As everyone in the world knows by now, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are set to tie the knot on May 19. Since the announcement of their engagement last November, details surrounding the former Suits actress and the prince’s fairytale day have gradually been revealed, bit by bit. From the venue and date to the A-list guest list, here’s everything we know so far.
The FINAL word on who is walking MM down the aisle
After mad drama earlier in the week (Meghan’s dad—who confirmed his royal wedding attendance, then dropped out, then said he actually would attend—is now for sure not attending because he’s just had heart surgery) it’s been announced that Prince Charles will be the one taking MM up the aisle of St George’s Chapel. Even that, however, is not without some complexity. Although the statement issued by Kensington Palace simply states that her future father-in-law will be “accompanying” her down the aisle and “is pleased to welcome her to the family in this way,” several experts have pointed out that Meghan will actually walk the majority of the aisle by herself, followed by her page boys and bridesmaids. Charles will only join her at the end of “the nave.” Cue this handy diagram tweeted by royal reporter Omid Scobie.
It’s worth noting that Meghan will still walk half the aisle by herself (with just the page boys and flower girls behind her). Charles will be waiting further down to escort her from the end of the Nave to the altar. pic.twitter.com/bFSFMKHHau
— Omid Scobie (@scobie) May 18, 2018
Doria (Meghan’s mom) will still be in the car with her en route to the venue from her hotel.
The bridesmaids and page boys
The royal rumours are true! Princess Charlotte will be one of Markle’s bridesmaids on her big day, Kensington Palace confirmed on May 16. Charlotte is one of six young bridesmaids, including four-year-old Ivy Mulroney, the daughter of Jessica Mulroney, Markle’s Canadian BFF. For the page boys, four-year-old Prince George is part of the party (duh), as are Mulroney’s two seven-year-old sons, Brian and John.
Prince Harry and Markle have chosen a menu fit for a… well you know.
Kensington Palace shared a sneak peek on May 11 into the beyond fancy kitchens at Windsor Castle, and—judging from the photos—the menu will be just as *royally* delicious as we all thought. Keeping with the event’s spring theme, the elegant lunch reception will include seasonal and local veg (including asparagus, snap peas and artichokes). Guests will also be treated to a sumptuous selection of desserts including chocolate truffles, crème brûlée and macarons.
We dropped in on the Kitchens at Windsor Castle, who will shortly begin final preparations for the #RoyalWedding.
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 14, 2018
The Palace reports that Markle and her royal beau have been involved “in every detail” of the menu, and have participated in multiple tastings.
The maid of honour
Markle will have no maid of honour on her big day. According to Hello! Canada, the news was confirmed after a briefing at Kensington Palace in early May. The reason for the decision? Markle just couldn’t choose between her many close friends. Instead, each of the bride’s BFFs will have a more low-key role in the big event (polishing Meg’s tiara, perhaps?).
Kensington Palace *did* release a wedding update on May 4—which noted, among other information, that Markle’s dad (and not her mom, as previously rumoured) will walk her down the aisle—and it also made no mention of a maid of honour for the Suits actor. Since the announcement, we now know that Markle’s dad Thomas will not be attending the wedding.
TBH, we thought Jessica Mulroney, Canadian fashion stylist and Markle’s close friend, was a shoe-in for MoH. Actress Priyanka Chopra was also rumoured to hold the coveted role—although she has since denied any involvement in the wedding party.
The royal transportation
The Palace has announced the official wedding day ride for the bride and groom, and it is definitely fit for royalty. “Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle have selected the Ascot Landau carriage for their procession through Windsor Town after their wedding on May 19th,” the palace released in a statement.
Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle have selected the Ascot Landau carriage for their procession through Windsor Town after their wedding on May 19th. pic.twitter.com/uR9bKgqmiX
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 2, 2018
The carriage is one of five others in the royal family’s possession, which are often used in ceremonial events—including coronations and state visits. According to the Palace, the carriage procession will begin at 1 p.m. and bring the newlyweds through Windsor Town before returning them to Windsor Castle.
An *adorable* father-son duo will pull the carriage. “Storm and Tyrone, father and son, are two of the Windsor Grey Horses who will pull the Ascot Landau carriage on the wedding day,” the palace said.
In the event of a rainy day, the couple will take the Scottish State Coach, a luxurious enclosed carriage with a glass roof.
The best man
Prince Harry has chosen his best man and—drumroll please—it’s his big bro Prince William!
“Prince Harry has asked his brother The Duke of Cambridge to be his Best Man at his wedding to Ms. Meghan Markle,” Kensington Palace announced on Twitter on April 26.
Prince Harry has asked his brother The Duke of Cambridge to be his Best Man at his wedding to Ms. Meghan Markle. pic.twitter.com/7TvZ2VlEk2
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) April 26, 2018
“The Duke of Cambridge is honoured to have been asked, and is very much looking forward to supporting his brother at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor on May 19th,” the Palace continued, accompanying the announcement with an adorbs throwback pic of the brothers.
The Duke of Cambridge is honoured to have been asked, and is very much looking forward to supporting his brother at St George’s Chapel, Windsor on May 19th. pic.twitter.com/mQ0eh7Q0pR
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) April 26, 2018
OK, so this isn’t exactly *shocking* news. After all, Prince Harry was Prince William’s best man when he wed Kate Middleton in 2011, and the siblings have talked publicly about their close bond in the past. Do you think Price William will throw a wild bachelor party?
The musical guests
Move over Ed Sheeran, the royal wedding playlist won’t include any mega-stars this time around (despite all those Beyoncé rumours). Instead, according to Kensington Palace, local choirs, soloists and orchestras will provide music for the high-profile event. Among the list of performers is 19-year-old cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who was the winner of the BBC Young Musician competition in 2016. Prince Harry first met Kanneh-Mason during a charity event that he was performing at last year. Apparently the young cellist made a big impression!
19-year-old cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, winner of 2016 @BBCYoungMus. Last June, Prince Harry saw Sheku play at an event in London in support of the work of Antiguan charity the Halo Foundation. pic.twitter.com/C3QSfcbXJl
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) April 24, 2018
The event will also feature the Choir of St. George’s Chapel as well as Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir—a Christian gospel group based in England. Oh, and don’t forget an entire freaking orchestra, which will include musicians from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the English Chamber Orchestra and the Philharmonia Orchestra.
Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir. The Choir is made up of a group of British artists dedicated to creating a sound that demonstrates the community they share, and has been performing both nationally and internationally for over 20 years. pic.twitter.com/tae19p6G6E
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) April 24, 2018
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 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 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 Markle 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, Morning 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 Markle 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 Markle 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 walk Markle down the aisle?
Us Weekly suggests that it just might be her mom, Doria Ragland. (Ragland split from Markle’s dad, Thomas, when she was six.) While Markle is apparently close to both of her parents, she’s especially tight with Ragland, who is a yoga teacher and psychotherapist. Fun fact: Markle’s dad is an Emmy-nominated lighting director who has worked on General Hospital and Married with Children.
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 Markle’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 Markle’s first appearance as an engaged couple, Markle 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 Markle 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 Markle 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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