What to Expect from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Wedding

By Madeleine Luckel
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s first appearance since announcing their engagement.

As you’ve probably already heard, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are engaged! Charles, Prince of Wales, announced the happy news earlier today, noting that the engagement itself occurred earlier this month. But after the initial surprise sank in, our attention quickly turned towards one line in particular from Prince Charles’ statement: “The wedding will take place in Spring 2018,” the Clarence House document read. “Further details about the wedding day will be announced in due course.”

While a six-month engagement (at the most) would be a short period of time for anyone to plan a matrimonial ceremony, let’s not forget, this is a royal wedding! Undoubtedly, behind the scenes, the plans are already off and running. And while we wait with bated breath for those “further details” to be announced, we’ll just have to use our powers of deductive reasoning to guess what Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding will look like next year.

For any other English-American couple, a spring wedding might signal certain, common, seasonal motifs. Think: an outdoor setting and flowers galore. But this, of course, is no ordinary couple. To many, the royal weddings of Prince William and Kate Middleton, and Prince Charles and Princess Diana before them, will likely come to mind. However, in both those cases, the bride and groom were set to be the future king and queen of England, meaning the pomp and circumstance seen at those ceremonies is unlikely to be completely matched.

A better precedent to look towards is perhaps the 1986 wedding of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, later known as Fergie. Like Prince Harry, Prince Andrew is the younger brother of a future king of England. His wedding took place in London’s Westminster Abbey, a royal wedding location popularized by the House of Windsor, and his bride arrived in a glass coach similar to the one Diana had famously used. (This coach however differed from the open-topped carriage used much more recently by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.)

Prince Andrew’s nieces and nephews, including a young Prince William, and Peter and Zara Phillips, served as pageboys and flower girl for the wedding. So perhaps this means that Prince George and Princess Charlotte will have similar roles in Prince Harry’s wedding? We can only hope so, considering how adorable they were in their aunt Pippa’s wedding last year.

Beyond nieces and nephews, a full roster of British and European royals were in attendance at Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson’s wedding, too. Attendees included the Queen and close relatives, but also Prince Andrew’s first and second cousins (think Lady Pamela Hicks), and other royals, such as Princess Christina Margarethe of Hanover. A traditional organ and choir played during the ceremony, and Prince Andrew donned a ceremonial naval uniform as a direct nod to his service; a choice more than likely to be taken by Prince Harry, considering his own, extensive, military career.

It’s difficult to imagine Meghan Markle will wear anything other than white on her special day. And the gown is likely to be fairly modest—remember Kate Middleton’s lace-covered arms when it came to her own 2011 wedding? But besides that, it’s hard to predict what exactly Meghan Markle’s dream wedding dress will look like. The American actress could in theory turn to Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen to design her gown—as the Duchess of Cambridge did for hers—or go an entirely, different, route.

However, there are two major factors that could make Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding nothing like its royal predecessors. First, there has been repeated speculation that the press shy couple would actually prefer a low-key wedding—rumors swirled earlier this year that they might even elope. And second, Kate Middleton is due to give birth to her third child in April 2018, as Kensington Palace has previously confirmed. Could a small wedding then take place without the Duchess of Cambridge? Or does this mean that the wedding would likely happen as late as possible next spring? Only time, and further information, will tell, but fingers crossed we get another televised royal wedding to look forward to next year!

—Madeleine Luckel