The countdown to the royal wedding is nearly over!
In less than a day, the world will watch as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle come together in holy matrimony at one of the most highly anticipated royal weddings of the century. Since the announcement of the couple’s engagement six months ago, everyone has wondered how the royal wedding will unfold and we’re here to put your mind at ease. From the ceremony to the flowers, gifts and music, here’s everything you need to know.
The ceremony will take place Saturday, May 19, 2018, at noon in the St. Georges Chapel at Windsor Castle, making it the sixteenth royal wedding to take place in the venue since 1863. Along with 600 lucky guests invited, 15-year-old Canadian, Faith Dickinson from Peterborough, Ontario, will attend thanks to her Cuddles for Cancer charity which earned her one of seven Diana Awards last spring from Prince William and Harry. Also in attendance will be 200 close friends and family invited to an after-party at Frogmore House (a short walk from St George’s Chapel).
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Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle are hugely grateful for the many good wishes they have received since announcing their engagement. They are looking forward to the day and to being able to share their celebrations with the public and wanted to share the following details about their wedding on May 19th. They have today confirmed that their wedding will begin at 12noon, followed by a carriage procession at 1pm around Windsor Town, and reception at St George's Hall. Later that evening, The Prince of Wales will give a private evening reception for the couple and their close friends and family. 📷PA
According to the bridesmaids and page boys lineup recently released by Kensington Palace, all three children of Jessica Mulroney and Ben Mulroney (close Canadian friends of Meghan Markle) will play a part: Ivy Mulroney (age 4), Brian Mulroney (age 7) and John Mulroney (age 7). The lead bridesmaid and page boy will be Prince George and Princess Charlotte. Following the ceremony, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will take a tour through Windsor Town on the Ascot Landau carriage for the procession at 1 p.m.
Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle have selected the Ascot Landau carriage for their procession through Windsor Town after their wedding on May 19th. pic.twitter.com/uR9bKgqmiX
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 2, 2018
The royal wedding invitations (sent out in mid-March) were designed by Barnard & Westwood, printed in gold ink and feature the Three-Feathered Badge of the Prince of Wales. After being printed on English card, the invitations were burnished and gilded around the edges. Each of the guests names were later added by a calligraphy printer in black ink.
The invitations follow many years of Royal tradition and have been made by @BarnardWestwood. They feature the Three-Feathered Badge of the Prince of Wales printed in gold ink. pic.twitter.com/cd7LBmRJxO
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) March 22, 2018
The Engagement Ring
Meghan Markle’s sparkling engagement ring was designed by Prince Harry and custom made by court jewellers Cleave and Company with one diamond sourced from Botswana and two smaller stones from Princess Diana’s collection. Reports say it could retail as high as $200,000.
London-based florist Philippa Craddock will be using seasonal plants and flowers from the Crown Estates and Royal Parks in addition to white garden roses, foxgloves and branches of beech for the wedding flowers. Also expected in the arrangements (and quite possibly bouquets) are peonies, which have been reported as Meghan’s favourite flower.
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I am thrilled to share with you that we have been asked by Prince Harry and Ms Meghan Markle to create their wedding flowers in May. I am loving working with them, it is an incredible privilege, and the designs will be a true reflection of them as a couple, with sustainability at the forefront. We will be using plenty of locally sourced greenery and seasonal flowers including peonies, garden roses and foxgloves @kensingtonroyal photograph credit PA
In lieu of gifts, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be asking guests to make donations to one of seven charities close to their heart (just as Prince William and Kate Middleton did for their wedding). The charities include CHIVA (Children’s HIV Association), Crisis, Myna Mahila Foundation, Scotty’s Little Soldiers, StreetGames, Surfers Against Sewage and The Wilderness Foundation UK.
Prince Harry & Ms. Meghan Markle are incredibly grateful for the goodwill they have received since their engagement, & have asked that anyone who might wish to mark the occasion of their wedding considers giving to charity, instead of sending a gift. https://t.co/lzfrRmoeUv pic.twitter.com/nxrTZtIKBY
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) April 9, 2018
It’s been reported that Meghan will be wearing not one but two dresses. By who? It’s still unclear. However, one of the rumoured favourites are Aussie-based Ralph & Russo designers Michael Russo and Tamara Ralph, who designed the highly-embellished black gown for the engagement portraits.
While the details of Ms. Meghan Markle's Wedding Dress won't be revealed until Saturday, with the help of @RCT, take a look at what other Royal Brides have worn on their Wedding Day: https://t.co/ZmZMEXU37U#RoyalWedding pic.twitter.com/QbT0jl6zI5
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) May 16, 2018
After Clarence House announced on November 27, 2017 that Prince Harry would marry Meghan Markle in the spring of 2018, the two hired Alexi Lubomirski to shoot their stunning engagement session in December. One traditional photo of the couple sitting down was released alongside a closer, black and white portrait, and later a more candid shot. Photographer Lubomirkski recalls it was a joy to shoot because the two were “deliciously in love.” Following the engagement session, Kensington Palace announced he would take the official photographs at Windsor Castle for the royal wedding.
Alexi is a well-known portrait photographer, and photographed Prince Harry and Ms. Markle last year at Frogmore House, Windsor, to mark the news of their engagement. pic.twitter.com/p42g8QRjmY
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) April 13, 2018
London-based pastry chef Claire Ptak, owner of Violet Bakery, will be designing the cake with organic lemon, elderflower and fresh flowers to reflect the bright flavours of spring.
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For their wedding cake Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle have chosen pastry chef Claire Ptak, owner of the London-based bakery @violetcakeslondon. The couple have asked Claire to create a lemon elderflower cake that will incorporate the bright flavours of spring. It will be covered with buttercream and decorated with fresh flowers🍰 Claire Ptak, who was raised in California, focuses on using seasonal and organic ingredients in her cakes. Ms. Markle previously interviewed Chef Ptak for her lifestyle website The Tig. Prince Harry and Ms. Markle are looking forward to sharing the cake with guests at their wedding at Windsor Castle on May 19th. 📸PA
Contradictory to rumours that the Spice Girls and Beyonce will be performing at the royal reception, Kensington Palace confirmed that local choirs, soloists and orchestras will be providing the music. Among the performers will be 19-year-old cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, winner of the BBC Young Musician competition in 2016, who met Harry at a charity event last year.
19-year-old cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, winner of 2016 @BBCYoungMus. Last June, Prince Harry saw Sheku play at an event in London in support of the work of Antiguan charity the Halo Foundation. pic.twitter.com/C3QSfcbXJl
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) April 24, 2018