Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s nuptials are set to take place less than two months away, and we feel like we’re really getting quite close to the home stretch. For practical reasons, we’ve compiled everything that we know—both confirmed and strongly rumored—about the biggest wedding of the year.
Confirmed by Kensington Palace:
When the couple’s engagement was first announced in late November, (by Clarence House, the official residence of father-of-the-groom Prince Charles), all that was stated in terms of the date was that the wedding would take place in Spring 2018. Kensington Palace followed up by saying that the wedding would take place in May 2018 specifically. And then, in December, Kensington Palace confirmed that May 19, 2018 was the official wedding date.
In the same Kensington Palace press release that stated that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle would marry in May, the palace shared that the wedding would take place at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. More recently however, Buckingham Palace announced that Princess Eugenie, Prince Harry’s first cousin, would also marry in St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle later this year.
For those wondering what time to set their DVRs, the royal wedding will take place at 12:00 p.m. GMT—don’t forget to check the time difference! The ceremony will be followed by a carriage procession at 1:00 p.m. around Windsor Town, and then a lunch reception at St. George’s Hall. At night, the newlyweds will later host friends and family at a private evening reception at a location that has yet to be disclosed.
The Royal Family is paying for the wedding. Kensington Palace included this fact in their late November press announcement. While this may surprise some, given the fact that it is technically tradition for the bride’s family to pay for a wedding, in this case it makes a lot of sense, given that a royal wedding is usually extremely expensive. Plus, The Royal Family paid for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton (except, reportedly, her Alexander McQueen dress).
Confirmed by Royal Sources:
Televising the Event
According to Brides, an official Kensington Palace spokesperson confirmed the world would also get to see Harry and Megan’s wedding on live TV. “The couple of course wants the day to be a special, celebratory moment for their friends and family,” the spokesperson said after the couple’s engagement press conference. “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.”
The Participation of Prince Harry’s Family
Almost immediately after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle became engaged, there was speculation as to whether Prince George and Princess Charlotte would appear in the wedding. Kensington Palace’s released a widely-reported statement that read, “The wedding will be a family event. You can expect the family to be involved.” Many have interpreted this to mean that Prince George will serve as a page boy, and that Prince Charlotte will serve as a bridesmaid. It is not generally expected however that Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Charles, or Queen Elizabeth will have roles in the ceremony.
On February 27, Spice Girl Melanie Brown, a.k.a. Scary Spice, confirmed on her talk show, The Real, that all five members of the Brit pop band would be attending the royal wedding. When asked whether that meant that they were going to be performing, Mel B was a little more coy. “This is where I’m just . . . ” she said before holding her tongue. But she later smiled, threw her talking cards up in the air, and added, “I need to go, I’m going to be fired.” Take that as you will!
Referenced by Prince Harry:
A (Famous) Guest-list
While there has been much speculation as to whether Meghan Markle’s Suits’ colleagues and other actors will make the cut, the more interesting question may be whether Barack and Michelle Obama will be invited. Prince Harry clearly has a fairly close relationship with the two, as evidenced by his recent interview with the former president. But protocol may dictate that if he invites a former U.S. President, he would have to invite current U.S. President Donald Trump in order to avert a perceived snub. Asked in a late December BBC interview whether Obama was invited, Prince Harry said, “I don’t know about that–we haven’t even put the invite or the guest list together. Who knows if he’s going to be invited or not? I wouldn’t want to ruin that surprise.”
Reported by Anonymous Sources:
The Participation of Meghan Markle’s Family
In early January, an anonymous “insider” told U.S. Weekly that Meghan Markle reportedly wanted her mom to walk her down the aisle. The source said, “With the wedding, they both want to do things their way. While they will always be mindful of traditions and the views of their elders, the day is ultimately about them and what they want to do . . . . The day of the wedding itself will certainly hold a few unconventional surprises. Don’t expect a royal wedding by numbers. They want to involve their friends and family as much in as much as possible throughout the day . . . . I’ve heard that Meghan wants her mother to walk her down the aisle, which would be a sweet moment.”
An “insider” recently said that “The pair want to make the night as fun as possible . . . . With live [music], expect the party to go on until the early hours.” The “insider” went on to say that Ed Sheeran was at the “top of Harry’s list.” Sheeran had previously replied, “Yeah, why not?” when asked by reporters if he would in theory accept the gig.
The Participation of Friends of the Couple
It’s rumored that Meghan Markle is working with Canadian stylist Jessica Mulroney on her wedding dress. It’s also rumored that Mulroney’s daughter could serve alongside Princess Charlotte as a bridesmaid in the wedding. Mulroney is a friend of Markle’s, and has reportedly been styling her recent engagements.
There are a lot of theories as to who will design Meghan Markle’s wedding dress. Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, Erdem Moralioglu, and the lesser-known designer Stewart Parvin have all come up. It’s looking like Roland Mouret may be the frontrunner though. That said, the only thing that seems to be rather certain at this point is that a British designer will likely make the bride’s gown.
According to The Times of London, Meghan Markle may want to break with tradition and a make a speech at her own wedding. Reportedly, the speech would be an “affectionate tribute” to Prince Harry.
It is widely expected that upon their marriage, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will receive the title of Duke and Duchess from the Queen. It is also generally expected that the specific dukedom will be that of Sussex, which has not been held since 1843. Meghan Markle will not however become Princess Meghan. In England, only royal-born women are titled as princesses (think Princess Eugenie, versus Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.) Alas!