Royal Wedding Traditions Every Bride and Groom Must Follow

Marrying into the British royal family means a lot of changes for Meghan Markle. From her clothing to her work, everything must be according to the royal rule book, starting with her royal wedding plans.

Ever wonder what it’s like to plan a royal wedding? We share some of the wedding traditions every royal bride and groom must follow, ahead.

1. Every royal bride’s bouquet must contain myrtle from Queen Victoria’s shrub at Osborne House

Queen Victoria started this tradition. | BBC via YouTube

One royal wedding must? Myrtle. Known as the herb of love, the tradition of brides carrying myrtle began in 1840 when Queen Victoria married Prince Albert. After their wedding, Queen Victoria planted myrtle at Osborne House and since then, every royal bride must carry myrtle from that specific shrub.

In addition to carrying myrtle, royal brides are expected to honor the armed forces by leaving their bouquets at the grave of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey.

2. The wedding party must consist of a crop of children

Pippa Middleton holds her sister Kate Middleton train at her 2011 wedding to Prince William.
Kate Middleton broke this tradition by having her sister as her Maid of Honor. | Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images

While the bride and groom can now have an adult best man and maid of honor (a rule broken by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge), the rest of their wedding party — aka, bridesmaids and groomsmen — must consist of children.

3. The groom must wear military dress

Kate Middleton Wedding
Prince William wore a uniform for his wedding to Kate Middleton. | Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty Images

One wedding rule every royal groom must follow: the dress code. Like their everyday dress codes, the British royal family has a strict dress code for weddings. The groom must wear military dress, but has a say in the uniform. For example: Prince William wore the traditional red uniform from the Irish Guards.

4. The queen chooses the tiara

Queen wearing a tiara
The queen gets the final say on the bride’s tiara. | Toby Melville/Pool/Getty Images

Married life means you’re officially allowed to wear a tiara, starting on your wedding day. That said, the queen picks out which tiara you get to wear on your wedding day.

5. If the groom is royalty, his family must sit on the right side of the church

Guests leave after the wedding between Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge at Westminster Abbey
The royal family sticks with this old tradition. | Suzanne Plunkett-WPA Pool/Getty Images

The British royal family don’t play by the Pinterest trend of “choose a seat, not a side, we’re all family once the knot is tied” and keeps to a strict seating arrangement during the ceremony. In Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s case, the prince’s family (aka, royalty) will sit on the right side of the church during their nuptials.

6. The queen gives the bride and groom an official title change once they’re married

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during an official photocall to announce the engagement
People are speculating what Prince Harry’s new title will be after he weds Meghan Markle. | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Royal brides don’t take their husband’s last name once married — they take on a whole new title. And same goes for royal grooms. That said, there are some instances where the queen has allowed the groom to keep his previously given name, though this was not the case with Prince William.

Whether the queen appoints a new title to the groom, or not, the bride will adopt the feminine connotation of her husband’s title once married.

7. All royal brides’ wedding bands are cut from the same Welsh gold nugget

Britain's Prince Harry and his fiancee US actress Meghan Markle visit Nottingham Contemporary
Meghan Markle’s wedding band will probably be made of Welsh gold. | Adrian Dennis – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Bouquets aren’t the only thing all royal brides share. They share wedding bands cut from the name Welsh gold nugget, too. The nugget itself was mined in Dolgellau, North Wales and is considered more valuable than that of Australian or South African gold. While this tradition is somewhat new (it started with the queen’s mother in 1923), it has quickly become a wedding must in the royal family.

That said, the original nugget didn’t have enough mass to create rings for the Duchess of York and Duchess of Cambridge’s rings. And, According to the Daily Post, a new Welsh gold nugget was recently purchased by a mysterious buyer … could it be for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle?

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