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 actor and the prince’s fairy-tale day have gradually been revealed. From the venue and date to the A-list guest list, here’s everything we know so far.
Prince Charles Will Walk Meghan Markle down the aisle
Meghan Markle’s future father-in-law will accompany her at St. George’s Chapel. Many had expected Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, to step in after it was announced her father wouldn’t be attending.
The statement said Markle asked the father of the groom to perform the honour and that the Prince of Wales is “pleased to welcome Ms. Markle to the royal family in this way.”
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— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 18, 2018
Meghan Markle’s dad will not be attending the ceremony
Meghan Markle confirmed on Thursday that her father wouldn’t be walking down the aisle. The palace has not revealed details about 73-year-old Thomas Markle’s health issues, but the celebrity website TMZ says he is hospitalized in California after undergoing a procedure to clear blocked coronary arteries.
He reportedly told the website he was ok but needed to rest. Thomas Markle had been scheduled to walk his daughter down the aisle.
A statement from Ms. Meghan Markle: pic.twitter.com/TjBNarmuBU
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 17, 2018
Rehearsing for the #RoyalWedding: Members of the Armed Forces were among those taking part in a dress rehearsal of the carriage procession through Windsor Town and The Long Walk today. pic.twitter.com/vg7QMVNrt6
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 17, 2018
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.
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) 16 May 2018
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have chosen a menu fit for a… well, you know. Kensington Palace shared a sneak peek 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) 14 May 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
Meghan 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. The reason for the decision? Markle did not want to choose between her many close friends. Instead, each of the bride’s companions will have a more low-key role in the big event (polishing her tiara, perhaps?).
The royal transportation
The Palace 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 said.
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) 2 May 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
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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
No gifts, please
As much as we’d love to see a royal registry — because seriously, what do you get a couple that truly has everything — Harry and Meghan are asking guests and admirers to put their money to better use.
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“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, Harry and Meghan have named seven charitable organizations where friends, family and fans can send their financial gifts. These organizations range from Crisis, the national charity helping 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 Magazine.
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
Everyone’s favourite betrothed couple revealed another exciting detail about their upcoming royal wedding: their florist. The couple has reportedly selected Philippa Craddock, who counts Kensington Palace, Alexander McQueen and British Vogue among her clients, to handle the floral arrangements on their big day.
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). In addition to spring’s most beautiful blooms, locality and sustainability are key for the future husband and wife, who will reportedly be using branches of beech, birch and hornbeam along with white garden roses, foxgloves and peonies — Markle’s favourite flowers — to decorate their nuptials.
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, 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.
And other than the anticipation of the awesome outfits (and hats!), there are many more reasons to get excited about this blessed day. Here’s everything you need to know about the Royal Wedding.
How many people have been invited the actual service?
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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 herself at St. George’s Hall.
How many people are invited to 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.
How many members of the public are going to be invited to 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.
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 Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’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? (And here’s how to watch the royal wedding on TV.)
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).
Meghan and Harry’s 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.
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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
The couple is currently living in Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace. After the wedding, it’s been rumoured the Queen will give the pair their own stately home: York Cottage.
After the engagement 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
With files from the Canadian Press