It’s exactly three months away to the royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and we’ve got the royal wedding cheat sheet for you. Here’s everything we know about the couple’s upcoming nuptials so far.
Though the couple’s engagement was announced on Monday, November 27, Harry actually proposed to Meghan in London earlier in the month. The couple was having a regular, “cosy night” together at Kensington Palace (they were even in the middle of trying to roast chicken) when Harry “got on one knee,” they revealed in their first joint interview. Markle was so excited she said yes before Harry could even finish proposing. “I was like, ‘Can I say yes now?‘” she recalled. “It was a really nice moment, it was just the two of us and I think I managed to catch her by surprise as well,” Prince Harry said.
The Engagement Ring
Prince Harry proposed with an all-diamond ring he designed for Meghan. It features a cushion-cut stone in the centre, sourced from Botswana, in honour of his and Markle’s special getaway trip together. The diamond is flanked by two smaller round-cut stones from Princess Diana’s jewellery collection “to make sure she’s with us on this crazy journey together,” Harry said. The stones are set on a yellow gold band—Markle’s favourite. The ring is from London jeweller Cleave and Company, and Fortune estimates it’s worth $1 million due to its precious royal connections.
The Engagement Portraits
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle released their official engagement photos nearly a month after announcing their betrothal. They were taken by Alexi Lubomirski at Frogmore House, Windsor in mid-December.
Harry and Meghan will tie the knot on May 19, 2018, according to Kensington Palace’s official statement. This also leaves an ample amount of time after the birth of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s third child, who is expected to arrive in April 2018.
The wedding ceremony will take place at 12 p.m. noon, local time.
The couple will wed at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. The Dean of Windsor will conduct the service and the Archbishop of Canterbury will officiate the vows, Kensington Palace announced. “Windsor is a very special place for Prince Harry, and he and Ms Markle have regularly spent time there during the last year,” a rep from Kensington Palace told People. “They are delighted that the beautiful grounds of Windsor Castle will be where they begin their lives as a married couple.” Prince Harry was also baptized here in 1984.
Meghan Markle will reportedly wear not one, but two wedding gowns when she ties the knot to Prince Harry on 19 May. According to Vanity Fair, the future duchess is planning to wear a traditional gown for the ceremony and will change into a more modern and sophisticated option for the evening.
“She will have two dresses, one for the ceremony and another dress for the evening,” a royal source told the publication. “The plan is for her to change after the ceremony so she can party the night away in something less restrictive. Meghan can’t wait to surprise everyone, especially Harry.”
If Markle does wear two dresses, she will be following in the footsteps of the Duchess of Cambridge, who wore a second Alexander McQueen gown for the evening celebrations of her wedding to Prince William in 2011.
The Best Man!
Prince Harry has recently asked his older brother Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, to be his best man at his wedding to Meghan Markle. The Palace said that Prince William 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.”
At 1 p.m., after saying their vows, the newlyweds will participate in a procession through the town of Windsor and return to Windsor Castle via the picturesque, tree-lined Long Walk.
There will be two “afterparties” celebrating the newlywed couple, Kensington Palace announced. The first will include guests of the congregation from the wedding ceremony and will take place at St. George’s Hall. The modern gothic-designed space is the largest room in Windsor Castle, stretching over 180 feet (55.5 meters) long. It can hold up to 162 for a state banquet, according to the Royal Collection Trust. The second reception will be a private celebration later in the evening hosted by Prince Charles. The venue for this fête has not yet been disclosed.
The People’s Wedding
Kensington Palace announced that 2,640 people will be welcomed into the grounds of Windsor Castle to watch the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. “The couple has asked that 1,200 people, from all corners of the UK be selected by lord lieutenants, include young people who have shown strong leadership and those who have served their communities,” a statement on Twitter read this morning. “Also invited into the castle grounds are 200 people from charities and organisations close to Prince Harry and Ms Markle, including those which Prince Harry serves as patron. Other guests will include 100 pupils from two local schools, 610 Windsor Castle community members and 530 members of the royal household and the crown estate.”
The royal invitation is here!
The official invitations to the wedding of Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle have been issued in the name of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. So cool! According to Kensington Palace,”The invitations follow many years of Royal tradition and have been made by Barnard Westwood. They feature the Three-Feathered Badge of the Prince of Wales printed in gold ink.”
Speaking out the process of making the invitation card, the palace said, “Lottie Small, who recently completed her apprenticeship, printed all of the invitations in a process known as die stamping, on a machine from the 1930s that she affectionately nicknamed Maude. Using American ink on English card, the invitations are printed in gold and black, then burnished to bring out the shine, and gilded around the edge. We love how the invitation card represents both the bride-to-be who is American and the groom-to-be who is British.
According to new reports, Prince Harry and Markle will keep their honeymoon as low-key and private as possible, but Travel and Leisure is reporting that they will be heading to Namibia for the special vacation. A “source has confirmed” the location of the royal honeymoon, according to Travel and Leisure, revealing that the couple has chosen Namibia because the “southwestern African nation is filled with once-in-a-lifetime experiences.”
According to The Sun, Prince Harry and Markle will likely be staying at Hoanib Valley Camp in Kaokoland, north-western Namibia, which is “surrounded by mountains, sand dunes, and huge expanses of desert.” The camp is apparently “the world’s only Africa-wide giraffe conservation organization,” and the idyllic surroundings look like the perfect location for the Royals to start their married life together.
Watch this space for updates.