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

Britain's Prince Harry stands with his fiancée US actress Meghan Markle as she shows off her engagement ring

Harry included his mother in the ring. | Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

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

Queen Elizabeth formal consent royal wedding Harry and Meghan

She got a signed declaration of approval. | Victoria Jones/AFP/Getty Images

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

St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle

It’s where Charles and Camilla got married. | Dominic Lipinski – WPA Pool/Getty Images

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

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on their royal wedding day

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle went for a carriage ride after their wedding ceremony. | Nick Edwards-WPA Pool/Getty Images

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

Meghan Markle royal wedding portrait

The official wedding portrait of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | Kensington Palace via Instagram

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

Prince Harry marries Ms. Meghan Markle - Windsor Castle

She took his official title | Jonathan Brady-WPA Pool/Getty Images

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

Kate and William tour Canada

Prince William never wears one. | Dominic Lipinski-Pool/Getty Images

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

Britain's Prince William kisses his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace,

That would be quite a trip from the venue for just a kissing picture. | Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images

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

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry laughing

She has accompanied him on several public outings. | Andy Stenning/AFP/Getty Images

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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