From the date to the dress and the definitive answer on whether or not the British public will get to toast Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding on a UK bank holiday, here’s your guide to the United Kingdom’s royal wedding of 2018.
When is the royal wedding?
Kensington Palace confirmed via Twitter on December 15 that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will marry on May 19, 2018. The couple’s decision to wed on a Saturday goes against tradition, as royal weddings usually take place on a weekday. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge wed on a Friday and the Queen on a Thursday.
The chosen date falls on the same day as the FA Cup final at Wembley, a match that the Duke of Cambridge, as President of the Football Association, usually attends to present the trophy. The May date may also have been selected in order to give the Duchess of Cambridge time to recover after the birth of her third child, due in April.
Ahead of the wedding, Lifetime is creating a TV movie, entitled Harry & Meghan: The Royal Love Story, focusing on the couple’s courtship and engagement. The network was behind 2011’s William & Kate: The Movie, which was released in the run-up to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge‘s wedding.
Where will the royal wedding 2018 take place?
The marriage of Prince Harry and Markle will take place in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle at 12pm. The Queen has granted permission for the ceremony to be held in the place of worship, which seats approximately 800, and core aspects of the wedding, including the service, music, flowers, decorations and reception, will be paid for by the royal family. The cake – a lemon elderflower bake that will incorporate the bright flavours of spring – will be made by Violet Bakery’s Claire Ptak.
“This wedding, like all weddings, will be a moment of fun and joy that will reflect the characters of the bride and groom,” said Jason Knauf, Prince Harry‘s communications secretary. “The couple of course want the day to be a special, celebratory moment for their friends and family. They also want the day to be shaped so as to allow members of the public to feel part of the celebrations too and are currently working through ideas for how this might be achieved.”
On February 12, Kensington Palace revealed via Twitter that after the couple are married – the Dean of Windsor will conduct the service and the Archbishop of Canterbury will officiate as the couple make their vows – they will undertake a carriage procession from St George’s Chapel through Windsor town returning to Windsor Castle along the Long Walk.
“They hope this short journey will provide an opportunity for more people to come together around Windsor and to enjoy the atmosphere of this special day,” the statement said. “Following the service, there will be a reception at St George’s Hall for the couple and the guests from the congregation. Later that evening, the Prince of Wales will give a private evening reception for the couple and their close friends and family.”
The former actress is reportedly planning her own speech at the reception, should her father Thomas Markle choose not to speak, the Sunday Times has reported. Mr Markle, an award-winning director who now lives in Mexico, is expected to walk his daughter down the aisle, but may not make a formal speech in front of hundreds of guests and senior members of the royal family.
Who will design Meghan Markle’s wedding dress?
Meghan Markle’s wedding dress is arguably the biggest fashion commission of the year, so what will the Suits star wear? The soon-to-be royal has navigated her time in the spotlight so far in a handful of Canadian designers – a country she called home for seven years while filming the US legal drama – London Fashion Week designers Erdem and Antonio Berardi and American labels Marchesa and Misha Nonoo (the eponymous founder of the latter is a close friend).
“The princess-to-be seems to have a lot of personality, which is what royalty should be about,” Vogue fashion critic Anders Christian Madsen shared, “so I would love to see her in something brave and daring on her wedding day: a Victorian Erdem number with cascading ruffles, a magical John Galliano for Maison Margiela gown with mad embroidery, or a dramatic Giles Deacon haute couture dress with that air of British majesty!”
The engagement portraits could suggest the 36-year-old might look again to Michael Russo and Tamara Ralph, the Australian couple who designed the highly-embellished Ralph & Russo gown worn by Markle to pose alongside her fiancé in.
Who will be Meghan’s bridesmaids?
Prince George and Princess Charlotte are likely to be page boy and flower girl, but Markle is also expected to choose bridesmaids from her close set of friends. Actress Priyanka Chopra, tennis champion Serena Williams, designer Misha Nonoo, and stylist Jessica Mulroney are all names that have been suggested, however now that Markle has deleted her Instagram account it is more difficult to track her friendships.
Click through Meghan Markle’s style file so far:
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