daughters, Rylan and Remi.“I have always wanted to create a petite line, and my daughter loves to wear my designs.“So I decided to make Benita’s girls some special pieces for their special day.”Ms Markle has long been a fan of the California-based brand, wearing their earrings and rings in magazine shoots. While the gospel classic Amen/This Little Light Of Mine was sung as the newlyweds left the church, even some of the crowds listening to the outside broadcast of the wedding service clapped along.Ms Gibson added: “We want people to get involved, tap their feet, sing along, that’s what gospel music is, it’s all embracing and inviting.”Speaking about how the music performed at the wedding mirrored modern culture, she said: “We live in a multi-cultural society, so we had classical music, contemporary classical music as well and gospel music, because you’ve got many cultures living here so it’s reflective of what society looks like today.” The Most Rev Bishop Michael Curry, the first African-American presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, gave an address titled the Power of Love at the service in St George’s Chapel.He opened his speech with the words of Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr, who said: “We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we do that, we will be able to make of this old world a new world. Love is the only way.”The bishop then added: “There’s power in love. Don’t underestimate it. Don’t even over-sentimentalise. There is power, power in love.” The Most Rev Bishop Michael CurryCredit:Owen Humphreys /PA 1:06PMThe first kiss! Cheers as Harry and Meghan greet crowds on chapel steps Prince Harry salutes members of the Royal familyCredit:Andrew Milligan /PA Meghan waves to photographers as she leaves her hotelCredit:DARREN STAPLES /Reuters My very best wishes to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on their wedding day. To all of those joining the national celebration with street parties and other events, have a wonderful day. #RoyalWedding— Theresa May (@theresa_may) May 19, 2018 As she arrived at Windsor Castle, she was followed by three cars carrying page boys, bridesmaids and their mothers: the Duchess of Cambridge, Jessica Mulroney and Benita Litt. As Ms Markle arrived at the West Steps, she was accompanied by Brian and John Mulroney, the seven-year-old twin page boys. 12:11PMCouple hold hands as ceremony begins The wedding was forecast to attract a global audience of 1.9 billion people. This is how it was reported around the world. 11:45PMMusic booms from the evening festivities Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in St George’s ChapelCredit:Jonathan Brady /PA Jessica Mulroney – one of Meghan Markle’s best friends – has posted of her pride of being involved in the royal wedding. Ms Mulroney runs a bridal store in Toronto, where Meghan used to film Suits, and is said to have helped the bride choose her wedding gown.The two became friends and she is married to Benedict Mulroney, the son of former Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney.The family were photographed arriving at Heathrow Airport with her family on Tuesday night.The fraternal twin sons of Jessica and Ben are seven years old – and helped carry Ms Markle’s huge train today. She posted a picture of them on Instagram with the caption simply reading: “Proud friend. Proud mom.” Meghan Markle listens during her wedding ceremony  The uplifting gospel music that transfixed the congregation during the royal wedding ceremony was the idea of the Prince of Wales.Karen Gibson, founder and director of the Kingdom Choir which performed during the wedding, said Charles’ office first approached her about the group of singers taking part in the wedding.Ms Gibson said: “The couple didn’t actually ring us at first, the call came from Clarence House. I understand that Prince Charles really likes gospel music.”The couple were very intentional about what they wanted sung and how they wanted it sung, but the actual idea came from Prince Charles – although they were very happy to have gospel music.”She said about the arrangement of Stand By Me, which was played after the rousing address by US bishop Michael Curry: “It was more reflective, more personal – and even though its a secular song, it’s inspired by a spiritual.” Harry appears to have given his bride a poignant wedding day gift – an impressive, emerald cut aquamarine ring which belonged to his late, beloved mother.Meghan wore the large gem on her right hand as the couple made their way to their evening reception. Prince Harry and the Duke of Cambridge The Queen is now hosting a lunchtime reception at St George’s Hall in Windsor Castle for around 600 guests drawn from the wedding service congregation.Guests will be served a selection of canapés, including:Scottish Langoustines wrapped in Smoked Salmon with Citrus Crème FraicheGrilled English Asparagus wrapped in Cumbrian HamGarden Pea Panna Cotta with Quail Eggs and Lemon VerbenaHeritage Tomato and Basil Tartare with Balsamic PearlsPoached Free Range Chicken bound in a Lightly Spiced Yoghurt with Roasted ApricotCroquette of Confit Windsor Lamb, Roasted Vegetables and Shallot JamWarm Asparagus Spears with Mozzarella and Sun-Blush TomatoesGuests will also be served a selection of bowl food, including:Fricassee of Free Range Chicken with Morel Mushrooms and Young LeeksPea and Mint Risotto with Pea Shoots, Truffle Oil and Parmesan CrispsTen Hour Slow Roasted Windsor Pork Belly with Apple Compote and CracklingSweet canapés will also be served, including:Champagne and Pistachio MacaroonsOrange Crème Brûlée TartletsMiniature Rhubarb Crumble TartletsClick here for more about what’s happening at the reception. Wedding guests arrive by train at Windsor Meghan Markle meets Prince Harry at the altarCredit:Dominic Lipinski /PA Prince Harry and Meghan Markle leave St George’s Chapel Credit:Andrew Matthews /PA 12:35PMTime for the vows: It’s nearly official Here are the timings of the main events on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding day:09.00 – Members of the public who have been invited to watch the wedding day from the grounds of Windsor Castle begin to arrive.09.30-11.00 – Wedding guests arrive at the Castle’s famous Round Tower by coach and enter the chapel through the South Door and take their seats.11.20 – Members of the royal family begin to arrive and enter via the Galilee Porch, some on foot and others by car.11.40 – Harry and best man the Duke of Cambridge arrive at the chapel’s west door, received by the Dean of Windsor. They will probably arrive on foot, walking past the thousands of spectators invited into the grounds of the castle. The moment will give Harry the chance to acknowledge the 200 representatives from charities he is associated with gathered in the Horseshoe Cloister at the bottom of the steps.11.42 – Ms Markle’s mother Doria Ragland arrives at the Galilee Porch and is received by the Dean of Windsor.11.45 – The Prince of Wales arrives at the Galilee Porch.11.52 – Following protocol, the Queen will be the last member of the royal family to arrive for the wedding service.11.59 – Ms Markle arrives at the Chapel’s West Steps by car, from her overnight accommodation at the Cliveden House Hotel in Taplow, Berkshire. Ms Markle will walk through the Nave on her own followed by her bridesmaids and pageboys who include Princess Charlotte and Prince George, before being accompanied by Charles down the aisle of the Quire.12.00 – Service begins.13.00 – Service ends and the newlyweds emerge at the West Steps of the Chapel. They will be waved off on their carriage procession through Windsor by members of both families. The congregation will file out of the chapel to see the married couple leave before heading to St George’s Hall for a lunchtime reception hosted by the Queen.13.05 – The carriage procession through the streets of Windsor possibly begins around this time, taking 25 minutes.19.00 – Bride and groom depart Windsor Castle for the evening reception at Frogmore House, hosted by the Prince of Wales. Sarah Ferguson was also pictured arriving. Read the full report from Victoria Ward here. Below is an extract of what happened as the Prince of Wales moved guests to tears.The Prince of Wales described how emotional he felt watching his youngest son, whom he still remembers so clearly as a baby, marrying the love of his life.As he addressed 600 guests gathered at the reception St George’s Hall, there was barely a dry eye as he spoke so warmly about his “darling old Harry” and the man he had grown into.The Prince described how moving it was, at this point in his life, to watch his little boy move on. A little boy, whom he had winded so often as a baby and whom, he joked, might still have a bit of wind today. The Order of Service Credit:Toby Melville /PA Some have been camped out near the castle walls for days, while others arrived as early as 4am to secure a good spot.  The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been congratulated on their wedding by one of Meghan’s former Suits co-stars.Gabriel Macht, who plays the lead role of Harvey Specter on the show, posted a picture to Instagram of him and his wife Jacinda Barrett, who accompanied him to the wedding. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in St George's Chapel Prince Harry and Meghan Markle exchanged vows in front of 600 guests including the Queen, more than 30 royals and famous faces such as Oprah Winfrey, tennis champion Serena Williams, actor George Clooney and his barrister wife Amal Clooney, Sir Elton John, David and Victoria Beckham and actor Idris Elba.Sir Elton, who sang at the funeral service for Harry’s mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, performed at the lunchtime reception.An estimated 100,000 people turned out to see the couple as they sat in an open-top Ascot Landau for a carriage procession through Windsor.The royal family expressed gratitude to all those who enjoyed the wedding, saying on the official Twitter account: “Thank you to everyone who came to Windsor and those who followed from around the UK, the Commonwealth, and the world today. Congratulations once again to the newly-married Duke and Duchess of Sussex. #royalwedding.” Prince Harry and the Duke of CambridgeCredit:Eddie Mulholland for The Telegraph  The new Duke and Duchess of Sussex – Prince Harry and Meghan MarkleCredit:Steve Parsons/PA Ms Markle’s mother Doria Ragland arrives at the Galilee Porch and is received by the Dean of Windsor. Rick Hoffman has responded to pictures of him looking seemingly disinterested at the wedding service of his former Suits co-star. The actor, who plays Louis Litt in the series, was mocked online for pulling a face inside St George’s Chapel.  2:31PMMore than 100,000 people lined streets around 30 deep 12:15PMReading by Princess Diana’s sister, Lady Jane Fellowes MIke and Zara TindallCredit:Gareth Fuller /PA 6:14PMThomas Markle: ‘I pray all my relatives will just shut up about everything’ Some 250 members of the armed forces will take part in the pomp and ceremony of the celebrations, with regiments closely connected to former soldier Prince Harry lining the streets.Ms Markle will emerge from the hour long televised ceremony, which begins at noon, as an HRH and a member of the British royal family after saying her vows. 11:53AMMeghan’s mother Doria arrives at chapel 11:35AMPrince Harry and William arrive – and they’re both wearing Blues and Royals frockcoat uniform The Most Rev Bishop Michael Curry The organ is now playing as those who are signing the registers move from the Quire to the North Quire Aisle.During the signing of the register, the following is played by Sheku Kanneh-Mason, a young cellist, plus the orchestra. He hails from Nottingham and comes from an astonishingly gifted family. He won BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2016.View of Telegraph’s classical music critic Ivan Hewett: MARIA THERESIA VON PARADIS: SICILIENNEVon Paradis was a notable 18th century Viennese pianist and composer. Mozart probably wrote his Piano Concerto no 18 for her. She became blind at an early age but that didn’t stop her musical career. This piece probably isn’t by her – it was probably by the 20 th century violinist Samuel Dushkin. GABRIEL FAURÉ: APRÈS UN RÊVEThis song has been endlessly re-arranged. It’s the single most popular song by this late 19th – early 20th century composer. FRANZ SCHUBERT: AVE MARIAIt sounds like a piece of Latin church music, but in fact it’s one a set of songs Schubert composed in 1825, all based on poems in Sir Walter Scott’s epic ‘The Lady of the Lake’. This one is based on a prayer uttered by Ellen in front of the Virgin Mary, asking for forgiveness for her father’s sins. The Queen arrives Serena Williams with her husband Alexis OhanianCredit:Eddie Mulholland for The Telegraph  The Archbishop of Canterbury speaks The new Duke and Duchess of Sussex - Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Bill de Blasio, the New York Mayor tweeted his congratulations to the young couple: Here, the Prince of Wales described how emotional he felt watching his youngest son, whom he still remembers so clearly as a baby, marrying the love of his life.As he addressed 600 guests gathered at the reception St George’s Hall, there was barely a dry eye as he spoke so warmly about his “darling old Harry” and the man he had grown into.The Prince described how moving it was, at this point in his life, to watch his little boy move on. A little boy, whom he had winded so often as a baby and whom, he joked, might still have a bit of wind today.Guests described how warmly he welcomed Meghan Markle and her mother, Doria Ragland, to Windsor and into his family. Frequently, throughout the course of the reception, he was spotted with his arm around Mrs Ragland. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry 1:31PMCouple met with wall of cheering and flag-waving Jonny Wilkinson and Shelley Jenkins  Meanwhile 15 miles away, Ms Markle gave a radiant smile and said she was feeling “wonderful” as she arrived with her mother Doria Ragland at the luxury Cliveden House Hotel in Taplow, Berkshire.Around 30 members of the royal family including the Queen and the 96-year-old Duke of Edinburgh, who is well enough to attend after undergoing a recent hip operation, will gather in the 600-strong congregation. Scout leader Tom Moss (left) and mother Vickie (right) pose as they arrive for the weddingCredit:CHRIS RADBURN /AFP Daniel Zhang, who is turning 21 today, has travelled all the way from China to be here today.“I travelled 16,927 kilometres to be here. I got here this morning around 7am. I’m most looking forward to seeing the Queen. She is such an amazing symbol, I can’t wait to see her.”Laury Lesueurs, 21, from Auvergne, France, said she had always loved the royal family and didn’t want to miss out on the chance to see Meghan and Harry go past in their carriage. “Since I was little I’ve been obsessed with the royal family and England. “I’m so excited to see Meghan and Harry. I can’t wait to see her dress, it’s going to be amazing.”John Budge, 67, has been invited to come and watch the wedding from inside the castle for his long service to the RNLI in Orkney.He said: “I’ve been a volunteer for the RNLI for 50 years so the lord lieutenant asked if I wanted to come to Windsor to watch the wedding. It’s a real honour.” Flags They are heading to St George’s Hall for a lunchtime reception hosted by the Queen. The crowd applauded throughout the ceremony – but the biggest cheer of the morning came for the newlyweds’ first kiss outside Windsor Castle.As the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex left the castle, many in the bar embraced each other while wiping away tears.Alana Hutchinson, 24, came dressed in her pyjamas and joked: “I loved it – except for the fact that Harry is now off the market, so my dreams are crushed!”She added: “It was beautiful. The highlight for me was when Charles walked her down the aisle. I cried a little bit, it was really precious because I know that was such a big deal with her family, so to see her mom out there was really amazing.” Prince Harry and his best man the Duke of Cambridge have arrived at St George’s  Chapel, in Windsor Castle, for his wedding to Meghan Markle.Both Harry and the Duke of Cambridge are wearing the frockcoat uniform of the Blues and Royals. Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.Prince Harry’s wedding day has arrived as he prepares to marry his American bride Meghan Markle in a glittering ceremony, watched around the world by millions.The Queen’s grandson, who is sixth in line to the throne, will pledge to love, comfort, honour and protect the former actress as they become husband and wife in the historic surrounds of St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. Flowers adorn the front of the organ loft inside St George's Chapel  Early morning Royal fans arriving in Windsor 7:56PMMeghan’s friends got bespoke bracelets as wedding favours The Duchess of Cambridge’s family, including her parents Michael and Carole,  brother James and sister Pippa, have arrived at St George’s Chapel for the royal wedding.  Despite not being invited to the Windsor Castle wedding, the Hello singer donned a fascinator and veil for the big occasion and toasted the happy couple from her home with a glass of champagne.Adele remembered Diana, Princess of Wales in a poignant message to the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex on their wedding day. Shopkeeper Roshan Sang outside his store on Windsor High StreetCredit:Jeff Gilbert for The Telegraph  11:20AMMembers of the Royal family start to arrive Meghan travelled in a Rolls Royce with her mother The Duchess of Cambridge used the same model for her trip to Westminster Abbey for her wedding in 2011. Jonny Wilkinson and Shelley Jenkins Credit:Ian West /PA Stopping at the top of the stone steps, the pair shared a kiss to the delight of onlookers. MIke Tindall and Zara Tindall Meghan Markle and her mother, Doria, on their way to WindsorCredit:Heathcliff O’Malley for The Telegraph  10:56AMSir Elton John and David Furnish arrive Le Dauphiné (Grenoble)  Doria Ragland arrives at St George’s Chapel Credit:Gareth Fuller /PA After the newlyweds emerged at the West Steps of the Chapel, the couple were waved off and watched by members of the Royal family as they left in an open-top Ascot Landau for a carriage procession through Windsor. Thank you to everyone who came to Windsor and those who followed from around the UK, the Commonwealth, and the world today. Congratulations once again to the newly-married Duke and Duchess of Sussex. #royalwedding— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) May 19, 2018 Sir Elton John performed at the lunchtime reception which followed Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding ceremony, Kensington Palace has said.The statement said: “Prince Harry asked Sir Elton to perform at the reception which was hosted by Her Majesty The Queen at St George’s Hall, Windsor Castle.”Sir Elton performed for the newly married couple in recognition of the close connection he has with Prince Harry and his family.”He previously sang at the funeral service for Harry’s mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.One guest told The Telegraph the pop icon sang Circle of Life – made famous by the 1994 Disney film The Lion King – and Tiny Dancer. Prince Harry and Ms Markle are being met with a wall of cheering and flag-waving as the procession makes its way through the streets of Windsor.The pair smiled and waved to well-wishers during the journey in the lunchtime sunshine. 12:46PMPrayers in St George’s Chapel Meanwhile, among those providing the wedding with an injection of Hollywood glamour are the cast of Suits, writes Ed Power.The stars of the legal drama in which Markle achieved fame as plucky litigator Rachel Zane have been arriving in the UK all week and celebrated a “last supper” in their former colleague’s honour at a restaurant near Windsor Friday night. Patrick J Adams, who plays Markle’s onscreen love interest (and lately husband) Mike Ross, is attending the knot-tying today, along with co-stars Gabriel Macht, Sarah Rafferty, Rick Hoffman, Abigail Spencer, Gina Torres and Amanda Schull. The best part of the #RoyalWedding is Rick Hoffman being Louis Litt.— Zahra Lyla Khalil (@ZahraLyla) May 19, 2018 Patrick J. Adams and wife Troian BellisarioCredit:Ian West /PA The royal couple start their procession  Royal wedding fever is mounting, but it is not the only big event of the day – it is also FA Cup final day.Prince William, president of the Football Association, is missing the FA Cup final in favour of the wedding celebrations.Click here to find everything you need to know about the FA Cup final between Manchester United and Chelsea. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle before they say their vowsCredit:Sky/AP Throughout the morning, hundreds of members of the public gathered on the grass alongside St George’s Chapel, reports Victoria Ward.Dressed in their finery, they laid out picnic rugs and folding chairs and settled down to watch the only show in town.From their ringside seats, the crowds, some 1,200 of whom had been invited in recognition of the work they have done for their communities, watched the steady stream of guests arrive at the chapel.Penned in behind rope but just a stone’s throw away, they grew increasingly animated as people began to arrive, walking right past them, the length of the chapel from the Round Tower to the Galilee Porch.Many waved flags and cheered as familiar faces walked by, including Idris Elba and Oprah Winfrey.“Oh there goes James Blunt, and James Blunt wants everyone to make sure they’ve seen James Blunt,” laughed one, as the singer paused to wave to the spectators. 7:36PMHarry and Meghan leave for their evening reception 2:06PM’I’m ready for a drink now’: What Harry said to Meghan (according to a lip reader) 5:21PMRoyal wedding body language expert: Meghan Markle was ‘strength of ceremony’  8:14AMThe Duke and Duchess of Sussex: Couple’s titles confirmed 9:47AMOprah Winfrey, Idris Elba and Earl Spencer: Guests start to arrive 11:39AMCrowds greet Prince Harry with loud cheers Harry looked relaxed as he walked down to the chapel with his brother, the Duke of Cambridge, to loud cheers from the waiting crowd.The pair smiled and waved to well-wishers during the short walk. Huge crowds line the streets of Windsor The Sun-Herald (Sydney) 8:07AMFirst look at the flowers inside St George’s Chapel Ms Markle’s cousin, Noel Rasmussen, the 19-year-old daughter of Samantha Markle, was not invited to the ceremony, but made a deal with a tabloid newspaper to travel from her home in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and be in London for the day.“Meghan looked so beautiful. I’m thrilled by how popular she is here,” she said. Miss Rasmussen, an anthropology student, lives with her grandmother Rosalyn Markle and is estranged from her mother. She said she was embarrassed by her mother’s behaviour, and that of her uncle Thomas, Ms Markle’s half-brother.  “We’re just regular people – then all of a sudden Meghan began dating Prince Harry and it has been crazy ever since,” she told The Mirror.“They’re just really feeling hurt and they don’t know how to deal with it. I’m OK with not having been invited, I just want her to be happy. “She’ll be a great wife and a great ambassador for America.” David and Victoria Beckham 5:42PMToday’s the day! World awaits royal wedding  Stella McCartney is a well-known name on the global fashion scene.But what do we know about the British designer behind the Duchess of Sussex’s evening reception dress?The 46-year-old who has established herself as a major force in the fashion industry is the daughter of Sir Paul McCartney and his first wife Linda.She graduated from Central Saint Martins College in 1995.Her final show as a student saw her designs modelled by famous friends including Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell to a soundtrack which included a new song written in her honour by her father. Charlynne Moyer, 60, reacts as she watches a television screeningCredit:LUCY NICHOLSON /Reuters Tennis champion Serena Williams has arrived with her husband Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, at St George’s Chapel. Chelsy Davy, centre, arrivesCredit:Eddie Mulholland for The Telegraph  Women react during a royal wedding party at the Cat and Fiddle pubCredit:LUCY NICHOLSON /Reuters The Prince and Ms Markle thrilled fans as they left Windsor Castle in a horse-drawn carriage. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle  10:24AMChelsy Davy: Prince Harry’s ex-girlfriend Prince Harry’s former girlfriend Chelsy Davy has arrived at St George’s Chapel. Chelsy Davy arrives. Carol Middleton Credit:Gareth Fuller /PA Our reporters in Windsor report the thud of loud music could be heard from the grounds of Windsor Castle as Harry and Meghan’s guests dance the night away at Frogmore House.Soul classics and dance floor-fillers are filling the night’s air as revellers continue to celebrations late into the night. 12:01PMAnd here she is! Meghan arrives at Chapel’s west steps Prince Harry’s wedding ring will be a platinum band with a textured finish and Meghan Markle’s ring has been fashioned from a piece of Welsh gold, Kensington Palace announced. The rings will be made by Cleave and Company.  7:55PMHarry and Meghan’s change of outfit for the evening do They cheered and screamed as the newlyweds passed by. Rachael Carter-Eagleton said: “She looked amazing. She shone like a diamond.”Video: Young royals wave off royal newlyweds Oprah Winfrey Meghan Markle will give a speech at the evening reception hosted by the Prince of Wales at Frogmore House in Windsor. Thomas Markle would have traditionally been the one to address guests at the event, to which 200 selected attendees have been invited.But after a tumultuous week, it emerged the father-of-the-bride would not be attending Saturday’s service having undergone emergency heart surgery. Kensington Palace had earlier announced that Ms Markle would speak at the afternoon reception hosted by the Queen, but later issued a correction to state she would be talking at the evening do. Early morning royal fans gather in WindsorCredit:Jeff Gilbert for The Telegraph  Prince Charles and Meghan Markle's mother Doria Ragland Bishop Curry told the service: “There’s power in love. Love can help and heal when nothing else can. There’s power in love to lift up and liberate when nothing else will.”Such power could be seen in the service, he continued, saying: “Two young people fell in love and we all showed up.”The Episcopal Church is the US offshoot of the Church of England and forms part of the broader Anglican Communion. Meghan was baptised into the Anglican Church, which is headed by Harry’s grandmother. Earl Spencer, the brother of Diana, Princess of WalesCredit:Stephen Lock / i-Images  According to a list of the hats designed by milliner Philip Treacy, Winfrey is wearing a natural sweeping brimmed hat with artisan sculpted flower.A host of other celebrities are expected to attend the star-studded ceremony.  Click here for more today’s guest list. 9:46AMTheresa May sends her ‘best wishes’ to couple VIDEO: Fireworks over Frogmore?! Lovely lights over Windsor Great Park #royalwedding #harryandmeghan— Emily Nash (@emynash) May 19, 2018 Prince Harry and Meghan Markle before they say their vows Pippa is wearing a Hepburn dress by British brand The Fold – made of pure Italian silk, it is patterned with a delicate floral print inspired by chinoiserie. Meghan Markle and her mother, Doria, on their way to Windsor The New York Post The couple travelled from Windsor Castle to Frogmore House in a silver blue Jaguar E-Type Concept Zero, which was originally manufactured in 1968 and has since been converted to electric power.Prince Harry was in the driver’s seat and his new wife waved at photographers as they made their way to the evening reception.The bride’s evening dress is designed by Stella McCartney and is a bespoke lily white high neck gown made of silk crepe. As the morning chill gave way to sunshine, the mood in the Windsor crowd grew ever more festive, reports Judith Woods.Free cardboard crowns and commemorative brochures were handed out and a sea of red white and blue stretched the two-and-a-half mile length of the town’s tree-lined Long Walk.Food stalls delivered breakfast baps to wellwishers on blankets and the pop of every prosecco cork was met with a cheer. Those in the Quire stand as Her Majesty is conducted to her place in the Quire. A fanfare sounds and all stand as the choir and clergy move in procession to the Quire. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle hold hands as they are declared married Credit:Dominic Lipinski /PA Prayers are now being led by Archbishop Angaelos and The Reverend Prebendary Rose Hudson-Wilkin from the Nave.  Thomas Markle said he deeply regretted not being at the royal wedding, but that he sent his daughter a text message saying he loved her.”The service was beautiful and it’s history,” he told TMZ. “I will always regret not being able to be there and not being able to hold my daughter’s hand. My baby girl is a duchess and I love her so much.”He said that watching the ceremony made him nostalgic, adding: “When you watch your child get married, every thought goes through your mind, every memory from the first day she was born, the first time I held her.”He said he was yet to choose a wedding gift for the couple, but hoped to do so soon, when his health recovered.And he made a plea for his raucous relatives to leave the newlyweds alone. “Now I pray that Harry and Meghan can go on a nice honeymoon and rest and relax, and all of my relatives will just shut up about everything.” The night-time festivities has retained the international flavour of the day with Royal enthusiasts from all over the world staying out on the streets. Karen Otis, a 51-year-old New Yorker and her friend Marcy Polanco, 36, were promenading past the castle having sampled their first ever glass of Pimm’s.“It has been amazing,” says Otis. “I feel as if I am channeling my inner Duchess.”Annika Bauer, 18, and Franziska Speckle, 20, both German au pairs living in London, came in matching “Marry me Harry” t-shirts and cardboard crowns. “It’s like a fairytale to be here,” says Bauer. 11:48AMFifteen minutes until ceremony starts: The music inside the chapel The Queen gave her permission for her grandson to get married in his uniform, Kensington Palace said.Both uniforms were tailored at Dege & Skinner on Savile Row. 1:52PMMeghan: ‘Do we kiss? Harry: ‘Yeah’ An armed police officer walks past well wishersCredit:Matt Dunham /AP Prince Harry and the Duke of CambridgeCredit:Gareth Fuller /PA 3:28PM’Take your time’, spectators warned in mass Windsor exodus Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, leave Windsor CastleCredit:Dan Kitwood /Getty The Queen’s grandson and the American former actress, who is now an HRH and a member of the British royal family, said their vows in front of 600 guests including the monarch and more than 30 members of the Royal family.Ms Markle wore a stunning elegant white gown – with a white veil and boat neck – was created by British designer Clare Waight Keller, the first female Artistic Director at French fashion house Givenchy. Prince Harry and his best man the Duke of Cambridge are both wearing the frockcoat uniform of the Blues and Royals. As they met at the altar, Prince Harry told his bride “you look amazing”, to which Meghan replied “thank you”. The couple tenderly held hands and exchanged smiles during the wedding ceremony. “Fantastic news that we have a Duke and Duchess of Sussex again after a gap of just 175 years – double celebrations today for Meghan and Prince Harry and all of Sussex,” said Tim Loughton, Tory MP for East Worthing and Shoreham. Meghan Markle leaving the Cliveden House Hotel Actor Tom Hardy and former rugby union player Jonny Wilkinson are among the other guests to arrive at  St George’s Chapel. Others include musician Marcus Mumford, actress Carey Mulligan and singer Joss Stone. 10:52PMPrince Harry gives new bride his mother’s ring Serena Williams 8:57PMGeorge Clooney among the evening reception guests 11:13PMFans continue the celebrations at street parties Claudia Chick, 22, is originally from London – but now lives in Los Angeles. She said: “The wedding was amazing, I was tearing up. Everyone was dressed beautifully, the ceremony was very passionate and it was different, which is great to see.”The atmosphere here was great, everyone was glued to the screen, everyone was laughing together, everyone was crying together.”Hannah Lucchesi, 22, is from Los Angeles. She said: “I loved it, it was amazing, it was beautiful, I loved Meghan’s dress and all of the flowers, it was amazing. The highlight for me was Prince George, just because he is my favourite.”The bar was so fun, I love that there are so many people, even out in LA, that care about it and everyone seemed to be really enjoying it and there were lots of cheers.”Video: Meghan’s former school watches wedding Imperial College student Max Botheras, 24, described his trek to Windsor as “participating in history”.  Meghan, he felt, was a wonderful addition to the royal family.“My partner is a black person and it’s really great seeing someone mixed race join the House of Windsor. Fairytales really do come true.”For Canadian Charmaine Goodman, 51, from Ottowa, resplendent in  smart red day dress and extravagant fascinator, there was no question of missing Harry and Meghan’s big day.“I was here for Wiliam and Catherine’s wedding so I just had to be here for Harry,” the HR manager said. “I went to Windsor yesterday to do a recce and check out the route of the procession. The festivities are less dispersed than London, Windsor has a cosier feel; we met so many people just when we were walking around.” Flags aloft in WindsorCredit:Jeff Gilbert for The Telegraph  Thousands of spectators line the Royal Mile in WindsorCredit:pixel Her friend, a teacher from Jamaica, declined to speak as she was pulling a sickie. But who could blame her? “Today will be the most amazing party on the planet,” asserted Fiona Coulter, 40, from Nottinghamshire, a rolled up Union Jack in her hand.“Harry is marrying an American – if that’s not reason for a global celebration what is?” Congrats, Meghan and Harry! Keep doing things your way. Britain will never be the same – and that’s a good thing.— Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) May 19, 2018 Prince Harry has been made the Duke of Sussex on his wedding day by his  grandmother the Queen, Buckingham Palace has announced. Meghan Markle will become the Duchess of Sussex on marriage, the palace said. Harry was also given Scottish and Northern Irish titles, becoming the Earl of  Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel. Buckingham Palace said: “The Queen has today been pleased to confer a Dukedom on Prince Henry of Wales.”His titles will be Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel. Prince Harry thus becomes His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex, and Ms Meghan Markle on marriage will become Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex.” Flowers adorn the front of the organ loft inside St George’s ChapelCredit:Danny Lawson /PA The ring given to Meghan Markle as a wedding gift Flowers and foliage surround the West Door and steps of St George's Chapel  Flowers and foliage surround the West Door and steps of St George’s Chapel Credit:Danny Lawson/PA Wire Two large arrangements also sit either side of the High Altar in the Windsor Castle chapel.The display, which also features foxgloves with branches of beech, birch and hornbeam, also extends to outside the chapel, lining the West Steps and surrounding the West Door through which Meghan will enter the church. The Duchess of Cambridge will be there, making her first public appearance since giving birth to her third child Prince Louis less than four weeks ago.Ms Markle, who found fame played Rachel Zane in the US legal drama Suits, is the first mixed race person in modern history to marry a senior British royal.Prince Harry, 33, and 36-year-old Ms Markle became engaged following a whirlwind 16-month romance after going on a blind date in London.The prince has told how “all the stars were aligned” when they met.”It was this beautiful woman just sort of literally tripped and fell into my life, I fell into her life,” he said when their engagement was announced last November.Ms Markle has been married before. She wed first husband film producer Trevor Engelson in 2011 but the pair divorced less than two years later.The last time a senior royal wanted to marry an American divorcee, it sparked a constitutional crisis and rocked the British monarchy to the core. King Edward VIII, Prince Harry’s great-great-uncle, abdicated over his love for Mrs Wallis Simpson in 1936. 12:39PMGiving of the rings: They’re nearly married The display has been carefully crafted by floral designer Philippa Craddock.Video: St George’s Chapel adorned with flowers 12:17PMIf Ye Love Me, by Thomas Tallis Patrick J. Adams and wife Troian Bellisario 11:52AMHuge crowds as Meghan’s car arrives in Windsor Next is a reading from the Song of Solomon read by The Lady Jane Fellowes (Princess Diana’s sister) from the Nave. Here, Tristram Saunders examines the significance of the reading.The ceremony is being played through loudspeakers hanging on the side of  Windsor Castle, so the crowds gathered on the streets outside can hear but not  see proceedings.  The Queen has arrived at St George’s Chapel with the Duke of Edinburgh – and the monarch is wearing a lime-green dress by Stewart Parvin.Following protocol, the Queen is the last member of the Royal family to arrive for the wedding service. The Queen arrivesCredit:Gareth Fuller /PA Asked whether it was planned or off-the-cuff, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, interjected, joking: “Let’s have an honest answer.””It was planned and I thought it was going to be six minutes,” Mr Curry said. “It was a little longer than that because there were pauses in there,” he added to laughter from Mr Welby. All remain seated while the choir of St George’s Chapel sing If Ye Love Me, by Thomas Tallis.View of Telegraph’s classical music critic Ivan Hewett: Beautifully simple – which it had to be, because Tallis’s ultimate boss – Archbishop Cranmer, one of the architects of the English Reformation – said the old Latin church music had got too complicated and the words could no longer be heard, and composers now had to write simpler, audible pieces in English – without being plain and dull. Tallis pulls it off brilliantly. ​ Dean Stott arrives for the wedding ceremony with his wife AlanaCredit:CHRIS JACKSON /AFP Royal fans arrive at Windsor & Eton Riverside Station Most of the ceremony will see the Prince and Ms Markle referred to simply as “Harry and Meghan”, eschewing the full repetition of their names: Prince Henry Charles Albert David and Rachel Meghan Markle.The decision will ensure neither endures the test faced by the Prince’s parents, where the then Lady Diana Spencer muddled her words to get Prince Charles’ middle names the wrong way around.Hymns will also honour the Prince’s mother, with Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer, otherwise known as Bread of Heaven, remembered both for being played at her funeral and as a Welsh rugby anthem sung regularly by Prince Harry.As the service continues, A gospel choir will perform Ben E King’s Stand By Me, later followed by Etta James’ uplifting version of Amen/This Little Light of Mine – a joyous childhood favourite. Click here to read the full story. Prince Harry is expected to be given a title, most likely a dukedom, by his grandmother the Queen in the morning, meaning Ms Markle would become a duchess on marriage.A relaxed-looking Prince Harry said he felt “great” as he greeted well-wishers in a surprise walkabout with best man the Duke of Cambridge outside Windsor Castle on Friday evening.The pair then headed to exclusive Coworth Park country house hotel in Ascot, where the prince was spending his last night as a single man away from his bride as is tradition. Many fans of the Royal family came out in bright sunshine to watch proceedings while dressed in Union Jack hats and waving flags. Here’s a round-up video of some of the best across Britain.Video: Street parties held across UK The Sun-Herald (Sydney) The bride’s evening dress is designed by Stella McCartney and is a bespoke lily white high neck gown made of silk crepe.Ms Markle wore shoes from Aquazurra made in silky satin, with nude mesh, with soles painted in baby blue. Ms. Markle’s hair has been styled for the Evening Reception by George Northwood. Meghan Markle’s father Thomas was forced to pull out of the wedding just two days before the ceremonyCredit:Enterprise News  David and Victoria BeckhamCredit:Ian West /PA 11:43AMShe’s on her way: First pictures of Meghan heading to Windsor with her mother 10:26AMHere come the Middletons! Parents, James and Pippa arrive 1:26AMAdele in message to the newlyweds Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

Two Army cadets waterboarded colleague at Sandhurst court hears

Two Army cadets allegedly “waterboarded” a colleague at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, a court has heard.Officer Cadets Jonathan Cox, 25, and Edward Wright, 24, both deny battery and are standing trial at Bulford Military Court near Salisbury, Wiltshire.The court was told that Cox and Wright confronted Edward Flower, now a Second Lieutenant, just after 6pm on August 7 last year.Mr Flower said he had been returning to his room when Cox blocked his way by moving into a “star shape” across the corridor.The alleged victim, now serving with the Royal Gibraltar Regiment, said he attempted to crawl through Cox’s legs.”As I crawled through his legs, he grabbed my ankles so at this point I was lying face down on the floor,” he said.”After that he turned me over, still holding on to my ankles. I was lying flat on my back with my ankles being held.”Officer Cadet Cox, still holding to my ankles, lifted me off the floor. I started feeling a bit dazed with the blood rushing to my head.”Officer Cadet Wright proceeded to teabag me while clothed.”Mr Flower told the court that this involved Wright “squatting down” on his face on a number of occasions, with his bottom touching his face. Cox told police that less than 20ml of water was poured on Mr Flower’s head to wet his hair and described it as “just friends being friends”.Colonel Allen said a statement of complaint was made by Mr Flower on August 8.”The prosecution say that is not the action of someone who was taking part in jovial high jinks,” he told the three-strong panel.”He was not on friendly terms with either Mr Wright or Mr Cox.”It undermines the defendants’ suggestion that this was jovial banter between willing participants.”Wright and Cox deny the charge against them, and the trial, before Judge Advocate Alan Large, continues. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. “It then started to be sucked up my nose.”He said he felt distressed and vulnerable during the incident, which ended when a colleague emerged in the corridor.This colleague told Mr Flower “You woke me up” before breaking wind on his face – with Cox and Wright laughing, he alleged.Afterwards, Mr Flower went into his bedroom and locked the door, later disclosing what had happened to two friends at Sandhurst.Mr Flower said it had a “heavy effect” on his mental health, leading to him putting in his resignation at one point.He claimed he had been “ostracised” by colleagues and spent a week in the medical centre due to his mental health.Prosecuting, Colonel Richard Allen said Mr Flower had been returning from a platoon meeting with his Colour Sergeant when he came across Wright and Cox.This meeting was called after Mr Flower claimed Wright had been “making degrading statements” about him, the court heard.Mr Flower described Wright as “aggressive and confrontational” and said he “belittled” him about his size, saying he was “not strong enough”.In interviews with the Royal Military Police, the defendants insisted Mr Flower had been consenting to what happened.Wright said he had only poured enough water to fill a shot glass on to Mr Flower, who he suggested had found it “amusing”. “I was then lifted completely off the floor again by Officer Cadet Cox for about 10-15 seconds,” he said.”Being the second time, I was getting far more of a head rush and starting to feel quite dazed and confused.”The court heard that the platoon were in the process of moving rooms and there were two field dressings on the floor.”Officer Cadet Wright picked one of them up and stated ‘Let’s waterboard him’,” Mr Flower said.He described the dressing being placed across his eyes, nose and mouth tight enough to stay in position.Cox then picked up a water bottle and “proceeded to pour a continuous amount of water” over Mr Flower’s face, he told the court.”It was a suffocating motion, being completely blindfolded you didn’t have any sense of what’s really going on,” he said.”It made me feel massively dehumanised.”Mr Flower said Wright then pulled back the field dressing to reveal his nose and mouth, keeping his eyes covered.Wright then poured the bottle of water over his exposed nose and mouth for 15-20 seconds, he alleged.He estimated that about 500ml of water was poured over his face in total.”My mouth was open at the beginning until (I was) struggling to swallow so I closed it in an attempt to make breathing easier,” Mr Flower said. read more