Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding is drawing closer and closer.
The pair will say their vows in front of around 600 people at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, and they’ve insisted their wedding will be themed around their personalities.
“When they did the invitations, they printed the invitations on English card stock but they used American ink,” royal commentator Victoria Arbiter said.
“To Meghan that would have been significant that including her country, her heritage is a nod to where she’s from.”
And as their big day will likely include elements from both of their heritages, there are some older royal traditions that Harry and Meghan may also choose to include.
The Queen Mother started a tradition of royal wedding rings created from Welsh gold.
It came from Clogau St David’s mine at Bontddu in North Wales and the original piece has been used to create royal wedding rings ever since.
It was used to make the Queen’s in 1947, Princess Margaret’s in 1960, the Princess Royal’s in 1973, Princess Diana’s in 1981 and The Duchess of Cornwall’s in 2005.
Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, was given the Queen’s wedding ring when it was passed down through the family.
There’s only a tiny (one gram) piece of the original gold left, but don’t fear for Meghan: the Royal British Legion presented The Queen with a 36-gramme piece of 21 carat Welsh gold in 1981 which is still fully intact. It’s thought her ring will be made from this piece, but details won’t be released until the day of the wedding.
A royal bride has always carried a sprig of myrtle in her bouquet down the aisle since Queen Victoria’s wedding in 1840.
Myrtle represents love, fertility and innocence and has been grown at Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s holiday home on the Isle of Wight, for about 170 years.
Before that, Victoria and Albert bought back the plant from Germany and it has existed in the gardens ever since. Last year the gardens were opened up for public use, meaning it’s possible to visit the myrtle that could end up in the next royal wedding.
The laying of the flowers
Almost 100 years ago, Queen Elizabeth started the royal tradition of laying her flowers as she left the church instead of when she entered. Since then, it’s been passed down in royal history and many brides have adopted the same routine.
It stems from the death of Queen Elizabeth’s (otherwise known as Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon) brother, Fergus. He’d lost his life at the Battle of Loos in 1915. In remembrance to him, Queen Elizabeth laid her flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, inside Westminster Abbey.
It was her way of paying respects to the millions of people killed and injured during the first World War.
The Tomb is one of the most sacred areas of the Abbey and is the only part of the floor where the congregations are not allowed to walk. Kate Middleton’s bridal bouquet was the latest royal bunch to be laid.
The official photos
King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra were the first to have royal official photos at their wedding, thanks to the introduction of photography.
As technology developed, the royal family started to create and distribute postcards to commemorate their weddings for the general public.
Prince William and Kate’s wedding was organised on a much larger scale with a team of 30 photographers to capture every moment from every angle.
Most recently, Harry and Meghan announced that Alexi Lubomirski will be their main wedding photographer. He also photographed the pair for their engagement in December 2017.
The orange blossom
Prince Albert and Queen Victoria’s relationship was documented step by step with orange blossom.
Between 1939 and 1946, Albert gifted Victoria with many pieces of orange blossom jewellery. Each significant moment of their lives came with an orange blossom themed gift attached.
In 1845, Albert gave his wife an orange blossom brooch with matching earrings, and the following year he gave a gift of an orange blossom wreath to celebrate their wedding anniversary.
Many princesses have followed the tradition of incorporating orange blossom into their wedding outfit, including Princess Victoria, Princess Alice, Princess Helena, Princess Louise, Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia, Princess Helena of Waldeck and Pyrmont, Princess Beatrice and Princess Alexandra.
Although we’re still in the dark about Meghan’s wedding dress, we do know the Queen’s perfumer has created a bespoke perfume for the big day which features orange blossom, bergamot, ginger and green tea.
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