The royal wedding rules Harry and Meghan have broken (so far)

Ciara Sheppard
Contributor Yahoo Style UK
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are break tradition for their wedding, in more ways than one [Photo: Getty]

If there’s one thing we know about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, it’s that they like to do things their own way.

Whether it’s Meghan deciding to forgo a handbag (absolutely shocking, we know) or the pair showing affection in public (yep, total renegades, these two), the pair are already proving that sticking to the royal rule book isn’t their main priority for their wedding.

Being a member of the monarchy comes with strict guidelines that are meant to be adhered to, all steeped in tradition. Yet when it comes to royal weddings, an extra layer of protocol applies.

In true Harry and Meghan style, some of these rules have already been broken – or wavered, shall we say – and some are due to be on the big day, if rumours are to be believed.

Let’s count the ways…

The wedding invites

Harry and Meghan’s first side-step of the rules was made blatantly obvious when invites to their wedding were sent out in March.

The invites, which featured the Three-Feathered Badge of the Prince of Wales, alluded to Meghan’s status as a divorced woman by calling her ‘Ms’ – a status which was once frowned upon in the royal family.

According to the Royal Marriages Act 1772, the Queen has the power to veto any marriage she thinks could “diminish the status of the royal house”. Divorce used to be one of these things, so it’s nice to see the royal family are moving with the times. 

Edward VIII wasn’t so lucky. The monarch had to abdicate from the throne in 1936 in order to marry American socialite Wallis Simpson, a divorcee.

Having said that, Prince Harry isn’t likely to ever become king. He’s currently fifth-in-line to the throne and will be bumped down to sixth once the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s third child arrives this month.

The couple have invited members of the public to their wedding

Harry and Meghan have broken tradition in a big way by inviting members of the public to their wedding.

Some 2,640 members of the public have scored an invitation to the big day. Of this number, 1,200 of which have been selected by the Lord Lieutenants as “young people who have shown strong leadership, and those who have served their communities.”

Royal weddings of the past have added members of the British Armed Forced (such as at the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s) and celebrity friends to their guest list, but the addition of thousands of normal members of the public is a first.

Amy Wright – Chair of Board of Directors for the Usual Place café in Dumfries – is one person who scored an invite for the work she does in her community.

Amy told Yahoo Style UK: “It was an amazing honour and a privilege to be asked to be part of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding and just the fact that they’re deciding to invite members of the public is great.”

She continued: “It’s been two months since the Lord Lieutenants got in touch to first say we’d been nominated. We haven’t been able to tell anyone until today so we’ve had to keep it secret.”

Click here to see Prince Harry and Meghan’s relationship timeline: 

They’re not having a traditional wedding cake

Fruitcake isn’t everyone’s favourite sweet treat, yet the rich cake, packed with dried fruit, nuts and booze, has been serving the royal family at their nuptials for decades.

However, Harry and Meghan have decided to go for something all-together more modern. The pair have tasked London baker Claire Ptak with rustling up an on-trend lemon and elderflower sponge. The cake will be covered in buttercream and fresh flowers – rather than intricate icing like royal wedding cakes of the past. 

Claire Ptak has been chosen to make the cake for the wedding in May of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle [Photo: Getty]

Meghan will make a speech

Breaking royal tradition once again, it’s reported that Meghan will make a speech at her wedding reception following the ceremony.

According to The Times, the former actress be putting her speech experience to use (she regularly made speeches as a United Nations Women ambassador) and will toast to her new husband. She’ll also reportedly say ‘thank you’ to Queen Elizabeth II for hosting the celebrations. 

It’s not traditional for brides to make speeches at royal weddings, but while Meghan’s father won’t be making one, the bride has decided to in his place.

Oh to be a fly on the wall…

Harry and Meghan are having their wedding in May as not to clash with the royal baby [Photo: Getty]

They’re tying the knot in May

Traditionally, it’s not custom to get married in May. In fact, there hasn’t been a British royal wedding in May since 1960 when Princess Margaret, second daughter of King George VI, married. Seriously – a quick glance of all royal weddings dates in recent years seem to side-step the month, opting for April or June instead.

Why I hear you ask? Well apparently, Queen Victoria (Harry’s great-great-great-grandmother) thought getting married in May was unlucky, often deploying the rhyme: “Marry in May, and rue the day.”

While it could be that young and hip Harry and Meghan laugh in the face of outdated superstitions, another reason the couple are marrying in May is that they didn’t want to clash with the birth of the royal baby.

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Royal wedding cakes throughout the years: From Kate Middleton’s to the Queen’s

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