The biggest announcement of the year came on November 27 – Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s engagement. Harry popped the question earlier in the month at his home Nottingham Cottage in Kensington Palace over a roast chicken dinner. Since the revelation, we have learnt a lot about the romantic proposal – from Meghan revealing that she couldn’t wait to say yes, to the fact Harry designed her engagement ring himself – paying tribute to Princess Diana in the process. When it comes to their spring wedding next year – we have all the details so far, including the fact that the couple are eager for the public to "feel part of their day" too.
The date and time
It has been announced that the wedding will fall on May 19. The choice of month is no coincidence for the happy couple. Generally, royal weddings take place a few months after an engagement. Prince William and Kate married five months after their announcement. The service will begin at 7 a.m. (ET) and once the ceremony wraps around 8 a.m. (ET), royal onlookers will get the chance to glimpse the newlyweds as they take a carriage procession around Windsor Castle. The pair said they hope that the journey will allow for more people to come together around the town to enjoy their special day.
Kensington Palace press unveiled that Harry and Meghan will get married in St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. The venue is described as a "very special place" for Harry, and is somewhere the couple had spent time together during their romance. The last royals to marry there were Princess Anne's son Peter Phillips and Autumn Kelly in 2008, while Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones tied the knot there in 1999. In 2005, meanwhile, Harry's father the Prince of Wales had his union with the Duchess of Cornwall. Prince Harry's cousin Princess Eugenie and her fiance Jack Brooksbank will walk down the aisle at St George's just a few months after Harry and Meghan, on October 12.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has said that Harry and Meghan would get married in a church, saying: "I am so happy that Prince Harry and Ms Markle have chosen to make their vows before God." It is not clear yet if he will officiate their special day. What will it be like? So far there have been few details on what the wedding itself will be like, but both Harry and Meghan have said that they want the public "to feel part of their day". A royal spokesman said that the day will "reflect the characters of the bride and groom," and that it will be full of "fun and joy." Harry's communication's secretary Jason Knauf added that they 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 is also expected that Prince George and Princess Charlotte - who Meghan has met a number of times - will be pageboy and bridesmaid.
It was confirmed on Tuesday that the royal family will pay for the wedding, including the church service, the music, the flowers and the reception.
The Queen and other senior members of the royal family will attend, including Harry's brother – the Duke of Cambridge, his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge and their children Prince George and Prince Charlotte, along with the couple's new baby – who is due in April. Harry's aunt Sarah Ferguson, who was not at William and Kate's wedding, was revealed to be invited. It is also expected that Meghan's friends, including Serena Williams and Jessica Mulroney will also attend – possibly even as bridesmaids.
The reception will take place at St George's Hall, which will see Harry and Meghan's wedding guests attend, and later in the evening Prince Charles will host a private reception for the pair and their close circle of friends and family.
The couple are expected to set up a wedding fund for guests to donate to charity instead of bringing lavish gifts. According to the Mail Online, a source explained that Harry "doesn't want guests spending lots of time buying him extravagant presents, but he does want them to support his charity work."
Breaking with tradition
Last month, it was reported that Meghan will break royal tradition by giving a speech at their wedding. The Sunday Times reported the former actress will deliver an "affectionate" toast to thank her new husband, the Queen and her friends and family. Meghan may even dare to make a couple of jokes, the report added.