The New Royal Couple
As one of the world’s most eligible bachelors, the world was fixated when it was announced that the Prince of England was officially off the market. Suits actress, Meghan Markle, and Prince Harry confirmed their romance in November 2016 and they were engaged in November 2017.
Choice Of Ring
While we do not often see the Queen’s engagement ring from Prince Phillip, it does have a story behind it. The stunning rock was originally from Princess Alice of Battenberg’s (the Prince’s mother) tiara. The Princess passed the diamond down to her son in 1946 when he was set to propose. Prince Harry followed a similar gesture when it came to Meghan’s engagement ring. The ring is comprised of one diamond he sourced from Botswana, flanked by two diamonds from Princess Diana’s private collection.
He Had To Ask For Permission
While Meghan and Prince Harry did not follow former royal protocol when it came to romances and marriages, they were sure to keep certain aspects of their relationship traditional. Just like many hopeful grooms-to-be, Prince Harry did approach Markle’s parents to ask for their blessing for the engagement. Her parents later said, “Our daughter has always been a kind and loving person. To see her union with Harry, who shares the same qualities, is a source of great joy for us as parents.”
A Mother’s Approval
Prince Harry’s mother was the nation’s Princess, and the question on everyone’s lips is, would Princess Diana have approved of her youngest son’s new bride? When asked this question in a post-proposal interview, Prince Harry was quick to respond by saying she’d be “jumping up and down,” believing his mother and Meghan would have been “thick as thieves…best friends.” To have his mother with him on the journey, he incorporated her diamonds into Meghan’s engagement ring.
Where Will The Wedding Take Place?
With both of Meghan’s parents set to attend the wedding, they will be among the many guests who are invited to St George’s Chapel on the grounds of Windsor Castle. This is the chapel in which Prince Harry was christened, and is said to have become a “very special place” for the future royal couple during their relationship. Harry and Meghan are planning most of the ceremony, but the Lord Chamberlain’s Office at Buckingham Palace will be responsible for dealing with the ceremonial aspects of the day.
Who Will Pay The Big Bucks?
The service will begin at 12pm GMT, and the ceremony will be broadcast live across the world. While Meghan and Harry may be leading the show, the “core aspects” of the wedding, including the church service, associated music, reception, flowers, and decorations will be paid for by the Royal family. In many cultures, it is common for the bride’s family to foot the bill. However, considering the Queen of England earned more than $108 million last year, the Royal family will be covering this one. The estimated cost? $44 million!
What’s The Rush?
Meghan and Prince Harry only got engaged in November, and are set to wed just six months later. However, while it may not be too obscure that they are marrying soon after, there is a reason for this rushed wedding. The reason is Prince Harry’s 96-year-old grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh. According to Entertainment Tonight, the Prince did not want to take any chances of his grandfather, Prince Phillip, missing the wedding, and ensured it would take place as soon as possible.
Six hundred lucky guests have been invited to the Royal Wedding, with a select 200 close friends of the couple invited to an after party at Frogmore House, Windsor. Political leaders have been kept off the guest list, meaning that British Prime Minister Theresa May and US President Donald Trump will not be in attendance. It is said that invites were restricted because St George’s Chapel is relatively small, so only those who have a direct relationship with the couple have been invited.
What Well-Known Names Will Be There?
While it is known that other members of the Royal family have been invited, as well as members of Markle’s family, other well-known names have allegedly made the guest list. Tennis star and close friend of Meghan, Serena Williams, is invited and Markle’s former Suits co-stars Sarah Rafferty, Patrick J Adams, and Wendell Pierce could all be in attendance. Everyone who does attend has been told that the dress code is uniform, morning coat or lounge suit, or day dress with hat.
Some members of the public have also received an invitation to wait on the grounds outside the chapel. As for the actual invitations themselves, they were kept relatively simple. However, they were produced by Barnard & Westwood, which has held the “Royal Warrant for Printing & Bookbinding by Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen” since 1985. For Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Royal Wedding invites, Barnard Westwood made the invitations “using American ink on English card,” which were then dye-stamped in gold and burnished.
Prince Harry’s Best Man
The Royal Wedding will fall on the same day as the FA Cup, an event which Prince William is expected to attend as president of the Football Association. However, since it has been confirmed by Kensington Palace that William will play his brother’s doting best man on the day, he will have to miss the huge soccer event to be at his brother’s side. The Duke of Cambridge is “honored” to have been asked, even though he was always the front-runner for the supporting role.
Will Prince George and Princess Charlotte Be Involved?
Although it has not been confirmed, there are rumors as to who else will be involved in the wedding and will walk down the aisle. Prince George and Princess Charlotte took on the roles as page boy and flower girl for the wedding of James Matthews and Pippa Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge’s younger sister. They are now expected to perform these roles once again for their uncle, Prince Harry. It is unknown, however, if there will be any other page boys or flower girls for this Royal Wedding.
What About Kate?
While Prince William and his two children are likely to be involved in the wedding, Kate Middleton will not be. The Duchess of Cambridge is not expected to be maid of honor or involved in the royal wedding at all, as it would be deemed “unbecoming.” According to royal expert Marlene Koenig, it would go against etiquette for a person of Kate’s status to “attend” to Meghan, or any other woman for that matter. For that reason, Kate was not even the maid of honor for her sister’s wedding.
Which Ladies Made The Cut?
Many people speculated as to who would make the cut for Meghan’s bridesmaids, and among those on that list were her closest friends Jessica Mulroney, Priyanka Chopra, Sarah Rafferty, and Serena Williams. Priyanka has denied any role of bridesmaid, and Kensington Palace revealed that all the couple’s page boys and bridesmaids would be children. It is, therefore, believed that Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Mia Tindall could be walking down the aisle on May 19 but no confirmation has been made on these reports.
As For The Queen?
In 2005, the Queen of England missed the wedding ceremony of her son, Prince of Wales, to divorcée Camilla. The reason was that Her Majesty is the head of the Church of England, which practices the belief that marriage is for life and divorce is not to be encouraged. Since Meghan Markle is also a divorcée, it has been questioned whether or not the Queen will be attending her grandson’s upcoming nuptials. However, it has been stated that the Queen will be at this Royal Wedding.
Will Prince Phillip Make It?
The Queen will be the last member of the Royal family to attend the church on May 19th and will make her appearance just before the ceremony begins at 12pm. Meanwhile, it is still unknown if her husband, Prince Phillip, will be attending his grandson’s wedding. It has been reported that 96-year-old Prince Phillip is ‘hopeful” of attending the ceremony but he is still recovering from his hip replacement, which may make him miss the big day.
The Rumors About Meghan’s Dad
Reports have questioned whether Meghan Markle’s father, Thomas Markle, will be attending his daughter’s Royal Wedding. Meghan has made her relationship with her father apparent, having once posted on her social media, “I’m still your buckaroo, and to this day your hugs are still the very best in the whole wide world.” Mr. Markle has confirmed that he will be walking Meghan down the aisle in May and that he is excited to be a part of the big day.
Meeting The In-Laws
Meghan Markle’s parents will be welcomed to meet the Queen, Prince Charles, and Camilla ahead of the wedding. Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, will be accompanying her daughter by car to the chapel. However, when the car stops at the castle, her mother will exchange places with the bridesmaids and pageboys. Her father, meanwhile, would have already arrived at the church and made his way to West Door, where he will be waiting for his daughter’s arrival.
Will They Have A Balcony Moment?
Following the ceremony of any British royal wedding, the public wait in anticipation for the “balcony moment.” In 2011, Kate Middleton and Prince William participated in the historic moment when they shared a kiss in public. However, just like much of their wedding, things for Prince Harry and Kate will be very different than they were for Kate and Prince William. Since their ceremony location is far away from Buckingham Palace, the chances that they will make it back to the royal home for this historical moment are slim.
You Can Watch!
While you may not have made the cut to be one of the 600 guests to be invited to the Royal Wedding, do not fear that you will be missing out. A Kensington Palace rep told TMZ that cameras will be permitted at the nuptials, allowing the wedding to be shown on live television. With a pool camera also available, meaning all media outlets will be able to plug in and run footage of the day, everyone will be able to tune in on May 19th.
The Wedding Dress
While it has been expected that details of Meghan’s wedding dress will only be revealed on the big day, there have since been reports as to which designers will be making the highly anticipated dress. The former actress has supposedly opted for British couturiers, Ralph & Russo, to make the first of her two gowns for May 19th. The dress, which will be paid for by the Royal family and set them back $135,000, will have a hand stitched, heavily beaded design.
A Traditional Ceremony
The last time St George’s Chapel held a royal wedding was in May 2008 for the nuptials of Peter Phillips – son of Anne, Princess Royal – and Autumn Kelly. Ten years later, the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be held in the same church, where a traditional ceremony will take place. The ceremony will be conducted by The Dean of Windsor, David Conner, while the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will officiate the marriage as the couple says their wedding vows.
The Couple’s Choices
It has already been assumed that, as a UN women’s advocate, Meghan is unlikely to opt to obey the Prince. Similar to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, it is suggested that the new royal couple will choose the Series One (1966) Book of Common Prayer ceremony. This will allow the bride to drop “obey him” and “serve him” from the religious proceedings. It is also up to Harry whether or not he wishes to wear a wedding ring.
The Royal Bachelor Party
Prince William may have had to sacrifice his duties at the FA cup final, but as best man to his brother, he has got a new duty on his hands – planning Harry’s bachelor party. British citizens have been speculating as to what the Prince could be planning, and bets were placed that Switzerland will be the destination of choice. Other destinations, such as Edinburgh and Prague, have been guessed, but one place that it won’t be is Las Vegas, following Harry’s nude scandal in 2012.
The Royal Armed Forces Will Have A Part To Play
It is well-known that Prince Harry opted for a military career following his studies and he served for ten years. During his service, he was promoted to Captain and served two tours in Afghanistan. Therefore, there will be military attendance at the wedding, which will feature special ceremonial support from the Royal Armed Forces. Over 250 members have been invited to stand at the wedding, and Household Cavalry troopers will line the staircase at St George’s Chapel.
Keeping with tradition, is it expected that Meghan will wear “something borrowed.” If Meghan opts to wear a tiara for the big day, the Spencer family have made it known that she is welcome to wear the headpiece Princess Diana wore at her wedding to the Prince of Wales. The late Princess’ headpiece consists of heirlooms from her ancestors, meaning it is not a part of the Crown Jewel Collection, but Meghan has access to that as well.
The Flowers Follow Tradition
Many brides choose their bouquet of flowers depending on their wedding and gown, but the royal bouquet has always followed tradition. Ever since Queen Victoria married Prince Albert in 1840, every royal bride has carried a bouquet made of myrtle, the ‘herb of love,’ just as the Queen did, to keep the tradition alive. Floral designer Philippa Cook has been appointed to create the arrangements for the 2018 wedding, and all that is known is that the plants will include “pollinator-friendly plants” which help the at-risk population.
Following The Ceremony
Around 2,640 charity workers, community champions, and local school children will be the first to congratulate the couple after the ceremony, since they have been invited to watch the wedding from inside Windsor Castle. Around 1 pm, Prince Harry and his new wife will embark on a two-mile tour of Windsor to greet well-wishers before leaving Windsor Castle by carriage through Windsor Town. They will then return to Long Walk, where the congregation will wait for their first reception at St. George’s Hall.
Their Horse And Carriage
Kensington Palace has confirmed that Prince Harry and his new bride will travel through Windsor Town in the selected Ascot Landau carriage, which is one of five Ascot Landaus in the Royal Mews. The new Royal couple will be pulled by Windsor Grey horses and will not be followed by any other carriages. Their chosen carriage is the same four-wheeled vehicle that Prince Harry traveled in as best man during his brother Prince William’s Royal Wedding to Kate.
There is not just one, but two receptions on the day of the wedding. The first is more formal and hosted by the Queen. She will welcome 600 guests to the afternoon reception in the 180-ft long room, which is traditionally used for state banquets. The second reception takes place in the evening and will be for the 200 close friends and family of the new royal couple. The evening event will be held at Frogmore House, a Royal Residence since 1972, and hosted by the Prince of Wales, Harry’s father.
An Untraditional Wedding Cake
It is usually the case that a Royal couple will follow tradition by serving a fruitcake to their wedding guests. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge chose Fiona Cairns to make their multi-layered fruit cake with a floral design for their 2011 wedding cake. However, details have emerged for the 2018 wedding, stating that London pastry chef, Claire Ptak, has been asked to make an organic lemon and elderflower wedding cake. She will incorporate “the bright flavors of spring,” and it will be covered with buttercream and decorated with fresh flowers.
Meghan May Offer A Few Words
While it is expected that the Prince will be giving a speech at his wedding reception, it is also believed that Ms. Markle will be delivering her own speech as well. According to Times Reporter, if Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle, chooses to avoid the limelight and refrain from giving a speech, his daughter will be “ready” to speak at the reception. Meghan is an accomplished public speaker and will be expected to offer “affectionate” praises to her new husband, as well as a few suitable jokes.
Meghan Markle made a personal request when it came to the music for the ceremony. She approached 19-year-old cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, the winner of the 2016 BBC Young Musician of the Year Award, to ask if he would perform at the wedding ceremony. The student from London’s Royal Academy of Music told People, “I was bowled over when Ms. Markle called me to ask if I would play during the ceremony, and of course I immediately said yes.” Guests will also hear performances from the church choir and orchestra.
The Wedding Gifts
When it comes to their wedding gifts, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have abstained from tradition. They have forgone gifts from their wedding guests in favor of asking for donations to charity, allowing anyone the chance to offer a wedding gift in honor of the couple. Charities that they are requesting donations to in their honor include CHIVA (Children’s HIV Association), Crisis, the Myna Mahalia Foundation, Scotty’s Little Soldiers, StreetGames, Surfers against Sewage, and The Wilderness Foundation UK.
Wedding On A Saturday
More than just the ceremony itself, the wedding is going against royal tradition just by taking place on a Saturday. The decision to marry on a Saturday goes against the typical tradition of royal weddings taking place on a weekday. May 19th, in particular, proves to be a further inconvenience for best man Prince William. The Prince of Wales usually presents the FA cup final trophy at Wembley, which is taking place on the same day, which means he has to forgo this duty.
Marrying an American
Since Harry is not next in line to the throne, there is less pressure surrounding the 2018 royal wedding. That is perhaps why Harry has managed to break away from royal protocol with much of his relationship, including the fact that he is a British royal who is marrying an American. The last time this happened was in 1937 when King Edward VIII married American socialite Wallis Simpson. Besides being American, Simpson was twice divorced, which caused a “constitutional crisis.” King Edward was forced to abdicate the throne.
Since Meghan Markle is marrying British royalty, she will be granted British citizenship. She is already in the process of applying to become a citizen of the United Kingdom, but it is yet to be decided whether or not she will have dual citizenship. Markle may have to sacrifice her American citizenship by marrying Prince Harry, which will go alongside her sacrifice of giving up acting to take on royal duties. Markle was an actress in the hit series Suits, but has since ended her career in acting.
Sources confirmed to travel site Travel + Leisure that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be traveling to Namibia for their honeymoon. Africa is known to be a special place for the couple, who first traveled to Botswana together in 2016 and enjoyed a three-week vacation in the beautiful continent in 2017 for Meghan’s birthday. It has also been reported that Harry spoke of Africa, saying that it is the one place “where I feel more like myself than anywhere in the world.”
The Honeymoon Is Being Postponed
The newly married Royal couple will not be going on honeymoon straight after their wedding. Kensington Palace has revealed that Harry and Meghan will undertake their first public engagement as man and wife the week after their wedding, putting their honeymoon on hold for the time being. It is not usual for royal couples to delay their honeymoon, and it has been speculated that their first engagement will be associated with commemorations for last year’s Manchester Arena bomb attack on May 22nd.
Will The Spice Girls Be Performing?
Many have speculated as to which famous faces will be among the 600 chosen guests, and some may have let it slip that they will be attending. When Spice Girl Victoria Beckham was asked during an appearance on The Late, Late Show with James Corden if she was going, she replied with, “I, uh, I, I don’t know…” Meanwhile, her fellow band member, Mel B, posted a photo on Instagram of the girl band with the caption, ‘Can’t wait to see my girls next week,” suggesting a reunion.
New Royal Titles
After Meghan marries Prince Harry, she will become a senior royal and an HRH. Similarly to Kate, who became the Duchess of Cambridge after saying her vows in 2011, Meghan is also expected to become a Duchess. It is considered most likely that the Prince, who will receive a title from the monarch on his wedding day, will take the vacant title of Duke of Sussex, meaning Meghan would become HRH Duchess of Sussex. The previous Duke of Sussex lived at Kensington Palace and chose a bride for love over traditions.