Meghan Markle's Makeup Artist Daniel Martin on the Royal Wedding Moment That 'Completely Changed the World'
"I'm just really fortunate that I was part of that celebration of my friend's wedding," Daniel Martin tells PEOPLE reflecting on Meghan Markle's 2018 wedding three years later
Three years later, Meghan Markle's wedding day glow is still remembered fondly — and even a reference for many future brides.
Makeup artist Daniel Martin, the renowned beauty stylist behind Meghan's luminous skin and no-makeup makeup look, reflects back on his longtime friend's May 19, 2018, wedding to Prince Harry at St. George's Chapel as the third-anniversary approaches.
Recalling the day of the joyful fairytale ceremony, Martin tells PEOPLE he was seated near the lively Kingdom Choir, who was booked by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and memorably sang Ben E. King's classic "Stand By Me." The addition of Chicago-based Bishop Michael Curry's passionate address underscored how Meghan, who is biracial, was ushering a new era in the royal family and highlighting the importance of diversity on a global scale.
Below, Martin speaks about how Meghan's nuptials impacted his career and his friendship with the soon-to-be mother of two in honor of the royal wedding anniversary and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month.
PEOPLE: The wedding detail that made me smile was that an Asian American was doing Meghan's makeup. Someone who not only understands the importance of that day, but also Meghan becoming a part of the royal family. Did you see any kind of trajectory in your life/career as an Asian American or as an Asian artist after the wedding? Did you feel like you had more of a platform to represent the AAPI community?
DANIEL MARTIN: That is such a great question. I've never gotten asked that. My participation in it as an Asian American, I didn't really think about it. For me, it was just helping my friends feel as beautiful and comfortable on her wedding day. I've never thought about it in that context, but now you bring that up, what an incredible opportunity to just let everyone know or just show people, Hey, we are a global society. Anything is possible.
I just remember being in the church. I was sitting in the back where the choir was at. When they started singing, it literally resonated through our bodies. I remember sitting there and taking it in. "Wow, what an incredible opportunity to have such diversity in this particular church." That type of music, those voices had never been sung in that church before. The centuries of the family, the centuries of people who started in that church or who had services in that church were predominantly Caucasian. And then, here's this one moment where this harmony of humanity happened — that completely changed the world at that moment. I mean, for you to put it in that context, it's kind of blowing my mind because I didn't even think about that. I'm just thinking about what other Asian people were at her wedding. I literally only saw one other person and she worked for the palace. And Priyanka [Chopra] and Janina [Gavankar] in terms of Asian women, but I don't remember seeing another Asian male.
What are your thoughts on possibly being referred to as Meghan Markle's makeup artist for the rest of your career?
Meghan and I, we talk about this all the time. I'm always going to be that person, how some people are, I'm always going to be Meghan Markle's makeup artist for the rest of my life. Which is totally fine because we're friends. I think if we didn't have a personal connection, it would definitely be different. It's wild that we're coming on three years [since the wedding] and I will forever get asked.
And I think it's not bad. It's because I've never spoken publicly about what it is I used on her [for the wedding]. That's always going to be the mystery. That's always going to come up, but it is all good. I'm just really fortunate that I was part of that celebration of my friend's wedding. That's just, I guess that's just how it is. It's like Mario [Dedivanovic] with Kim Kardashian or Sir John who is Beyoncé's makeup artist.
There's always going to be that tie-in with the person, which is totally fine. It's not a bad thing. At the end of the day, I was my own person before that. I have been very fortunate too. My career evolved from that as well. It is what it is. It's not about the association. I'm just grateful that there's still a personal tie to the person at the end of the day.
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