The ceremony at many weddings may seem fairly standard, and to some extent, a royal wedding is still two people choosing to marry each other in the tradition of a particular religious faith. However, there are plenty of fun elements to differentiate this ceremony from others! With Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding just around the corner on May 19, let’s take a look at what will take place.
The Wedding Attire
First of all, you can expect Prince Harry to wear a military uniform. While different royals choose different uniforms, it is likely that Prince Harry will wear one in spite of not being a close heir to the throne. He was a part of the Armed Forces in the past, and the couple’s invitation invited guests to dress in uniform, so it seems likely that he’ll don one himself. Meghan has kept her dress choice extremely hush hush, but we are all sure it will be beautiful and classy like past royal brides.
Getting Ready for the Big Day
The ceremony is set to start at noon at St. George’s Chapel, which is sure to be an impressive location. The Dean of Windsor will conduct the ceremony, and the Archbishop of Canterbury will officiate. The ceremony is set to last one hour.
The American former actress Meghan Markle had to jump through a few hoops to get to this point. She had to be baptized into the Church of England to officially be able to be married in the church, and she and Prince Harry had to seek official permission from the Queen to be able to marry.
The Wedding Attendants
The couple is known for their unconventional romance, but in this case, they smoothly went through the steps to participate in the royal wedding. One fun element of the ceremony is that many children will be involved. The bridal party includes pageboys and flower girls consisting of children who are closest in relation to them, including niece and nephew Princess Charlotte and Prince George.
As a guest at a royal wedding, you would know that weddings are typically extremely formal affairs, both in the United Kingdom in general and especially when royalty is involved. One special feature is that of wearing hats: not only are they standard etiquette, they are required! Royal women don some impressive hats to attend everyday occasions, so they can really go all out for a royal wedding. Since formality is key, over-the-top fancy style is unlikely, as no one should show up in anything fancier or more beautiful than the bride herself.
Guest location is also affected by whether you are royal or not: the typical structure is for royals to sit on the right side of the church, with all others on the left side. This may fall somewhat along the general boundaries of “groom’s side” and “bride’s side,” but there are certain to be a few royals who know Meghan well who will still be sitting on the royal side. A few other things to know: while no one will confiscate your phone at the door, wedding guests are strictly forbidden from using them or taking photos with them during the ceremony. Also, there will be no squeaking in at the last minute: guests often arrive two hours or more before the ceremony is set to begin, mostly out of respect and to be totally settled upon arrival. Early arrivers still must sit according to the numbers on the invitations they receive, much like seating in a theater show.
One way that the event will be exciting and different from the average wedding is that tons of common folk from around England will be present—more than 2,600 of them! These people will range from common schoolchildren to members of the staff at the castle, as well as lots of representatives of charities. This makes sense, given how committed to philanthropy Prince Harry and Meghan already have been, and the fact that they are accepting no gifts from guests and instead asking for donations to seven of their favorite charities.
The Queen of England
The presence of Queen Elizabeth also throws in a few extra steps: while people aren’t to approach her or ask the Queen questions, they are to pay their respects through bows and curtsies if she is nearby, and to respond if she addresses them.
After the ceremony, you might wonder where that beautiful bouquet that Meghan holds will go—if she follows tradition, she’ll place it on the tomb of the Unknown Warrior, following the late Queen Mum who used that gesture to show respect for the military.
After the ceremony, the Prince and his new wife will take a tour through London in a carriage, in this case an Ascot Landau. After they are seen and gesture to the waiting crowds with gratitude for their support, they’ll return to the castle via the Long Walk, which is a tree-lined promenade. The whole affair is going to make for some amazing photographs.