MPs cheered in the House of Commons as it was announced that royal assent had been given to the new Bill, paving the way for the first same-sex weddings next spring.
The Queen, who is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, gave her formal approval to the Bill – one of the most radical pieces of social legislation of her reign – this afternoon.
But it marks the end of the centuries-old understanding of marriage as being solely between a man and a woman in the UK.
The Roman Catholic Church described it as a “watershed” in English law and said that it marked a “profound social change”.
Ben Summerskill chief executive of Stonewall, said the move would “bring joy to tens of thousands of gay couples and their friends and families.”