The countdown to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding has begun. Who’s on the guest list? Where can royal watchers a glimpse of the couple? Will Meghan become a princess? Here is the very latest news and everything you need to know (so far) about the wedding of the year. To read more about how the couple got together in the first place, Here’s the Real Story on How Harry and Meghan Got Together.
There will be a horse-drawn carriage.
Yes, this is a modern royal wedding with Harry breaking ranks and marrying an American and all that, but there will still be traditional touches, including a processional that includes a horse-drawn carriage ride for the couple through Windsor along High Street at 1 pm and then back to their reception back at the castle. And for more on everyone’s favorite couple, See Meghan Markle Stun at First Official Engagement with the Queen.
The public is invited!
A lucky 2,640 members of the public, consisting largely of members of neighboring communities and local school children, are going to be selected to be on the grounds of Windsor Castle, where they will be able to get a close look at the couple, the royals, and the celebrities as they arrive and depart ceremony. The tickets will be personalized to prevent being sold to the highest bidder. And if you’re traveling somewhere amazing sometime soon, snap up one of the 9 Best Compact Cameras for Trips.
It will be held at historic Windsor Castle.
The wedding will take place at St. George’s Chapel on the grounds of Windsor Castle, about 22 miles outside of London. It’s “more intimate” (the space can accommodate 800 of the couple’s family and friends) than the majestic Westminster Abbey where Prince William and Kate Middleton got married. It’s been the site for several family weddings including Harry’s uncle Prince Edward’s wedding to commoner Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1999. And for on them, check out the 20 Commoners Who Married Royals.
Harry needed Granny’s permission to have the wedding at Windsor.
The Queen “granted permission” for the wedding to take place at St. George’s Chapel, which reportedly holds “special meaning for the couple.” It’s also where Harry’s father, Prince Charles, and stepmother, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall had their “prayer service and dedication” after their civil ceremony in 2005. And for more on the Queen’s involvement, Here’s What the Queen is Giving Harry and Meghan as a Wedding Gift.
There’s going to be two receptions.
There’s going to be “wedding breakfast” for invited guests from the congregation at St. Georges’ Hall in the afternoon. Later that night, Prince Charles is hosting a sit-down dinner for the couple’s closest family and friends.
It’s not a Bank Holiday.
All of England took the day off when William and Kate tied the knot. But that was the future king and queen of England, so that seems only fitting. Even though Harry is clearly the King of Hearts, Londoners will have to go to work the day of the wedding. But it’s a Saturday so that means plenty of royal watchers will be able to sit home in front of the telly.
The Queen is picking up the tab.
The royal family is paying for the wedding, which is estimated to cost millions. Fun fact: at their insistence, the Middleton’s contributed to the cost of William and Kate’s wedding, but no one expected Meghan’s family to chip in for anything. And if you’re considering tying the knot this year, too, check out the 20 Best Cities to Get Married in the U.S.
The couple will get new titles.
The Queen traditionally bestows new titles on the men in the family and their brides when they marry. Insiders are betting that Harry and Meghan will become the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Meghan will become a royal—but not a princess.
The former actress may get the coveted “HRH” title (Her Royal Highness), but she won’t be “Princess Meghan” because she wasn’t born into the royal family. She could go by “Princess Henry of Wales,” but we’re guessing Meghan won’t want to give up her name (which she’s already changed—her given name is Rachel, which is coincidentally the name of the character she played on Suits). And for more on Meghan, check out the time she was a briefcase girl on TV’s “Deal or No Deal.”
There will be plenty of A-listers in attendance.
The guest list will surely be filled with celebrities including family friends David and Victoria Beckham, as well as Meghan’s good friends Serena Williams and actress Priyanka Chopra and Suits costars Patrick J. Adams and Gabriel Macht. Elton John has all but confirmed he will be performing. We know President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama want to be there as well, but may opt to stay away so as not to distract from the couple’s big day.
Meghan won’t vow to “obey” Harry.
There is no way the avowed feminist would ever say that—and Harry wouldn’t want her to.
Kate isn’t a member of the bridal party.
The Duchess of Cambridge is due to deliver her third child less than a month before the wedding and she’s also mindful that this is Meghan’s day. She’s going as a guest. Bridesmaids are a big thing at royal weddings. Meghan may opt to have one of her good friends by her side, but that’s it.
Charlotte and George will be in the wedding party.
Royals love to have kids as attendants and Harry is sure to have his adorable niece and nephew, Princess Charlotte and Prince George, walk down the aisle in precious wedding finery.
The dress is going to cost a fortune.
If the Ralph & Russo gown Meghan wore for her official engagement portraits was an eye-popping $75,000, one can only imagine what her wedding dress will cost. There’s no question about it, this woman has expensive tastes.
While Kate is known for shopping her closet and recycling clothes months and even years after first wearing them, Meghan seems to be enjoying the perks of having a killer wardrobe for every occasion. We can’t say we blame her. It’s her wedding. The dress has to—and will be—gorgeous. I’m betting that it’s either going to be designed by Erdem or Alexander McQueen.
Meghan is getting pointers on royal life from Camilla.
According to The Daily Mail, Meghan has found a confidante in, of all people, the Duchess of Cornwall. Well, both women have been divorced and are not royal by birth, so they’ve got some things in common. Meghan is said to enjoy Camilla’s candor and has had several lunches with the duchess at St. James’ Palace in the past few months to discuss the finer points of life as a member of “The Firm.”
Harry will go bananas over the wedding cake.
Tradition calls for pastry chefs to create a towering frosted fruitcake for royal weddings, but Harry loves anything with bananas (as Meghan adorably posted on Instagram when they were dating) and he’s getting his banana-flavored cake. No word on whether they’re serving roast chicken at the reception.
Meghan’s family will be scarce.
Don’t expect to see Meghan’s press-loving half-siblings at the wedding. There is, however, a good chance her very chatty half-sister, Samantha Markle, will be offering commentary on the proceedings on television. The bride’s reclusive father, Thomas Markle, is also a question mark. The only one who is sure to be there is Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland.
Security will be tight.
The lion’s share of the wedding costs will go towards security. (For perspective, know that the price tag for William and Kate’s wedding was $34 million—and $32 million of that went to security.) Even though Harry and Meghan are getting married outside of London, every precaution is being taken to ensure the safety of the couple and their guests. There have been some “racist messages” received at Kensington Palace directed towards her, so they’re taking no chances.
Meghan is now a member of the Church of England.
The bride to be, who was raised Episcopalian, was reportedly baptized into the Church of England (and later confirmed) in a secret ceremony performed by the Archbishop of Canterbury at St. James’s Palace last week. Her fiancé gave her a delicate diamond cross bracelet to commemorate the occasion. And for more about the royal couple, check out the 10 Signs Harry and Meghan Will Break All the Royal Rules.
The big day is May 19th.
Unless you’ve been living on the moon, you know this is the date the royal lovebirds are tying the knot. The ceremony will begin at noon (7 am ET) and will be televised. The vows will reportedly be officiated by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, while David Conner, Dean of Windsor will lead the service. There will, no doubt, be millions of people around the world setting their alarms so they can get up at odd hours to tune in.
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