PLANNING FOR THE ROYAL WEDDINGFrom the date and venue to the dress and the answer on whether the public can watch the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, here's your guide to the royal wedding 2018.
When, where and at what precise time is the royal wedding?
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will marry on May 19, 2018, in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.
Kensington Palace announced that the ceremony will begin at noon, with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, officiating.
While there is no official rule, 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 wedding service will begin at 12noon at St George's Chapel. The Dean of Windsor will conduct the service and The Archbishop of Canterbury will officiate as the couple make their vows. pic.twitter.com/dTS56fy22c
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) 12 February 2018
The venue is one of the Queen's main residences and is a central location in the history of the royal family.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex were married there and the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall wed there. Prince Harry was also christened there.
Where can you watch the royal wedding?
There is one important question on everybody’s lips: Will we be able to tune in and watch the nuptials?
The answer is yes! ITV announced that Julie Etchingham and Phillip Schofield will present ITV's live coverage of the royal wedding, starting at 9:25am to 3pm on May 19.
They will present the coverage from a "specially constructed studio" on The Long Walk in Windsor.
Joining Phillip and Julie will be ITV News' Mary Nightingale, who will be positioned at Windsor Castle spotting and interviewing guests as they arrive.
Meanwhile, ITV News presenter James Mates will lead live commentary of the service from inside St George's Chapel.
In November, Kensington Palace released a statement explaining Prince Harry and Meghan "want the day to be shaped to allow members of the public to share in the joy and the fun of the day."
They added that they want public guests to be "involved in the celebrations."
Prince Harry and Ms. Markle would like their wedding day to be shaped to allow members of the public to share in the joy and the fun of the day. They have today given further details how public guests will be involved in the celebrations on May 19. pic.twitter.com/V62uqRW8m0
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) 2 March 2018
How can the public celebrate?
Even if you haven't received a personal invitation to Prince Harry and Meghan's nuptials, there are still many ways you can celebrate.
Whether it's sitting at home in pajamas or throwing a party, royal fans across the UK are already planning how they can celebrate.
Across the UK, pubs will be allowed to stay open later than usual to give everyone a chance to celebrate the wedding.
Licensing hours can be extended over a "celebration period" on special occasions, meaning pubs and bars across England and Wales can keep serving until 1 a.m. on the morning of the wedding day, and after the couple tie the knot.
Is there a Bank Holiday for the royal wedding?
Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding day was declared a bank holiday, however, that won't be the same for Prince Harry and Meghan's big day as it falls on a Saturday.
In November, Downing Street announced there are "no plans" for a bank holiday on May 19 when Prince Harry and Meghan walk down the aisle.
But, it's not all bad news. Seeing as it’s on a weekend, you can still hold your celebrations and watch the couple’s nuptials.
Will the ceremony clash with the FA Cup?
Prince Harry and Meghan's wedding day is due to take place on the same day as the FA Cup final.
But royal fans and football fans needn't worry, as a clash between the sports event and the highly-anticipated wedding is very unlikely.
The cup final is set to kick off at 5:15 pm and the wedding ceremony is taking place over five hours before.
Harry's brother Prince William is the president of the FA, and as part of his responsibilities, he attends the final to hand over the trophy to the winning team.
According to ITV News, the Duke of Cambridge was "struggling to work out how he can attend" both his brother’s wedding and the sports event.
But it's been confirmed that William is going to be Harry's best man, so he will be attending the wedding.
THE HISTORY OF THE ROYAL COUPLE
What is Prince Harry’s relationship history?
Before Prince Harry found “the one” Meghan, the royal had his share of rumoured romances and girlfriends.
Prince Harry's longest relationship was with South African beauty Chelsy Davy.
Their relationship started in early 2004 and ended in 2011. However, it was a notoriously on-and-off relationship.
The pair met when they attended neighbouring schools in the UK. But after Chelsy went to South Africa to study law and Harry stayed in the UK, the pair had to maintain a long distance relationship.
Davy announced the end of their relationship on Facebook in May 2010. In 2011, addressing rumours of a possible reconcilation, Harry said he was "100 per cent single."
Prince Harry apparently met actress Cressida Bonas through his cousin Princess Beatrice. The pair had a two-year relationship from 2012 to 2014.
They had a pretty serious romance, with Harry attending Cressida’s sister’s wedding and Cressida joining Harry on one of his charity events during the two years.
It was never confirmed that Prince Harry dated reality star Camilla Thurlow, but it was said they had a brief romance in 2014 following Harry’s split from Cressida.
In 2017, Camilla appeared on ITV2's Love Island and she was asked about the rumoured romance.
But, she dodged the question answering: “Honestly, a lady never tells.”
Who was Meghan Markle previously married to and what was her first wedding like?
Prior to her relationship with Harry, Meghan was married to Hollywood film producer Trevor Engelson.
Meghan and Trevor reportedly met in 2004 and began dating that same year.
They got engaged in 2010 and tied the knot on September 10, 2011, in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
Their wedding was reportedly a four-day affair and the pair exchanged their vows in front of around 100 guests.
But, after just two years of marriage, Meghan and Trevor divorced in 2013.
Why did Meghan divorce her first husband?
Meghan and Trevor split in 2013 and were divorced in August that year.
The couple cited “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for their separation.
According to an excerpt from Andrew Morton's biography of Meghan, Meghan: A Hollywood Princess, a friend claimed Markle's decision to end the marriage came "totally out of the blue."
How did Prince Harry and Meghan Markle meet?
Harry and Meghan were first introduced by a mutual friend in 2016.
In their first post-engagement interview with BBC News in November 2017, Meghan revealed she and Harry were set up on a “blind date” by their pal.
“It was definitely a set-up,” Markle said, laughing. “It was a blind date.”
What was Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s first date?
Prince Harry and Meghan’s first date was a blind date, set up by their mutual friend.
Shortly after meeting for the first time, Harry and Meghan had two dates, back to back, in London in July 2016.
Speaking in their post-engagement interview in November, Markle said: “I think very quickly into [meeting for the first time], we said, ‘Well, what are we doing tomorrow? We should meet again.’”
Weeks later, Meghan joined Harry in Botswana and they “camped out with each other under the stars.”
“She came and joined me for five days out there, which was absolutely fantastic,” Harry said. “Then we were really by ourselves, which was crucial to me to make sure that we had a chance to get to know each other.”
How did Prince Harry propose to Meghan Markle?
Harry proposed to Markle while they were roasting chicken at his London home and the surprised actress was so happy that he could barely get all the words out.
Harry popped the question in November 2017.
During an interview with BBC News, Harry said: “[It was] just a standard, typical night for us.”
“Just a cozy night. What were we doing? Roasting chicken,” Meghan added. “It was… an amazing surprise. It was so sweet and natural and very romantic. He got down on one knee.”
Asked if she gave an “instant yes,” the former Suits star said: “Yes! As a matter of fact I could barely let you finish proposing. I was like, ‘Can I say yes now?’”
Harry added: “Then there were hugs and I had the ring in my finger and I was like, ‘Can I give you the ring?’ So it was a really nice moment.”
What is Meghan Markle’s engagement ring like?
Prince Harry proposed to Meghan with a three-stone diamond ring that he designed himself.
The sparkler was designed by British Jewelers Cleave and Company and is made up of three diamonds - one large stone in the centre with two smaller stones on the sides.
The ring is very sentimental to Harry because the two stones are from his late mother Princess Diana’s personal collection, while the other stone is from Botswana, a country close to his heart.
All about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s stag do and hen do
Meghan reportedly had her hen do at the beginning of March.
According to Vogue magazine, it was “low-key” and involved a “glamourous spa day” at the Soho Farmhouse in Oxfordshire.
As for Harry's, it hasn't been confirmed what Harry did for his stag do.
However, it's been reported that Prince William and Harry's best friend Tom Inskip played a part in it.
Meanwhile, royal expert Dickie Arbiter told The Sun that Harry has "reined himself in" since his partying days, so his stag was probably low-key.
WHO WILL BE ATTENDING THE ROYAL WEDDING
What do the royal wedding invitations look like?
Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding invitations were printed on March 22.
The invitations were produced by Barnard & Westwood, a company which has held a Royal Warrant for Printing and Bookbinding by Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen since 1985.
They were also awarded a second royal warrant for printing by the Prince of Wales in 2012.
The invitations follow many years of Royal tradition and have been made by @BarnardWestwood. They feature the Three-Feathered Badge of the Prince of Wales printed in gold ink. pic.twitter.com/cd7LBmRJxO
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) 22 March 2018
The invitations used American ink on English card and are printed in gold and black, then burnished to bring out the shine, and glided around the edge. The invitation also features the Three-Feathered Badge of the Prince of Wales printed in gold ink.
The invitation reads: “His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales KG KT requests the pleasure of the company of [name of guest] at the marriage of His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales with Ms Meghan Markle at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle on Saturday 19th May, 2018 at 12 Noon followed by a reception at Windsor Castle.”
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. pic.twitter.com/gQpC6tDot0
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) 22 March 2018
On the invitation, the royal couple did acknowledge the fact that Markle has been divorced once before. For a first marriage, the bride-to-be would traditionally be addressed as “Miss,” but in this case, “Miss” was replaced with “Ms.”
How many guests will be attending the royal wedding?
600 guests have been invited to the church service at St George’s Chapel and the lunchtime reception at St George’s Hall, which will be hosted by the Queen.
Later that evening, 200 guests will attend a private reception hosted by Prince Charles at Frogmore House.
Kensington Palace announced in March that Prince Harry and Meghan have invited 2,640 members of the public to the grounds of Windsor Castle to “watch the arrivals of the bride and groom and their guests.”
Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle will invite 2,640 members of the public to Windsor Castle on their wedding day to watch the arrivals of the Bride and Groom and their guests and the carriage procession as it departs from the castle. pic.twitter.com/pII5T4Ctcm
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) 2 March 2018
The couple have also asked Lord Lieutenants to invite 1,200 people who have served their communities, a futher 200 people from charities and organisations that the couple have a close association with and 100 pupils from two local schools.
Finally, 610 Windsor Castle community members will attend as well as 530 members of the Royal households and Crown Estate.
Which celebrities are attending the royal wedding?
While nothing has been officially announced regarding which famous faces will be attending Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding, there are some celebs rumoured to be top of the guest list.
Elton John was good friends with Prince Harry’s late mother, Princess Diana, and performed “Candle in the Wind” at her funeral in 1997.
Back in February, Elton rescheduled his concerts that were planned the same weekend as Harry and Meghan’s nuptials, which caused many fans to speculate that the singer may be making an appearance at the wedding.
According to TMZ, Elton is booked to sing at the nuptials.
The Spice Girls
During an appearance on American talk show The Real in February, Mel B appeared to drop a huge hint that the Spice Girls may be attending the royal wedding.
She revealed herself and her fellow bandmates have received invitations to the nuptials.
“Yeah I'm going,” she quietly mouthed during the show. “I don't know if I should've said that.”
Meghan’s Suits colleagues
After starring in seven series of US legal drama Suits, Markle has built a close friendship with her former colleagues so it’s likely they could be attending the royal wedding to watch their pal say “I do.”
Meghan is good friends with her on-screen partner Patrick J. Adams and her former co-star Sarah Rafferty, so we may see them at the nuptials.
A host of Meghan's co-stars arrived in the UK in the week leading up to the wedding, including Gabriel Macht and Jacinda Barrett.
Which world leaders will be there?
Kensington Palace announced that Prince Harry and Meghan have not invited political leaders to their wedding.
“It has been decided that an official list of political leaders -- both UK and international -- is not required for Prince Harry and Ms. Markle's wedding,” the statement read. "Her Majesty's Government was consulted on this decision, which was taken by the royal household."
This means Prime Minister Theresa May and US President Donald Trump won't be attending the wedding.
Which of Harry’s ex-girlfriends will be attending?
It's been reported that Cressida Bonas is the only one of Harry's ex-girlfriends attending his wedding to Meghan.
However, one of Harry's other exes Chelsy Davy has reportedly been "snubbed" from the royal weeding reception.
A source told the Daily Mail that Chelsy is "shocked" and "a little hurt" that she hasn't received an invite to the evening reception at Frogmore House.
Which of Meghan’s family members are expected to attend?
Kensington Palace announced in May that Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, will be attending the wedding.
Doria will travel with Meghan by car to Windsor Castle on the big day.
However, Meghan's father, Thomas Markle, will not be attending the nuptials.
Thomas reportedly underwent heart surgery on May 16 after apparently suffering a heart attack.
On May 17, Meghan released a statement via Kensington Palace saying: "Sadly, my father will not be attending our wedding.
"I have always cared for my father and hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health.
"I would like to thank everyone who has offered generous messages of support."
Meanwhile, Meghan's half-sister Samantha Markle, who has been opening critical of Meghan, said she hasn't been invited to the wedding.
During an appearance on Loose Women on May 14, Samantha said she's "not taking it personally".
When asked if she was hurt about not receiving an invite, Samantha added: "I would be lying to say we weren’t.
"For some of us the travel is not very easy. I am in a wheelchair. I had to evaluate even if I had been invited, it would have been a bit difficult."
Samantha added that she will still be watching the nuptials on the day.
Meanwhile, Meghan’s half brother, Thomas Markle Jr., said he hasn’t received an invite to the wedding either.
"I haven't got an invite yet but I do expect to get one," he told Daily Mail. "It would be really nice [to get an invitation] and it would mean a lot.
"I do expect one and I'm looking forward to going. I don't see why not. It is what it is. I am family, estranged or not."
Will the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge bring the baby Louis?
Prince William and Duchess Kate welcomed their third child on April 23, just three weeks before Harry and Meghan's wedding.
The couple welcomed a second son, His Royal Highness Prince Louis of Cambridge.
It's unlikely the newest edition of the royal family will be attending the wedding.
WHO IS GOING TO BE IN THE WEDDING PARTY
Who will Meghan Markle’s bridesmaids be?
Kensington Palace announced that Meghan will have six bridesmaids in total.
Meghan's bridesmaids are all younger than eight-years-old, which keeps with royal tradition.
Meghan's first bridesmaid will be the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's three-year-old daughter, Princess Charlotte.
Joining Charlotte will be three-year-old Florence van Cutsem, who is Harry's goddaughter.
Meghan's goddaughter Remi Litt, six, will also be a bridesmaid, as well as Remi's older sister Rylan Litt, who is also Meghan's goddaughter.
Meghan's best friend Jessica Mulroney's four-year-old daughter Ivy Mulroney will be a bridesmaid.
Finally, the youngest bridesmaid will be two-year-old Zalie Warren, who is Harry's goddaughter.
Will Prince George will be a page boy?
Yes! Prince George will be a page boy at the royal wedding.
Kensington Palace announced that George, four, will be one of four page boys.
Joining Prince George in page boy duties will be Prince Harry's godson Master Jasper Dyer, six.
Meghan's friend Jessica Mulroney's two sons will also be page boys - Brian Mulroney and John Mulroney, both seven.
Who will be Prince Harry’s best man?
Kensington Palace announced that Prince Harry has asked his older brother William to be his best man at his wedding to Meghan.
Harry served as best man to the Duke of Cambridge's wedding to Duchess Kate in 2011, so William was bound to return the favour.
The Duke of Cambridge has said he's "honoured" to be asked to stand with Harry as he marries Markle.
A statement from Kensington Palace said: "Prince Harry has asked his brother The Duke of Cambridge to be his Best Man at his wedding to Ms. Meghan Markle.
Prince Harry has asked his brother The Duke of Cambridge to be his Best Man at his wedding to Ms. Meghan Markle. pic.twitter.com/7TvZ2VlEk2
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) 26 April 2018
"Prince Harry served as best man to The Duke of Cambridge at his wedding to Miss Catherine Middleton in 2011.
"The Duke of Cambridge 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."
Who will be giving Meghan Markle away?
The bride’s father traditionally walks his daughter down the aisle which is due to the old-fashioned tradition of “giving his daughter away.”
At the beginning of May, Kensington Palace announced that Meghan's dad Thomas Markle would be walking her down the aisle but following health issues, Thomas is no longer attending the wedding.
Kensington Palace announced on May 18 that Meghan has asked Harry's father, Prince Charles, to walk her down the aisle.
In a statement, the palace said: "Ms. Meghan Markle has asked His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to accompany her down the aisle of the Quire of St George's Chapel on her wedding day.
"The Prince of Wales is pleased to be able to welcome Ms. Markle to the royal family in this way."
THE DRESS AND THE OUTFITS
What will Meghan Markle’s wedding dress be like?
Let's be honest, one of the most important aspects of any wedding is the bride's dress.
It's been the question everyone has been wondering since Harry and Meghan got engaged: What will Meghan's dress look like?
Well, Meghan will reportedly follow in her soon-to-be sister-in-law the Duchess of Cambridge’s footsteps and wear two gowns - one for the ceremony and one for the evening reception at Frogmore House.
It’s been rumoured that she will have a traditional dress for the ceremony and daytime reception, and a glamorous, more sophisticated gown for the evening.
Even though the design of the dress is being kept a top secret, Markle previously revealed what her perfect wedding gown would be like.
In March 2016, before she and Harry had even met, Meghan told Glamour magazine: “I have the luxury of wearing beautiful pieces of clothing every day for work, so my personal style—wedding or not—is very pared down and relaxed.
“Classic and simple is the name of the game, perhaps with a modern twist. I personally prefer wedding dresses that are whimsical or subtly romantic.”
However, we won't actually know what Meghan's dress looks like until the wedding day.
Who is designing Meghan’s dress?
Rumours about which designer will be designing the most talked-about dress of the year has been rife ever since Harry and Meghan’s engagement was announced in November 2017.
Markle has reportedly chose a designer and had her first fitting at Kensington Palace in January 2018.
But which designer could she have chosen?
Ralph and Russo
Ralph and Russo is potentially one of the favourites to design Meghan's wedding dress.
The British designers created the stunning, and pricey, gown Meghan wore in the couple's official engagement photos in December 2017.
Behind the gorgeous designs is couple Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo. They specialise in dresses decked out in feathers, crystals and ruffles.
Another designer that has been under speculation is Meghan’s BFF Roland Mouret. In February, the French designer’s comments raised suspicion.
“I don’t want to say,” he told Women’s Wear Daily when asked if he was the one designing her gown. “No comment. It’s… there is no comment on that. She’s a friend. And that’s… I can’t say.”
Alexander McQueen was behind Duchess Kate’s traditional wedding gown. Some fans believe this British label could be behind Meghan’s dress too.
In December 2017, Israeli designer Inbal Dror told TMZ she was contacted by the royal family about possibly designing Markle’s gown.
The outlet obtained three sketches of three different dresses that Dror sent to Kensington Palace.
All three were apparently long sleeved and “body-hugging.”
Who will design Meghan’s shoes?
It’s hard to predict which shoes Meghan will wear on her wedding day, especially given we don’t even know what her dress looks like.
The chances are we will have to wait until the wedding day to see what she chooses.
But, in the meantime, there is some speculation surrounding certain designers.
Alexander McQueen’s Sarah Burton designed Duchess Kate’s white lace pumps for her wedding in 2011, so she could be doing the same for Meghan.
Sarah Flint is one of Meghan’s favourite shoe designers and she wore a pair of the designer's flats for her first public outing with Prince Harry, at the Invictus Games in September 2017.
In March, Flint unveiled a limited-edition Bridal collection of pumps and flats which would be perfect for the bride-to-be.
Aruna Seth is another likely choice as she has close ties with the royal family.
The British designer has dressed Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie and Duchess Kate in the past. She also dressed Pippa Middleton for her sister Kate’s wedding day in 2011.
Which tiara will Meghan wear?
It hasn’t been confirmed which tiara Meghan will wear on the big day but it won’t be the Cartier Halo tiara that Duchess Kate wore in 2011, because it will be on display at the National Gallery of Australia until June 22.
One tiara that could be an option is late Princess Diana’s The Spencer Tiara.
Markle’s engagement ring features two small diamonds from Diana’s personal jewellery collection, so wearing Diana’s wedding tiara could be another way the couple chooses to honour her legacy.
What will Prince Harry wear?
Just like Meghan, Prince Harry’s attire for his wedding day is being kept under wraps.
Many have speculated that Harry will follow in his older brother Prince William’s footsteps and wear uniform. William wore the red Irish Guards Mounted Officer's uniform for his wedding.
But, according to royal commentator and former Army officer Alastair Bruce, we might not to see Harry in uniform when he ties the knot with Meghan.
Bruce told Cosmopolitan: “As Prince Harry is no longer a serving officer in the Armed Forces, it is unlikely he will wear a uniform. However, he could, if he wishes, as he holds a special position as a Member of the Royal Family.”
Alastair said the couple’s chosen location, St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, makes it more likely Harry will choose to wear a morning suit instead.
But, if Harry does opt for a uniform, Alastair described what he could possibly go for.
“If he wears a uniform it would probably be that of Captain in the Blues and Royals, part of the Household Cavalry Regiment, which was his uniform while serving,” he said.
“With this, he often selects the Army Air Corps light blue beret because he was an Apache helicopter pilot, memorably during his service in Afghanistan.”
What is the dress code for guests?
The dress code for Harry and Meghan’s guests was revealed on the invitations.
And guests can breathe a sigh of relief because they don’t have to follow a strict or fussy dress code.
The dress code requests an “uniform, morning suit or lounge suit” for men, and a “day dress with hat” for women.
If you’re wondering what exactly a lounge suit is, it’s simply a suit worn with a shirt and tie.
A morning suit is slightly more formal and is traditional for men to wear at weddings and formal events in the presence of the Queen.
It involves a black or grey coat, a double or single-breasted waistcoat, polished shoes, a handkerchief in the breast pocket and a top hat.
Meanwhile, a day dress for women is ideally knee length and reasonably formal.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE CEREMONY
What security measures will be in place?
The security measures that will be in place for Prince Harry and Meghan's wedding is said to be “amongst the largest in Thames Valley Police’s history,” with up to 100,000 people expected on the streets.BBC News reported Windsor will be “cordoned off and people will have to go through full body scanners to get to the town.”
A “screening and search” regime will apparently be introduced prior to the couple’s big day.
In addition to this, items police deem a “security risk,” including tents, will be banned in Windsor leading up to the wedding.
According to the BBC, “automatic number plate recognition technology, CCTV and hostile vehicle mitigation barriers” will be put in place.
Shops and buildings will be searched in the days leading up to the wedding and trains will be stopped from calling at Windsor station if the number of people in the town causes a “public safety risk.”
It’s said police officers, both armed and unarmed, search dogs, police horses and the National Police Air Service will increase their presence around Windsor.
Several other forces, including British Transport Police, the Met and Surrey police and the Army, will also be involved in the operation.
Thames Valley Police said in the week leading up to the wedding: "Recently we have had a lot of officers in Windsor doing subterranean searches - checking drains, manhole covers, street furniture, lampposts, bins.
"Mainly operating in the areas where people are going to be."
Drones have been banned due to privacy and security.
Where will the carriage parade be?
After their ceremony at St George’s Chapel, Harry and Meghan will embark on a two-mile parade through the grounds of Windsor Castle.
The route will see the newlyweds tour through Windsor’s historical streets, allowing the public to catch a glimpse at the couple and share the special day with them.
At 1pm on the big day, Harry and Meghan, now married, will travel from St George’s Chapel through Windsor Town before returning to Windsor Castle along The Long Walk.
According to a statement released by Kensington Palace in February, the couple hope the carriage procession will “provide the opportunity for more people to come together around Windsor and to enjoy the atmosphere of this special day.”
What will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s titles be?
When Meghan marries Prince Harry, she will no longer be known as simply ‘Meghan Markle,' she will have a royal title too.
However, it’s still unclear what titles she and her husband-to-be will be given by the Queen.
But one thing’s for sure, she won’t be known as Princess Meghan.
When Prince William married Kate Middleton, the pair became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge so it’s likely Harry will also be given a royal dukedom too.
It’s rumoured the pair will become the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
If Harry retains his current rank – His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales – it’s said Meghan may become Her Royal Highness Princess Henry of Wales.
What will the wedding rings be like?
Meghan’s wedding ring could be made of Welsh gold because that’s been a tradition the royal family have held since 1923.
It isn’t known if Harry will wear a ring or not. His brother Prince William chose not to wear one while his father Prince Charles wears a gold band.
Who will conduct Harry and Meghan’s wedding?
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding ceremony will be conducted by the Dean of Windsor David Conner.
The service will begin at 12pm and will end around an hour later.
Will there be a special reference to Princess Diana?
There’s no doubt Prince Harry will ensure his late mother Princess Diana’s memory plays a part in his wedding.
One way the couple is reportedly paying tribute to Diana is with Meghan’s wedding bouquet, which will apparently be made up of white garden roses.
The choice of flower is sentimental because white garden roses were one of Diana’s favourite flowers.
In 2017, to honour the 20th anniversary of her death, a temporary garden was opened at Kensington Palace called the “White Garden,” which included a large assortment of white roses.
Royal experts have also suggested Meghan and Harry might select one of Diana’s favourite hymns for the wedding ceremony.
Expert Richard Fitzwilliams told the Express: “There will undoubtedly be an aspect or aspects of the wedding service that will link with Diana, perhaps by including one of her favorite hymns, I Vow to Thee My Country, which was sung at her funeral.”
What will the flowers be like and who is designing them?
Prince Harry and Meghan have chosen London based florist Philippa Craddock to design and create the church flowers for their wedding.
Kensington Palace announced that Philippa will “direct a team, including florists from St George’s Chapel and Buckingham Palace” to create displays at St George’s Chapel for the ceremony and at St George’s Hall for the reception.
It’s not clear what colour scheme the couple have decided to go for, but the designs will feature white garden roses, peonies and foxgloves, along with branches of beech, birch and hornbeam.
Peonies are believed to be one of Markle’s favourite flowers.
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) 1 April 2018
Flowers and plants that are in season and blooming naturally in May will also be used.
Speaking about having the opportunity to design the royal couple’s flowers, Craddock said: “I am excited and honoured to have been chosen by Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle to design and create their wedding flowers."
She said the final designs will “represent them as a couple.”
What will the music be like during the ceremony?
There will be a variety of musicians, choral groups and soloists performing at Harry and Meghan’s ceremony.
According to Kensington Palace, Harry and Meghan have “taken a great deal of interest and care in choosing the music for their service” and it will include several “well-known hymns and choral works.”
The music will be under the direction of James Vivian, Director of Music, St George’s Chapel, including the Choir of St George's Chapel, and a selection of choral groups, soloists, and musicians: pic.twitter.com/FjBvyW5FwE
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) 24 April 2018
The music will be under the direction of James Vivian, Director of Music at St George’s Chapel.
The Choir of St George’s Chapel
Conducted by James Vivian, the Choir consists of up to 23 boy choristers from St George’s School and 12 adult singers singing alto, tenor and bass.
Sheku Kanneh-Mason is a 19-year-old cellist who won BBC Young Musician in 2016.
He is a student at the Royal Academy of Music and released his debut album, Inspiration, in 2018.
19-year-old cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, winner of 2016 @BBCYoungMus. Last June, Prince Harry saw Sheku play at an event in London in support of the work of Antiguan charity the Halo Foundation. pic.twitter.com/C3QSfcbXJl
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) 24 April 2018
“I’m so excited and honoured to perform at Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle’s wedding,” Sheku said. “I was bowled over when Ms. Markle called me to ask if I would play during the ceremony, and of course I immediately said yes!”
In June 2017, Harry saw Sheku play at an event in London in support of the work of Antiguan charity the Halo Foundation.
Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir
The Kingdom Choir is a Christian gospel group made up of 20 singers based in South-East of England.
The Choir was founded by conductor Karen Gisbon and the singers have been performing nationally and internationally for over two decades.
Speaking about being given the opportunity to perform at the couple’s nuptials, Karen said: “The Kingdom Choir is truly honoured to be invited to sing at the wedding and very excited to be taking part in such a historic moment.
Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir. The Choir is made up of a group of British artists dedicated to creating a sound that demonstrates the community they share, and has been performing both nationally and internationally for over 20 years. pic.twitter.com/tae19p6G6E
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) 24 April 2018
“It will be a moment that we will always treasure.”
The final musicians preparing to perform at the wedding is members of an Orchestra. It will be conducted by Christopher Warren-Green and will be made up of musicians from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the English Chamber Orchestra and the Philharmonia.
Welsh soprano Elin Manahan Thomas will join the orchestra along with David Blackadder, who will play the trumpet, Luke Bond, who will play the Organ, and State Trumpeters drawn from all ranks of the Band of the Household Cavalary.
Who will be the wedding photographer?
Harry and Meghan have chosen Alexi Lubomirski as their wedding photographer.
Lubomirski, who photographed the couple for their engagement photos, will be at Windsor Castle in May to take the official wedding shots, Kensington Palace announced.
Expressing his delight, Alexi said in a statement: “I could not be more thrilled or honoured to photograph this historic occasion."
During his photography career, Alexi has photographed the likes of Beyoncé, Gwyneth Paltrow, Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman and Scarlett Johansson.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN DURING THE RECEPTIONS?
What is planned for the receptions?
Following their ceremony at St George’s Chapel and their carriage parade around the town of Windsor, Prince Harry and Meghan will have their first reception at St George’s Hall, a room within Windsor Castle.
Approximately 600 guests have been invited to the ceremony and then the reception, which is being hosted by the Queen.
Later that evening, Harry’s father Prince Charles will give a private reception at Frogmore House for the couple and 200 close friends and family members.
Which cake will they have?
Prince Harry and Meghan’s cake will be made by pastry chef and owner of London-based Violet Bakery, Claire Ptak.
Kensington Palace announced that Claire will be creating a “lemon elderflower cake” for the couple.
Harry and Meghan asked Claire to incorporate the “bright flavours of spring” for their wedding.
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) 20 March 2018
The cake will be “covered with buttercream and decorated with fresh flowers.”
Claire, who was raised in California, focuses on using “seasonal and organic ingredients” in her cakes.
Claire said in a statement: “I can't tell you how delighted I am to be chosen to make Prince Harry and Ms Markle's wedding cake."
Harry and Meghan’s choice to have a lemon elderflower cake goes against tradition as royal wedding cakes are typically fruitcake.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge chose a traditional eight-tier fruitcake covered in white icing and decorated with sugar flowers for their 2011 wedding.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana had a five-foot high fruitcake with cream cheese frosting for their 1981 nuptials.
What will guests dine on at the breakfast?
Keeping with royal tradition, Harry and Meghan’s ceremony at St George’s Chapel will be followed by a wedding breakfast – a dinner given to the newlyweds and their guests at the wedding reception.
But the breakfast probably won’t be bacon and eggs as royal breakfasts typically include lobster, lamb and champers.
The exact wedding breakfast menu is most certainly under wraps, but it could include some typical British dishes as well as American cuisine to give a nod back to Markle’s US roots.
At the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding breakfast reception in 2011, the newlyweds and their guests started with marinated salmon, Lyme Bay crab and wild Hebridean langoustines served with a 2009 Meursault wine.
They then enjoyed organic lamb with spring vegetables and sauce Windsor, before indulging on a trio of sherry trifle, chocolate parfait and honey ice cream for dessert.
Who will give a speech?
Traditionally only the groom, father of the bride, and the best man make speeches at British wedding receptions.
But, Markle will reportedly break that tradition and is planning to deliver a speech of her own at her wedding to Prince Harry.
According to the Telegraph, her speech will offer an “affectionate” praise of her new husband and thanks to the Queen, her family and friends as well as include some jokes.
It's almost certain Prince William will deliver a speech during one of the receptions on their big day because he is Harry's best man.
On the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding day, Harry paid a moving tribute to his brother during a heartfelt speech at their evening reception.
Meghan's father is not attending the wedding so her mother, Doria Ragland may give a speech at the reception instead.
What will be Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s first dance?
It’s not yet known which song Harry and Meghan will choose for their first dance.
Shortly after the couple announced their engagement, Kensington Palace said their wedding will "reflect the characters of the Bride and Groom."
So, who will be given the chance to sing in front of royalty?
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge bagged Ellie Goulding to sing Elton John's Your Song for their first dance, so it's likely Harry and Meghan will also have a famous star to sing for their first dance.
One singer that has been rumoured to be hired as the couple’s wedding singer is Ed Sheeran.
In 2017, 1 in 7 couples chose his hit song Thinking Out Loud for their first dance tune.
Ed has a royal seal of approval as he was awarded an MBE by Prince Charles in December 2017 for services to charity and music.
Meanwhile, according to TMZ, Elton John is booked to sing at the nuptials.
One possible song that the couple could dance to is Whitney Houston’s I Wanna Dance With Somebody.
In an interview with Lifestyle magazine in 2016, Meghan expressed her love for the song: “When I’m happy I listen to Whitney Houston, ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody.’ Such a good song!”
Her wedding day will undoubtedly be the happiest day of her life, so it could be put on the wedding playlist.
Will the Spice Girls be performing?
There are rumours the Spice Girls will be bringing some spice to Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding.
During an appearance on American daytime show The Real in February, Mel B appeared to drop a huge hint that the Spice Girls could be performing at the reception.
She was asked by co-host Loni Love if she knew anyone who would be attending and she quietly replied: “I’m going.”
The panel went wild and Loni asked the singer if the Spice Girls would be performing.
“I swear I’m just like…” she started, before Loni jumped in and said: “Yes, they are performing! Yes!”
“I need to go,” Mel B said, throwing the papers she was holding into the air. “You’re going to get me fired! Let’s not talk about it anymore. Let’s pretend that I never said that.”
But fans’ dreams may be shattered as Mel C (a.k.a Sporty Spice) said Mel B was probably making a joke.
“I think [Mel B] was joking,” she told E! News. “I think the media ran with it a little bit. My invite hasn’t turned up yet.”
Is there a gift list?
No, Prince Harry and Meghan have asked people to consider donating to a charity rather than give them a wedding gift.
According to a statement released by Kensington Palace in April, the couple have “personally selected” seven organisations they would like to support.
The pair have chosen charities which represent a range of issues that they are “passionate” about, including “sport for social change, women’s empowerment, conservation, the environment, homelessness, HIV and the Armed Forces.”
Prince Harry & Ms. Meghan Markle are incredibly grateful for the goodwill they have received since their engagement, & have asked that anyone who might wish to mark the occasion of their wedding considers giving to charity, instead of sending a gift. https://t.co/lzfrRmoeUv pic.twitter.com/nxrTZtIKBY
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) 9 April 2018
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge did the same for their 2011 wedding and managed to raise more than £1 million for their chosen charities.
What are the wedding favours?
It’s believed Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will spend around £3,000 on wedding favours.
It’s unclear what gifts the couple will give as a gesture of appreciation to their guests, but Harry and Meghan will undoubtedly take the time to think of the perfect present.
Prince William and Kate Middleton chose to gift their guests with limited-edition scarves custom-designed by Centex, a posh apparel company based in India, inscribed with "April 29th, 2011; William and Kate."
When will we see a royal kiss?
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s smooch on the balcony of the Buckingham Palace was one of the most memorable moments from their 2011 wedding, but will Harry and Meghan do the same?
Seeing as they want the public to “feel part of the celebrations,” it’s likely they will share a public kiss at one point in the day.
Royal correspondent Victoria Arbiter suggested the newlyweds may share a kiss on their carriage parade around the town of Windsor.
She told the Express: “This couple are so touchy feeling, so incredibly tactile. I’m hoping we might get a couple of kisses on the carriage ride.
“It’s about a two-mile ride through Windsor, post wedding, so I think we might see a kiss then.”
But royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams has a different view and thinks the kiss will happen earlier.
He believes the “significant and historic” moment will happen on the steps of St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
Is there memorabilia available to buy?
Yes! The Royal Collection Trust has unveiled a range of cornflower blue china that will be sold at the Queen’s Gallery shop at Buckingham Palace.
Pieces that will be available to buy will include a set of tea cups decorated with Harry and Meghan’s initials in 22 carat gold. Tea cups are priced at £25.
The collection also includes matching china plates, which also have Harry and Meghan’s initials written on them, and circular pillboxes with the wedding dates written in gold on the inside and the couple’s initials written on the outside.
The plates are priced at an eye watering £49.00 while the pillboxes are priced at £35.
And if you want to make a toast to the happy couple, you can buy a royal wedding miniature bottle of champagne for £19.95.
The collection is available to buy at the Royal Collection trust shops at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, as well as online on the Royal Collection website.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR THE ROYAL COUPLE?
Where will they be going on their honeymoon?
Once Prince Harry and Meghan exchange their vows and get the receptions over with, the newlyweds will jet off on their honeymoon.
There are a few destinations that the couple could choose from, but which one will be the perfect getaway?
Africa is a strong contender in potential honeymoon destinations Harry and Meghan might choose.
Namibia in South Africa has been tipped as a possible honeymoon spot for the lovers.
According to a Travel + Leisure source, Prince Harry and Meghan will be staying at the country’s luxury camp, Natural Selection’s Hoanib Valley Camp.
It would be the perfect place of tranquillity for the couple as it’s one of the least densely populated countries in the world.
In Namibia, the couple would be able to enjoy a variety of safari tours and they could also check out the Sossusvlei sand dunes.
Botswana is the destination where the couple spent time camping under the stars in the early days of their relationship.
Meghan’s engagement ring was even custom-made using a stone from Botswana in the center, so it's a sentimental destination for the couple.
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) 19 January 2017
Botswana is close to Harry’s heart as he is the royal patron of the Rhino Conservation Botswana.
North Island, Seychelles
Harry may copy his older brother’s honeymoon destination choice and book out North Island, a £5,000-a-night private island where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge honeymooned in 2011.
Barbados could be another likely option seeing as Prince Harry is a huge fan of the Caribbean country.
He has visited Barbados several times and celebrated the country's 50th Anniversary of Independence in 2016.
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) 2 December 2016
And Meghan is bound to like the thought of a Caribbean getaway, who wouldn’t?
What’s next for the royal couple?
After they officially become husband and wife, what will Prince Harry and Meghan’s postnuptial life entail?
Many are speculating it won’t take long before the couple start a family.
In their post-engagement interview with BBC News, the pair opened up about the possibility of having children in the future.
Mishal Husain asked the couple: “Children?” to which Harry cheekily replied: “Not currently, no.”
After Harry and Meghan shared a chuckle, he added: “One step at a time and hopefully we’ll start a family in the near future.”
Royal expert Katie Nicholl, who wrote the book Harry: Life, Loss and Love, told Entertainment Tonight: “My sources are saying that Prince Harry, particularly, is very keen to start a family, pretty soon after the royal wedding. He’s made no secret about wanting children.”
Nicholl claims Meghan is “very doting with children” and “very maternal and she was thrilled to meet George and Charlotte [The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s children].”
If the couple choose to have children, they will be lords and ladies, not princes and princesses.