Prince Harry and his love Meghan Markle are set to tie the knot on May 19. Since the announcement of their engagement on last November, details surrounding the former Suits actress and Prince’s fairytale day have been revealed, bit by bit. From the venue and date to the A-list guest list, here’s everything we know about the couple’s big day (so far).
The wedding gift request
As much as we’d love to see a royal registry—because seriously, what do you get a couple that basically has everything?!—Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are asking guests and admirers to put their money to better use.
“Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle are incredibly grateful for the goodwill shown to them since the announcement of their engagement and are keen that as many people as possible benefit from this generosity of spirit,” reads a statement from Kensington Palace. “The couple have therefore asked that anyone who might wish to mark the occasion considers making a donation to charity, rather than sending a wedding gift.”
Listing charities instead of kitchen and home items follows the lead of Prince William and Kate Middleton, who set up a Royal Wedding Charitable Fund for their 2011 nuptials. The fund raised an estimated $1.8 million for charities selected by the couple.
Similarly, Prince Harry and Markle have named seven charitable organizations where friends, family and fans can send their financial gifts. These organizations range from Crisis, a U.K. charity which helps homeless people, to marine conservation program Surfers Against Sewage and India’s Myna Mahila Foundation, a women’s empowerment organization that Markle wrote about last year in Time.
According to the Kensington Palace statement, “Many of these are small charities, and the couple are pleased to be able to amplify and shine a light on their work.”
The floral arrangements will include roses and peonies
Many of the flowers will be sourced from The Crown Estate and Windsor Great Park, and we can only assume the couple appreciates the fact that the self-taught florist prefers to use seasonal blossoms (they have also followed the seasonal theme with their choice in wedding cake—cute!). Craddock will be reportedly using branches of beech, birch and hornbeam along with white garden roses, foxgloves and peonies—Markle’s favourite flowers—for the nuptials.
I am thrilled to share with you that we have been asked by Prince Harry and Ms Meghan Markle to create their wedding flowers in May. I am loving working with them, it is an incredible privilege, and the designs will be a true reflection of them as a couple, with sustainability at the forefront. We will be using plenty of locally sourced greenery and seasonal flowers including peonies, garden roses and foxgloves @kensingtonroyal photograph credit PA
Guests will have to dress to impress
Just when we thought Meghan Markle and Prince Harry couldn’t possibly top news of the Spice Girls reuniting at their wedding reception, these two lovebirds have gone and done it again.
Kensington Palace gave the public its first look at Meghan and Harry’s wedding invitations on March 22 via Instagram, revealing the most important detail of all: the dress code. The rules of the day are spelled out in a corner of the invite, stating: “Dress: Uniform, Mourning Coat or Lounge Suit,” and “Day Dress with Hat.” The invitations feature American ink on English paper—a nod to the union between an American and a Brit—and were made by Barnard and Weston, the printing company the Royals have used since 1985.
Invitations to the wedding of Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle, which will take place at Windsor Castle on May 19, have been issued in the name of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. Guests have been invited to the service at St George’s Chapel and to the lunchtime reception at St George’s Hall, which is being given by Her Majesty The Queen. The invitations follow many years of Royal tradition and have been made by @barnard_and_westwood. They feature the Three-Feathered Badge of the Prince of Wales printed in gold ink. @pa
How many people have been invited the actual service?
Six hundred lucky folks have been asked to attend St. George’s Chapel for the service and the lunchtime reception that will follow. That reception will be hosted by Her Majesty The Queen at St. George’s Hall.
And what about the private reception?
The private reception, hosted by Prince Charles, will welcome around 200 guests. It will be held at Frogmore House. The 17th-century country home is where the couple took their engagement photos and is half a mile from Windsor Castle.
Who will be on the Windsor Castle grounds on the big day?
In a tweet sent out on March 2, Kensington Palace confirmed that Prince Harry and Meghan want their big day to be “shaped so as to allow members of the public to feel part of the celebrations too.” The guest list is a closely-guarded secret, but of the 2,640 people invited to Windsor Castle for the big event, at least 1,200 will be members of the public, according to an official statement. But that’s not all: 200 of those guests will come from a range of charities and organizations close to the couple’s heart, 100 will be students from two local schools, 610 will be Windsor Castle community members and residents—and the remaining 530 will be members of the Royal Households and Crown Estate.
This isn’t the first time members of the public have been invited to a royal wedding. The Earl and Countess of Wessex, Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones, ran a ballot for 8,000 invites for their special day back in 1999.
The wedding date
Kensington Palace has confirmed that the big event will take place on May 19 at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. If you think a wedding only six months after the engagement seems rushed, you’re not wrong. Apparently, one of the reasons behind the speedy engagement is because Prince Harry really wants his grandfather, 96-year old Prince Philip, to be there. It’s no secret that the Duke of Edinburgh is slowing down; in fact, he recently formally retired from his royal duties. Royal expert Katie Nicholl told Entertainment Tonight that Harry is “incredibly close to his grandfather and, being 96, Harry thought it was a great thing to [have] the wedding sooner rather than later, so his grandfather could be there, fit and healthy.” Plus, the timing means there will be one more royal in the family by the time Harry and Meghan get hitched, since the Duchess of Cambridge is due to welcome her third child in April.
What time do you have to be up for this fairytale extravaganza?
Set your alarm, folks, because you don’t want to miss a moment of what is certain to be a fairytale wedding—and thankfully, this ceremony is getting underway slightly later than others in the past. The palace announced that Harkle’s ceremony will take place at noon at St. George’s Chapel—which, for those in Canada, translates to 7 a.m. EST or 4 a.m. PST. Get your coffee ready, or maybe a nice cup of English breakfast tea would be more appropriate?
The wedding service will begin at 12noon at St George’s Chapel. The Dean of Windsor will conduct the service and The Archbishop of Canterbury will officiate as the couple make their vows. pic.twitter.com/dTS56fy22c
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) February 12, 2018
Following the hour-long ceremony, the newly married royal couple will complete the famed carriage procession to Windsor Castle at 8 a.m. EST or 5 a.m. PST.
The schedule may sound early for those of us in North America, but let’s not forget that Lady Diana and Prince Charles’s ceremony took place in an earlier time slot (11:20 a.m. London time) and Prince William and Kate Middleton tied the knot even earlier at 11 a.m. (i.e 6 a.m. EST and 3 a.m. PST).
Who will be Harry’s best man?
According to Prince William, “it could be a sensitive issue.”
Plans for the royal wedding are well underway, but Harry has yet to ask his brother if he’ll be his best man. During a discussion for the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM)—a charity aimed at preventing male suicide through open discussion—a participant assumed the role of best man was a done deal until Prince William cheekily replied, “He hasn’t asked me yet, just to clear that up.”
Prince William says he hasn’t been asked to be best man for Prince Harry yet, and will see what he can do re Wembley wedding clash pic.twitter.com/jPCw8zHuug
— Hannah Furness (@Hannah_Furness) January 10, 2018
Ironically, Prince William was spending time with the team at CALM to mark the launch of the “Best Man Project” in celebration of men’s friendship. And, while it’s true that Prince Harry was Prince William’s best man at his wedding to Kate Middleton in 2011, the role of best man isn’t actually part of royal tradition—normally, the groom has “supporters.”
All that said, we’re sure Harry is going to ask William—it’s just a matter of when!
Who will walk Meghan down the aisle?
Us Weekly suggests that it just might be her mom, Doria Ragland. (Ragland split from Meghan’s dad, Thomas Markle, when Meghan was six.) While Meghan is apparently close to both of her parents, she’s especially tight with Ragland, who is a yoga teacher and psychotherapist. Fun fact: Meghan’s dad is an Emmy-nominated lighting director who has worked on General Hospital and Married with Children.
Who will be Meghan’s maid of honour?
As opposed to picking a “chief bridesmaid,” as per British tradition, Meghan will reportedly have a maid of honour. (Though, we’re not entirely sure what the difference is, based on this description.) Here at Chatelaine we’ve done the odds on a number of likely suspects—from Kate Middleton to alleged matchmaker (and fashion designer) Misha Nonoo. However, our money is on Toronto-based bestie Jessica Mulroney.
In the same Entertainment Tonight interview, Nicholl said Harry’s desire to have his grandfather at the wedding also accounts, in part, for the venue choice—Windsor Castle is where his grandmother and grandfather live. Plus, “[Harry] didn’t want to get married at the same place as his brother. He didn’t want to have such a big royal wedding at Westminster Abbey—it doesn’t need to be as big as William’s wedding. Harry really wanted to have something a little bit more intimate.”
Kensington Palace announced on March 20 that pastry chef Claire Ptak will be making the wedding cake. Ptak owns Violet Cakes in London, but like Markle was raised in California.
The “trilogy” (read three-stone) ring was reportedly designed by Prince Harry and is comprised of a central diamond from Botswana surrounded by two diamonds from Princess Diana’s personal collection, set in white gold with a yellow gold band.
Harry and Meghan’s home
After the news was officially announced by Prince Charles—who noted in a statement that he was “delighted” about the engagement, which apparently took place in London in November, and that Harry had “sought and received the blessing of Miss Markle’s parents”—the couple appeared in the Kensington Palace Gardens for a photo call.
The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince Harry to Ms. Meghan Markle. pic.twitter.com/zdaHR4mcY6
— Clarence House (@ClarenceHouse) November 27, 2017
In Harry and Meghan’s first appearance as an engaged couple, Meghan repped Canada v. nicely in a white Line trench coat and Birks earrings. During a supes brief Q & A session, she called the engagement “romantic,” with Harry noting that more details would come later that day in a televised interview; he also said that he knew Meghan was the one “the very first time we met.” (#doubleswoon).
The Royal family’s responses to the engagement
In a series of tweets, the Palace released well wishes from Prince William and Kate, who said that “it has been wonderful getting to know Meghan and to see how happy she and Harry are together:”
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said of the engagement:
‘We are very excited for Harry and Meghan. It has been wonderful getting to
know Meghan and to see how happy she and Harry are together.’
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) November 27, 2017
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