We can hardly believe we are just days away from the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle! While many details are still shrouded in secrecy, there are a few things we can be certain of. Today, we’re breaking down what you can expect to see for the big event.
First off, let’s look over the when! The wedding will take place this Saturday, May 19th. The ceremony will take place at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, starting at 12pm GMT (7am ET) and will be followed by a carriage ride through Windsor at approximately 1pm GMT. Coverage of the event will be available on a number of stations, including NBC, PBS, CBS, BBC America, and E!. The ceremony will be officiated by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and the service will be led by David Conner, Dean of Windsor. There are 600 guests expected to attend the ceremony, which may seem large, but it actually much smaller and private than the usual royal wedding.
Following the ceremony at St. George’s Chapel, the 600 guests will transition to St. George’s Hall (also in Windsor Castle) for a large lunch reception to honor the couple. Later on in the evening, the Prince of Wales will host a private reception at the Frogmore House with around 200 guests. Breaking somewhat of tradition, it’s expected that both Harry and Meghan will be making speeches at their reception, where usually it’s only the groom. It’s at this second reception that we expect to see an outfit change for Meghan, featuring a second dress for her big day that will allow her to enjoy the festivities and move more freely than her dress for the ceremony.
Speaking of dresses, the mystery behind Meghan’s dress is immense! Kensington Palace has done a phenomenal job of keeping the designer and style of the dresses under wraps. While there has been an incredible amount of speculation and betting, we won’t know for sure who designed the dresses or what they look like until Meghan makes her debut.
Both Harry and Meghan have noted that they want and will be having family play a large role in the day. Meghan’s parents are scheduled to arrive on Friday to meet her future in-laws, the royal family. Meghan will arrive at the Chapel with her mother, and is expected to be walked down the aisle by her father. However, there has been much speculation this week over whether or not her father will be in attendance between tabloid issues and a reported heart attack. You can plan on seeing Harry’s niece and nephew Prince George and Princess Charlotte as page boy and flower girl. Prince William will act as his brother Prince Harry’s best man, another break in royal tradition. Additionally, the couple will honor Harry’s mother, the late Princess Diana, by inviting all of her siblings - Lady Sarah McCorquodale, Baroness Jane Fellowes, and Earl Spencer. Jane Fellows will be give a reading.
More highly anticipated details include the cake and flowers for the day. We know the couple requested a lemon elderflower cake. This also breaks tradition as royal weddings are usually celebrated with a fruit cake. The cake has been commissioned to Claire Ptak of Violet Bakery and will be covered in buttercream and fresh flowers. In terms of flowers, we don’t have too much detail too. They’ll be arranged by London-based florist Philippa Craddock. At a minimum, Meghan’s bouquet will include myrtle, an evergreen shrub, as it’s a tradition for every royal bride. Other than that, we know the flowers at the wedding will include white garden roses, foxgloves, and peonies. One of our favorite parts of royal weddings is that after the ceremony, all of the flowers are donated to charity!
All in all, while there will be some non-traditional aspects, we can expect to see a traditional ceremony on Saturday. As with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the royal family will pay for the festivities. The final question lies with what title Meghan will take after the wedding. Most likely, the couple will be named Duke and Duchess, and bets are on Sussex… but we’ll have to wait and see to find out for sure! No matter what, we know it’s going to be an event to remember.