The Marriage Tradition Prince Harry Will Follow — and Prince William Skipped — Revealed
The British royal family’s lives are chock full of rules and traditions — including ones specific to marriage. However, between Prince William and Prince Harry (and their better halves, Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle), many of these ideals have become obsolete. That said, Harry doesn’t plan on following in his brother’s tradition-breaking footsteps entirely.
Curious to know what marriage tradition Prince Harry plans on following despite his brother’s reluctance? We dish out the details (page 7). Plus, learn the one rule Harry and Meghan have already broken (page 9), as well as the wedding and marriage traditions the brothers actually agree on, ahead.
1. Princess Diana’s jewelry
When Prince William proposed to Kate, he gave her Princess Diana’s famous sapphire engagement ring. Sticking to this newer tradition, Prince Harry had a ring made with some of his mother’s diamonds for Meghan.
Next: The queen’s involvement
2. The queen’s approval
In the royal family, you must have the queen’s approval to marry — especially if you marry a commoner. That said, thanks to the Succession to the Throne Act 2013, those seventh in line to the throne (and beyond) no longer have to follow this rule.
At the time of his engagement to Meghan, Harry was fifth in line to the throne. Therefore, he needed the queen’s approval to marry.
Next: Where you get married is important.
3. Wedding venue
While many prominent members have gotten married in Westminster Abbey, it is not against tradition to get married at Windsor Castle like Harry and Meghan did. In fact, it is where Charles and Camilla got married, as well as other members of Harry’s family.
Next: A formal departure
4. Carriage ride
Similar to many non-royal weddings, the bride and groom like to make a memorable exit. Only, the royal exit usually happens after the ceremony, not at the reception. Like William and Kate, Harry and Meghan exited the chapel and went for a quick carriage ride.
Next: There’s no way out of this tradition.
5. Wedding portrait
Another marriage tradition royals must follow? They have to sit for an official wedding portrait. The portrait usually includes other members of the royal family, as well as bridesmaids and pageboys.
Next: Why Meghan won’t ever be a princess
6. Meghan took Harry’s name
Women who marry royal men always take their husband’s name — and we aren’t talking about their last name. (The royal family technically doesn’t have one!)
Upon marriage, the monarch usually appoints a new name for a royal man, and his wife takes on the female version. For example, William’s official title is the Duke of Cambridge, so Kate is Duchess of Cambridge. And on the morning of Harry and Meghan’s wedding, Kensington Palace announced Harry’s official title would be the Duke of Sussex, making Meghan the Duchess of Sussex.
Non-royal women will never be given the title of princess upon marriage — with the exception of the Princess of Wales, the wife of the man first in line to the throne — because princess titles are reserved for those born into the family.
Next: One tradition William doesn’t follow, but Harry will
7. Harry will wear his wedding band
According to E!, Harry plans on wearing a wedding band. Unlike William (who reportedly can’t stand jewelry), Harry is a fan of embellishments and has even been seen sporting a necklace, as well as matching bracelets with Meghan.
Next: One tradition Harry and Meghan won’t follow
8. Harry and Meghan did not kiss on the balcony at Buckingham Palace
William and Kate, Charles and Diana, and other royals have kissed on the Buckingham Palace balcony after their wedding. But because Harry and Meghan did not choose Westminster Abbey as their wedding venue, the two did not partake in the traditional balcony kiss. Instead, they shared a romantic kiss on the steps of St. George’s Chapel after their wedding ceremony.
Next: The queen broke this tradition for them.
9. No official business until after the wedding
As far as official outings are concerned, no engaged couple should carry out royal family duties until after they are married. That said, the queen clearly said to hell with tradition, as Meghan accompanied Harry on a number of appearances prior to their royal wedding.
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