From the date to the dress, here’s everything you need to know about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding.

When is the royal wedding 2018?

Kensington Palace confirmed via Twitter on December 15 that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle would marry on May 19, 2018. The couple’s decision to wed on a Saturday goes against tradition, as royal weddings usually take place on a weekday. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge wed on a Friday and the Queen on a Thursday.

The chosen date falls on the same day as the FA Cup final at Wembley, a match that Prince Harry’s best man, the Duke of Cambridge, usually attends as president of the Football Association to present the trophy. The May date may also have been selected in order to give the Duchess of Cambridge time to recover after the birth of her third child, Prince Louis.

The invitations follow many years of royal tradition and have been made by Barnard Westwood. Using American ink on English card, each invite has been printed in gold and black, then burnished to bring out the shine, and gilded around the edge. The three-feathered badge of the Prince of Wales is given pride of place in the centre.

Will everyone get the day off for the royal wedding 2018?

Although the public were given a day off to celebrate the weddings of Prince Charles to Diana Spencer in 1981, Prince William to Catherine Middleton in 2011, and Princess Anne to Mark Phillips in 1973, Prince Harry and his fiancée’s choice to wed on May 19 avoids the issue of whether or not the royal wedding should be a bank holiday.

Pub opening hours on the Saturday might be extended to 1am – serving hours were relaxed following both Prince William’s wedding, in 2011, and the Queen’s 90th birthday, in 2016. The home secretary said of the possible leniency: “I hope that [a] relaxation of the licensing hours will allow people to extend their festivities and come together to mark what will be a very special moment for the country.”

Kensington Palace confirmed on April 9 via Twitter that the couple would like to forgo any traditional wedding presents in favour of donations to the following causes: CHIVA (Children’s HIV Association), Crisis (a UK-based homelessness charity), the Myna Mahila Foundation (a charity that supports women in Mumbai’s urban slums), Scotty’s Little Soldiers (which helps bereaved Armed Forces children), StreetGames (a foundation using sport to change lives), Surfers against Sewage and The Wilderness Foundation UK (which promotes the enjoyment of wild nature).

Where will the royal wedding 2018 take place?

 The marriage of Prince Harry and Markle will take place in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle at 12pm. The Queen has granted permission for the ceremony to be held in the place of worship, which seats approximately 800, and core aspects of the wedding, including the service, music, flowers, decorations and reception, will be paid for by the royal family. One week prior to the ceremony, the Queen signed the Instrument of Consent – the official document granting her grandson permission to marry his fiancé.

The cake – a lemon elderflower bake that will incorporate the bright flavours of spring – will be made by Violet Bakery’s Claire Ptak, and the flowers – branches of beech, birch and hornbeam, and white garden roses, peonies and foxgloves from the gardens and parkland of the Crown Estate and Windsor Park – will be arranged by Philippa Craddock. Music for the service will include a number of well-known hymns and choral works under the direction of James Vivian, director of music at St George’s Chapel.

“This wedding, like all weddings, will be a moment of fun and joy that will reflect the characters of the bride and groom,” Jason Knauf, Prince Harry’s communications secretary, has said. “The couple of course want the day to be a special, celebratory moment for their friends and family. They also want the day to be shaped so as to allow members of the public to feel part of the celebrations too.”

After the couple are married – the Dean of Windsor will conduct the service and the Archbishop of Canterbury will officiate as the couple make their vows – they will undertake a carriage procession from St George’s Chapel through Windsor town returning to Windsor Castle along the Long Walk. Alexi Lubomirski will then take the official photographs at Windsor Castle.

“They hope this short journey will provide an opportunity for more people to come together around Windsor and to enjoy the atmosphere of this special day,” a statement from Kensington Palace has said. “Following the service, there will be a reception at St George’s Hall for the couple and the guests from the congregation. Later that evening, the Prince of Wales will give a private evening reception for the couple and their close friends and family.”

Both of Markle’s parents arrived in the UK the week prior to the wedding. On the morning of the nuptials, Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, will accompany Ms Markle to Windsor Castle, along with select members of the wedding party.

In regards to Diana, Princess of Wales’s legacy on the day, a statement from Kensington Palace confirmed: “In addition to having the support of The Queen, his father The Prince of Wales, and his brother Prince William as best man, Prince Harry is also keen to involve his mother’s family in his wedding. All three siblings of Diana, Princess of Wales will be in attendance and Lady Jane Fellowes will give the reading. Prince Harry and Ms. Markle both feel honoured that Lady Jane will be representing her family and helping to celebrate the memory of the late Princess on the wedding day.”

Who is on the guest list?

Kensington Palace has said that “around 600” guests will be in attendance, a small crowd in contrast to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge who wed in front of 1,900 guests – a number just shy of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, who invited 2,000 guests to their 1947 wedding. As Prince Harry is sixth in line to the throne, he is not obliged to invite diplomats from across the globe to the celebration, which will be less of a state occasion. “It has been decided that an official list of political leaders – both UK and international – is not required for Prince Harry and Ms Markle’s wedding. Her Majesty’s government was consulted on this decision, which was taken by the royal household,” a spokesperson said in a statement on April 10.

Some of the 1,200 guests, who were selected by regional Lord Lieutenant offices from a broad range of backgrounds and age groups, have been announced on Twitter, along with the stories of how they have served their communities.

A group of 200 close acquaintances have been invited to an after-party at Frogmore House, which is just a short walk from St George’s Chapel. Among Prince Harry’s friends, Owen Inskip, Guy Pelly and Lizzy Wilson and Arthur Landon are expected to be in attendance. Among Markle’s, Jessica Mulroney, Misha Nonoo, Janina Gavankar and Abigail Spencer are rumoured to be present. Priyanka Chopra confirmed that she would travel to Windsor for the celebrations, but had not chosen her outfit, to US Weekly. Other celebrities that have been slated by the press to attend include Sir Elton John, Ed Sheeran, Cara Delevingne, David and Victoria Beckham, and Serena Williams.Frogmore House will be open to royal fans from June 5 to 7, with all proceeds from the visits donated to the National Garden Scheme, the Armed Forces charity SSAFA, and Prisoners’ Education Trust.

Who will design Meghan Markle’s wedding dress?

Meghan Markle’s wedding dress is arguably the biggest fashion commission of the year, so what will the Suits star wear? The soon-to-be royal has navigated her time in the spotlight so far in a handful of Canadian designers – a country she called home for seven years while filming the US legal drama – London Fashion Week designers Erdem and Antonio Berardi and American labels Marchesa and Misha Nonoo (the eponymous founder of the latter is a close friend).

Who will Meghan’s bridesmaids be?

Prince George and Princess Charlotte are likely to be page boy and flower girl, but Markle is also expected to choose bridesmaids from her close set of friends. Actress Priyanka Chopra, tennis champion Serena Williams, designer Misha Nonoo and stylist Jessica Mulroney are all names that have been suggested, however now that Markle has deleted her Instagram account it is more difficult to track her friendships.

 

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