Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal wedding: The date, details and latest news

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will marry at St George’s Chapel in Windsor on May 19 [Photo: Getty]

The countdown to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding is finally over. The couple’s long-awaited wedding takes place today at St George’s Chapel in Windsor.

We know that Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle, definitely won’t be attending the nuptials and instead Meghan will begin her bridal procession alone, meeting Prince Charles halfway.

We also know that Prince George will be a page boy in the bridal party and Princess Charlotte a bridesmaid.

And it’s been confirmed that the Duke of Edinburgh, 96, who’s been battling ill health, will definitely attend.

It’s set to be a historic day.

Here’s everything else you need to know…

When will the royal wedding take place?

Traditionally, members of the Royal Family tie the knot on a weekday.

For instance, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge said their ‘I do’s’ on Friday 29 April 2011 while the royal brothers’ mother, Princess Diana, married Prince Charles on Wednesday 29 July 1981.

Prince Charles wed Princess Diana on Wednesday 29 July, 1981 [Photo: Getty]

But Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are set to break royal protocol at their nuptials, as they will wed on Saturday 19 May 2018.

It it likely that the soon-to-be newlyweds chose the date as a consequence to the fact that the UK government decided against marking their wedding as a public holiday. This way, the nation can enjoy the ceremony whether they’re lining the streets with a flag to hand or hosting a party at home.

What time is the royal wedding?

The couple will tie the knot at 12pm BST. Guests will arrive between 9.30am and 11am, after which members of the Royal Family will start to arrive from 11:20am.

Meghan herself is expected to arrive just before the wedding begins at midday.

Following the service, Meghan and Harry will begin their celebratory procession through Windsor, which is expected to last 25 minutes.

The couple will then begin their post-wedding celebrations with a reception at Windsor Castle. An evening reception, with 200 of their 600 guests, will complete the day at Frogmore House.

Read our hour-by-hour guide for further information.

Harry and Meghan’s wedding will begin at 12pm BST. [Photo: PA]

Does the royal wedding clash with the FA Cup Final?

No. As Harry and Meghan’s wedding starts at midday and will end by around 2pm (following a celebratory carriage ride around Windsor), there’s likely to be plenty of time until the FA Cup Final. Recent FA Cup Finals have kicked-off at around 5.30pm.

Where will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle say their vows?

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will tie the knot at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, where Harry was christened.

Harry and Meghan will tie the knot at St George’s Chapel in Windsor [Photo: Getty]

And the famous building is no stranger to hosting royal weddings, as Prince Edward and Prince Charles both held their nuptials at the historic location.

The last time a royal wedding was held at St George’s was in 2008, when Peter Phillips – the son of Princess Anne, the Queen’s daughter – married Autumn Kelly.

St George’s Chapel in Windsor, where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will wed [Photo: PA]

Who will be giving the wedding address?

Reverend Michael Bruce Curry, the 27th Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church, will be giving the address at Harry and Meghan’s wedding.

The royal couple confirmed via Kensington Palace on Twitter, saying: “Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle have asked that The Most Reverend Michael Bruce Curry, the 27th Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church, give the address at their wedding.”

The American Bishop will travel from Chicago Illinois to Windsor to take part in the Service. He will join The Dean of Windsor, The Rt. Revd. David Conner, who will conduct the Service. 

Reverend Michael Bruce Curry [Photo: Twitter/KensingtonPalace]

Who will officiate the royal wedding?

The Archbishop of Canterbury (Justin Welby) will be the officiant for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s May 19 nuptials. And Welby recently spoke out for the first time about the upcoming wedding. In an interview with ITV news, the 62-year-old admitted that he is nervous about the global event as he joked: “I must not drop the ring.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury will officiate the royal wedding [Photo: Getty]

But despite the build-up, he insisted that the nuptials will be just like any other ceremony.

“You know, at the heart of it is two people who have fallen in love with each other, who are committing their lives to each other with the most beautiful words and profound thoughts, who do it in the presence of God,” Welby added.

Who will walk Meghan Markle down the aisle?

As a consequence to Thomas Markle‘s recent heart surgery and paparazzi set-up, the 73-year-old will no longer walk his daughter down the aisle.

On 17 May, Kensington Palace released an official statement bearing the news on behalf of Meghan.

The statement read: “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. Please know how much Harry and I look forward to sharing our special day with you on Saturday.”

A teenage Meghan Markle with her father, Thomas Markle. [Photo: Splash]

In a surprising turn of events, Kensington Palace announced a day before the wedding that Prince Charles will instead take on the role of walking Meghan down the aisle.

In the ultimate feminist move, Meghan will walk halfway down the aisle by herself before meeting Harry’s father at the Quire where he will then escort her to the foot of the altar.

Who are Harry and Meghan’s bridesmaids and page boys?

In a statement released by Kensington Palace, Harry and Meghan revealed their chosen list of bridesmaids and page boys. The couple’s bridesmaids include: Harry’s niece, Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, age 3; Miss Florence van Cutsem, goddaughter of Harry and daughter of Mrs. Alice van Cutsem and Major Nicholas van Cutsem, age 3; and Miss Remi Litt, goddaughter of Meghan and daughter of Mrs. Benita Litt and Mr. Darren Litt, age 6.

Other bridesmaids include: Miss Rylan Lit, goddaughter of Meghan and daughter of Mrs. Benita Litt and Mr. Darren Litt, age 7; Miss Ivy Mulroney, daughter of Mrs. Jessica Mulroney and Mr. Benedict Mulroney, age 4; and Miss Zalie Warren, goddaughter of Harry and daughter of Mrs. Zoe Warren and Mr. Jake Warren, age 2.

Princess Charlotte took on the role of flower girl at Pippa Middleton’s 2017 wedding [Photo: Getty]

Page boys include: Harry’s nephew, His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge, age 4; Master Jasper Dyer, godson of Harry and son of Mrs. Amanda Dyer and Mr. Mark Dyer M.V.O., age 6; Master Brian Mulroney, son of Mrs. Jessica Mulroney and Mr. Benedict Mulroney, age 7; and Master John Mulroney, the other son of Mrs. Jessica Mulroney and Mr. Benedict Mulroney, age 7.

Though it’s not the first that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s children have played a starring role at a famous nuptials. The siblings took on the roles of page boy and flower girl at Pippa Middleton’s 2017 wedding to James Mathews and undoubtedly stole the spotlight.

Will a prenup be signed?

No – according to reports. Prince Harry apparently has not asked Meghan to sign a prenuptial agreement, despite having an estimated worth of over £30 million.

Where will Meghan and Harry’s wedding reception be held?

Following the service in St George’s Chapel, 600 guests will attend a lunchtime reception at St George’s Hall, which is being given by Her Majesty The Queen.

Later that evening, 200 close friends and family members will attend a private reception at Frogmore House given by The Prince of Wales.

Where did the couple spend the night before their wedding?

The couple stayed in separate hotels in the Windsor area the night before the wedding.

Harry stayed at Coworth Park in Ascot with Prince William while Meghan and her mother, Doria Ragland, stayed in Cliveden House Hotel.

What do the wedding invitations look like?

On Thursday 22 March 2018, Kensington Palace announced that Meghan and Harry’s wedding invites had been completed and posted.

Barnard & Westwood, a company that’s held a Royal Warrant for Printing & Bookbinding by Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen since 1985, produced the invites, which were die-stamped in gold and then burnished.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding invitations were printed at the workshop of Barnard and Westwood in London [Photo: PA]

What will the royal wedding flowers look like?

The soon-to-be newlyweds have chosen London-based florist, Philippa Craddock, to design their May 19 floral displays.

Craddock, who has a studio in Fulham and a flower shop in Selfridges, will lead an expert team from St George’s Chapel and Buckingham Palace in the creation of the couple’s wedding flowers. According to Kensington Palace, they will hand-pick seasonal beech and foxgloves from the gardens of the Crown Estate and Windsor Great Park.

The team will also source white garden roses, a subtle nod to the late Princess Diana. On the 20th anniversary of her passing, royal gardeners curated the White Garden at Kensington Palace to celebrate her life.

The royal couple will donate their wedding flowers to charity after the May 19 ceremony.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have chosen Philippa Craddock to design their royal wedding flowers [Photo: Getty]

What will Meghan Markle’s wedding dress look like?

Ever since their engagement was announced, the fashion industry has fallen head over heels for Meghan’s highly-covetable wardrobe.

And the ‘Meghan Markle Effect’ is worth big bucks, as the UK economy is already estimated to cash in £500 million thanks to the royal-in-waiting.

So it comes as no surprise that the fashion crowd is readily awaiting any hint of news on her wedding gown.

It’s traditional for royal brides to don a British label when heading up the aisle but she may well choose to champion an American brand in honour of her heritage.

Victoria Beckham, Stella McCartney and Vera Wang are officially out of the game, after recently confirming that they are not behind the wedding dress despite rumours.

While a number of labels – including Roland Mouret and Erdem – have been mentioned, 36-year-old Meghan has reportedly turned to designer duo Ralph & Russo for her gown.

One thing’s for certain; it will not be a princess-inspired number, as the actress described her Suits character, Rachel Zane’s wedding dress as not her “personal style”.

Click below to see Meghan Markle’s best style moments:

How will Meghan Markle break tradition on the day?

The former Suits actress is reportedly set to break royal protocol on her wedding day, as she will deliver a speech in front of 800 guests.

According to The Sunday Times, Meghan “wants to have the chance to thank her husband and everyone who has supported them. Harry is fully behind her”.

The duchess-to-be will also break age-old tradition by walking unescorted halfway down the aisle on May 19 after her father, Thomas Markle, pulled out of the ceremony due to health problems.

What will the royal wedding music sound like?

The soon-to-be newlyweds recently confirmed who will be performing at the May 19 nuptials.

Kensington Palace revealed via Twitter, that the couple have chosen James Vivian to direct their wedding music on the big day. He will conduct the Choir of St George’s Chapel, which includes 23 choristers from the nearby St George’s School and twelve Lay Clerks.

Sheku Kanneh-Mason, winner of the 2016 BBC Young Musician award – will be also be performing at St George’s Chapel. Last June, Prince Harry saw the 19-year-old play at an event in London in support of the work of Antiguan charity the Halo Foundation and he certainly made a great impression.

Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir will also be performing on May 19. They have previously performed at the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and for other notable names such as Bill Clinton and Nelson Mandela.

Thomas Markle will receive a touching gift ahead of the royal wedding

According to People, a family coat of arms will be bestowed upon the Markle family customised with symbols which reflect their heritage and history.

The tradition follows in the footsteps of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s 2011 nuptials, as Kate Middleton’s father, Michael, received a coat of arms before his daughter’s wedding.

The Middleton family received a coat of arms ahead of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s 2011 wedding [Photo: Getty]

The Middleton crest features three acorns, which represent the couple’s three children and also pays tribute to their Berkshire residence. The coat of arms also pays reference to Carole Middleton’s maiden name, Goldsmith, thanks to a gold chevron in the middle.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge received a ‘Conjugal Coat of Arms’ two years after their wedding [Photo: Getty]

Two years after the royal wedding, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge received their own ‘conjugal coat of arms’. A red escallop shell pays tribute to the late Princess Diana’s family coat of arms and it is likely that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s future coat of arms will have a similar personal touch.

Which wedding cake will the royal couple choose?

Kensington Palace revealed on 20 March 2018 that Californian-born pastry chef Claire Ptak will be making the couple’s wedding cake.

Ptak, owner of fashionable East London bakery Violet Bakery already knows Meghan: the royal-to-be interviewed Ptak for her former lifestyle site, The Tig.

Rather than a traditional fruit cake, Harry and Meghan have chosen a lemon and elderflower number covered with buttercream and decorated with fresh flowers for their upcoming nuptials.

The recipe includes an impressive 200 Amalfi lemons, 500 organic eggs from Suffolk and 10 bottles of Sandringham Elderflower Cordial. Plus, 20kgs of butter, 20kgs of flour and 20kgs of sugar. Hands up, who else is hoping for a slice?

What role will the military play at the royal wedding?

With all eyes on the nation, British royal weddings require a certain oomph when it comes to show and pageantry. So, what better way to celebrate Harry and Meghan’s wedding than with the Armed Forces?

The Ministry of Defence has confirmed that more than 250 members of the Armed Forces will attend the May 19 nuptials due to their special relationship with Prince Harry.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle photographed alongside Sgt David Beveridge at Edinburgh Castle, during their visit to Scotland [Photo: Getty]

Regiments and units will provide ‘ceremonial support’ at the wedding and during the carriage procession. Members of the Household Cavalry will also form a ‘staircase party’ at St George’s Chapel while the State Trumpeters and a Captain’s Escort from the Household Cavalry will join in the celebrations.

 

The streets surrounding Windsor Castle will be lined with members of the Royal Marines, the Royal Gurkha Rifles and the RAF Honington.

Back in April 2006, Prince Harry joined The Blues and Royals and served with the Household Cavalry Regiment, undertaking two tours of Afghanistan and rising to the rank of Captain. So it comes as no surprise that his fellow servicemen will take part in the ceremony.

How will Harry and Meghan travel through the royal procession?

On May 19th, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will ride in the Ascot Landau carriage, one of five Ascot Landaus in the Royal Mews.

The Queen has ridden in the historic carriage before, as they were used for Her Majesty’s procession up the course at the Royal Ascot Race.

The regal vehicle has also been chosen for several other royal visits including the Queen’s coronation trip to Edinburgh and her Silver Jubilee visits to Glasgow and Cardiff.

Kensington Palace revealed that Harry and Meghan’s carriages will be led by two Windsor Grey horses named Storm and Tyrone, who are father and son. This specific breed has drawn the carriages belonging to several members of the royal family including Queen Victoria.

However, the soon-to-be newlyweds’ carriage is not quite as glamorous as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s 1902 State Landau, which was used by Princess Diana. It is likely that Harry and Meghan chose a smaller carriage in order to navigate the Windsor streets with ease.

Where to stand in Windsor if you want to watch the royal procession

Windsor is expected to be incredibly busy on the day of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding, so if you’re planning to attend it’s worth planning your route and where you’ll stand in advance.

The Long Walk is undoubtedly the best place to stand and watch the newlyweds travel by in their carriage. There 2.64 mile stretch of grass from Snow Hill to Windsor Castle means there’s a good deal of space for members of the public – however, you should arrive early to get yourself a good spot.

Another option is to position yourself along the carriage procession route (below).

Harry and Meghan’s wedding will begin at 12pm BST. [Photo: PA]

If all else fails, head to the Long Walk or Alexandra Gardens to watch the ceremony and procession on the large screens.

Will Meghan Markle’s family attend the royal wedding?

Meghan’s half-sister Samantha Grant, former sister-in-law Tracy Dooley and nephew Tyler Dooley have not been invited to the royal wedding.

But according to reports, her estranged relatives will act as royal correspondents on the big day.

And unsurprisingly, the bride-to-be isn’t thrilled by the news.

“Meghan is really worried about some these [sic] members of her family. She hasn’t spoken to them in years,” a source told Us Weekly.

The Dooley mother-and-son duo recently appeared on ‘Good Morning Britain’ to discuss Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s upcoming nuptials.

Will Sarah Ferguson attend the royal wedding?

According to reports, Prince Harry’s auntie, the Duchess of York, has received a wedding invitation in a ‘bid to heal broken family ties’.

Sarah Ferguson was close friends with former sister-in-law, Princess Diana [Photo: Getty]

The Duchess of York was famously snubbed at the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding, as she once revealed in an interview: “I was not invited, and I chose to go and be in Thailand in a place called Camelia and… the jungle embraced me.”

Will Prince Louis of Cambridge attend the royal wedding?

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge welcomed their third child – Prince Louis Arthur Charles of Cambridge – on 23rd April 2018. Therefore, due to his young age it is highly unlikely that their new addition to the family will attend the ceremony.

Princess Charlotte took on the role of flower girl at Pippa Middleton’s 2017 wedding [Photo: PA]

However, Prince George and Princess Charlotte will take on the roles of bridesmaid and page boy for the big day.

The siblings already have experience after all, as they stole the show at Pippa Middleton’s 2017 nuptials. Cue the adorable photographs…

Which other celebrities are set to attend the royal wedding?

Meghan and Harry are thought to have invited far fewer famous faces to their wedding than Prince William and Kate Middleton did back in 2011.

Westminster Abbey, where William and Kate wed, fits up to 2,000 guests while St George’s Chapel can only fit around 800 guests inside.

It’s been reported that two of Prince Harry’s former flames, Cressida Bonas and Chelsy Davy have both scored invite, while Meghan’s older brother hasn’t made the cut.

David and Victoria Beckham attended the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s 2011 wedding [Photo: Getty]

While, Victoria and David Beckham have also confirmed that they will attend the ceremony after they also bagged an invitation to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s 2011 nuptials. Donald Trump, the Obamas and Theresa May haven’t been invited – despite David Cameron attending the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s big day.

Elton John, the Foo Fighters and the Spice Girls are also rumoured to be attending (and perhaps, performing). Meghan Markle’s close friends – Priyanka Chopra and Millie Mackintosh – are also reportedly on the exclusive guest list.

Which members of the public have been invited to the royal wedding?

Over 2,640 guests have been invited to celebrate the big day in the grounds of Windsor Castle on May 19 and 1,200 of them are members of the public.

Harry and Megan have invited Amy Wright, who works as Chair of Board of Directors for the Usual Place Community Cafe. The charity organisation provides training for young people with special needs between the ages of 16 and 25.

Philip Gillespie from Ballymena has also scored an invite. After losing his right leg in an IED incident in Afghanistan, he now works to raise funds and awareness for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.

Pamela Anomneze – manager of the Studio 306 Collective CIC – will also attend the big day. The organisation is a social project designed to help those recovering from mental health issues through the creative arts.

Which titles will the couple receive after their nuptials?

It is tradition for Queen Elizabeth II to celebrate a royal union by bestowing titles upon the newlyweds. For instance, Kate Middleton and Prince William became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

On the morning of the wedding, the Queen revealed that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be granted the titles of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Kate Middleton and Prince William are formally known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge [Photo: Getty]

How much will the royal wedding cost?

When Kensington Palace announced details of the royal wedding, it was made clear that the public will not pay for the nuptials.

And according to Reuters, the ceremony is expected to give the UK economy a £500 million boost, as a consequence to increased tourism.

What will the newlyweds ask their wedding guests to gift them?

When the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge got married, Clarence House issued a statement which read:

“Having been touched by the goodwill shown them since the announcement of their engagement, Prince William and Miss Middleton have asked that anyone who might wish to give them a wedding gift consider giving instead to a charitable fund.”

And it is widely believed that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will follow in the couple’s footsteps.

According to the Daily Mail,  a source revealed: “Harry doesn’t want guests spending lots of time buying him extravagant presents, but he does want them to support his charity work”.

And with a handful of charitable engagements already under their belt, the decision would hardly be surprising.

How can I celebrate the royal wedding?

If like us you’re still upset that your royal wedding invitation got lost in the post, then make sure to check out the events set to take place across the country on May 19th.

Calling all royal fans, make sure to book the Royal Botanical Afternoon Tea at The Shard’s Shangri-La hotel [Photo: Shangri-La]

From regal afternoon tea fit for a Queen at The Shard’s Shangri-La hotel or for a rooftop screening in the heart of London, there’s plenty on offer for serious royal fanatics.

Where can I buy royal wedding merchandise?

For those of you on the hunt for royal wedding souvenirs, look no further than the For Richer For Poorer website. Designed to help the homeless in Windsor, all profits from merchandise will go towards locals in need of support.

For even more weird and wonderful royal wedding souvenirs (we’re talking life size cutouts, official mugs and commemorative coins), make sure to shop our must-have edit below: 

Where will the couple spend their honeymoon?

The honeymoon location is still up for debate but the Caribbean island of Nevis is currently championing the leaderboard.

Prince Harry first visited the secluded island back in 1993 with his mother, Princess Diana. And the idyllic location certainly made an impression on the young royal, as he paid a second visit back in 2016 as part of his royal tour on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II.

Prince Harry released baby turtles into the sea back in 2016 while visiting the island of Nevis [Photo: Getty]

Renowned for its palm-fringed beaches and crystal blue waters, it’s famous for the aptly name ‘Lover’s Beach’ and the island’s tourist board is certain that the couple will choose Nevis post-nuptials.

“As it is one of the most romantic islands in the world, we are quietly confident that Nevis’ guaranteed privacy will attract the royal newlyweds,” said Nevis Tourism Authority CEO, Greg Phillip.

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