It has officially been announced that Prince Harry and his fiancée Meghan Markle will marry in May at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. At a briefing held at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday (Nov 28) afternoon - just one day after the couple's engagement was announced - Harry's communications secretary Jason Knauf confirmed the couple's choice of wedding venue. He described Windsor Castle as a "very special place" for Harry, adding that he and Meghan had spent time there together during their 16-month romance. He said the couple were delighted to be holding the wedding in the "beautiful grounds of Windsor” and that the couple would be putting their stamp on their wedding day. "They will be making sure it reflects who they are as a couple," he said.
It was also confirmed that the royal family will pay for the wedding, including the church service, the music, the flowers and the reception, and that Meghan, a protestant, will be baptized and confirmed before the big day. The American actress, who will become a senior HRH on marrying into the royals, also intends to become a British citizen. It was further revealed that Harry and Meghan will make their first official joint engagement together this Friday in Nottingham.
A great deal of thought will have gone into choosing the wedding date, with aides tasked with syncing up the diaries of the members of the royal family to ensure everyone can attend. Consideration was also clearly given to Duchess Kate's due date; the 35-year-old is set to welcome her third child with Prince William in April, and the May nuptials fall comfortably after that time period. Harry and Meghan are also choosing to follow a precedent which dictates royal weddings take place just a few months after the engagement announcement; William and Kate announced their engagement in November 2010 and were married the following April, while the Queen and Prince Philip tied the knot four months after their engagement was confirmed in July 1947.
The wedding venue, meanwhile, holds particular significance for Harry. The 33-year-old was christened in St George's Chapel in 1984, and it is also where his father Prince Charles chose to marry the Duchess of Cornwall in 2005. Other family members who married in the Chapel include Harry's cousin Peter Phillips, who wed Autumn Kelly there in May 2008, and Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex in 1999. It is also the final resting place for many deceased monarchs and royal family members, including Henry VIII, Charles I, Jane Seymour, the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret.
The Chapel is located in the Lower Ward of Windsor Castle – one of the Queen and Prince Philip's principal residences. There had been speculation that Harry might chose to marry in St Paul's Cathedral, where his parents, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, were married in 1981, or indeed at Westminster Abbey, where his brother Prince William tied the knot. It seems, however, the couple have opted for a more low-key affair, with the venue offering them more privacy on their special day. The Chapel is surrounded by the Horseshoe Cloisters and the Henry VII gate, meaning the wedding party and guests will be kept largely out of the public eye.
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