People, understandably, cannot wait to see what Markle will wear, the flowers, the guests, the cake, the menu and more. But if you want to see the wedding hoopla live, you better plan to get up early. Prince Harry,36, and Meghan Markle,33, will marry on Sat., May 19, 2018, at noon, in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. That’s 6 a.m. Central time, and with all the pre-wedding fanfare, you’ll have to get up pretty early, or do what so many others are planning — stay up all night and make a “royal” party of it.
So, here’s some of the royal wedding hoopla, that you may have missed. The best and most “hopefully” accurate information we could find around the internet.
The Wedding Location
Prince Harry and Markle will wed in Windsor Castle’s St. George’s Chapel, which dates back to the 15th century and has been home to many royal family weddings — including that of Harry’s uncle Prince Edward and his first cousin, Peter Phillips. Windsor is a very special place for Prince Harry and he and Markle have regularly spent time there over the last year and a half,” Kensington Palace said in a statement.
In 2011, Prince William and Kate Middleton were married slightly earlier in the year, in April, at Westminster Abbey in London.
The Wedding Schedule of Events
The wedding service will begin at 12:00 p.m. GMT at the chapel, conducted by the Dean of Windsor. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will officiate when the Prince and Markle take their vows. By 1:00 p.m., they will then begin an official “Carriage Procession” through Windsor Town to Windsor Castle along a promenade known, appropriately enough, as the “Long Walk.” That’s followed by a reception at St. George’s Hall for the newlyweds and a select few guests from the congregation. Finally, another private reception later in the evening will help them celebrate the occasion.
The Crowd and the Carriage
After the noon wedding, the newly married couple will board a royal carriage outside St. George’s Chapel and proceed via Castle Hill along the High Street and through Windsor Town, returning to the castle along the famous Long Walk. The short procession will allow more of the crowds outside the castle walls to see the couple.
The couple has invited 2,640 people to watch them and their guests arrive at and depart from St George’s Chapel, including 1,200 people nominated by authorities in nine of the United Kingdom’s regions, as well as charity workers, local school children, and employees of the queen.
The Dinner Reception Venue
This is the private sit-down dinner for 200 hosted by Prince Charles after the main reception at the castle. It’s going to be at Frogmore House, the 17th-century manor on the castle estate best known as a former royal family home and the site of the royal mausoleum where Queen Victoria and Prince Albert are buried. Harry and Meghan posed there for some of their engagement photos there.
The palace released pictures of the invites and they’re mighty regal. Printed in gold and black American-made ink on English card stock and featuring the three-feathered badge of the Prince of Wales (Harry’s father), they were made by Barnard & Westwood, which has supplied royal invitations since 1985.
Having formally given her consent for her “most dearly beloved grandson” to marry Markle, the Queen herself will attend the wedding. Not much else is officially known about the royal wedding guest list so far, but there have been hints: some have speculated that former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama might have received an invitation due to their good relationships with Prince Harry and Prince William, Newsweek reported. Barack and former Vice President Joe Biden went to the Invictus Games with Prince Harry in September. Spice Girl Mel B let slip that she — along with the other Spice Girls Victoria Beckham, Melanie Chisholm, Emma Bunton and Geri Horner — are due to attend.
In late March, the Palace shared the scoop that some 600 guests would receive invitations. All are invited to the service and daytime lunch at St. George’s Hall hosted by the Queen — but only around 200 will get to attend the party that evening at Frogmore House, hosted by Harry’s dad, the Prince of Wales.
Still unanswered but the focus of feverish speculation is who will be invited among Markle’s family besides her father, Thomas Markle Sr., a former Hollywood lighting director now retired just south of San Diego in Baja California, Mexico, and her mother, Doria Ragland, a social worker and yoga teacher who lives in Los Angeles?
Will both parents, who are divorced, walk her down the aisle? Will Markle have multiple pals in her bridal party? What role will Harry’s royal relatives, such as nephew Prince George and niece Princess Charlotte, play? Will Markle make a speech at the reception?
Forget it; everything there is just speculation. Keeping it a secret will make the reveal at 6 a.m. in the morning, almost worth getting up for.
Think spring: Lemon, elderflower, fresh flowers. The palace announced last week the wedding cake will be a lemon elderflower concoction incorporating “the bright flavors of spring,” covered with buttercream and adorned with fresh flowers. The selected baker is Clair Ptak. She was raised in California and worked as a pastry chef under the celebrated Alice Waters at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, and now runs Violet Bakery in London.
The happy couple have chosen English floral designer Philippa Craddock to create the flower arrangements for their wedding, according to a palace press release. Craddock will direct a team that includes florists from St. George’s Chapel and Buckingham Palace to create the displays at St. George’s Chapel and St. George’s Hall.
The arrangements are set to include locally sourced foliage as well as plants that are in season in May, including branches of beech, birch, hornbeam, white garden roses, peonies and foxgloves.
Once the wedding is over, the flowers will be given to charities.
Markle will be the first American to marry a member of the British royal family since King Edward VIII began his relationship with Wallis Simpson, who was also a divorcée, in the 1930s. Edward went on to abdicate the throne and marry Simpson in France. Markle will become a British citizen, Kensington Palace said in a statement.
Markle is now an official member of the Church of England, headed by her soon-to-be grandmother-in-law, the queen. News of the private baptism ceremony at the Chapel Royal in St. James’ Palace in London leaked out to British media weeks ago.
It used to be that British royals, especially those close to the throne, could not marry outside the Church of England, and especially not to a Roman Catholic, if they wanted to keep their place in the succession. But those rules have been somewhat relaxed recently.
Still, Markle, whose religious upbringing is unspecified (she attended a Catholic school growing up and her first wedding to a Jewish man featured Jewish traditions), chose to join the church as one of the most important symbols of joining the royal family: The Church of England would not exist but for Henry VIII in the 16th century and his determination to divorce Wife #1.
The Wedding Cost
The entire wedding could cost the royal family anything from $2 to $10 million, according to Cosmopolitan. This includes Markle’s dress, the flowers, the venue, and of course, the wedding cake and wedding food.
Cash registers are ringing with locals and tourists rushing to purchase wedding memorabilia. Masks depicting the engaged couple are among the souvenirs for sale in the town outside the walls of Windsor Castle where the two will wed.
There’s even “official commemorative English fine bone china” sold to tourists and royal fans at The Buckingham Palace Shop. According to the palace press release, the china is handmade in England using traditional methods unchanged for 250 years.
The design features a monogram of the couple’s initials tied together with white ribbons and surmounted by the coronet of Prince Harry. The collection prices range from about $15 for an official Harry and Meghan tea towel to about $70 for an official Harry and Meghan commemorative plate.
Sales proceeds will go to the Royal Collection Trust, the charity that cares for and manages the Royal Collection of art, museums and palaces open to the public.