Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Just Put Another Unique Twist on Their Wedding

We’re counting down the hours until Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s big day. And while their wedding is fast approaching, a few huge questions remain about how it will go down.

Royal watchers were especially intrigued to learn about a few unique requests from the bride and groom-to-be. Read on to learn about their surprising guest list choices (page 5) and the huge way they’re breaking royal wedding day protocol (page 7).

1. Markle and Harry have finalized most of the details for their big day

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle meet local school children during a visit to Birmingham on March 8, 2018 in Birmingham, England.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have an amazing wedding coming up. | Hannah McKay-WPA Pool/Getty Images

Wedding planning is challenging enough as it is. But when you’ve got a monarchy to contend with, it makes hashing out all the details even trickier.

Luckily, Markle and Harry seem to have it sorted out. Some details are keeping right in line with royal tradition. But many other elements of their wedding have reminded us that the new royal couple isn’t afraid to blaze their own trail.

Next: The list of royal rules that Markle and Harry are breaking is growing longer by the day.

2. There will be plenty of personal touches at their wedding

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during a visit to Catalyst Inc science park in Belfast.

They are adding personal touches to their wedding. | Niall Carson – Pool/Getty Images

From the date of their wedding (A Saturday! In May!) down to the flowers that Markle will carry down the aisle, the upcoming royal wedding will definitely be more unique than most.

By adding these personal touches, Markle and Harry have shown that they’re planning to tackle life as one of the most famous couples in their world on their own terms.

Next: They’ve bucked one particularly big tradition in lieu of a more intimate wedding day.

3. The wedding ceremony location came as a surprise to some

St Georges's Chapel seen from a distance.

The couple chose to have their wedding at the St Georges’s Chapel. | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

When Prince William and Kate Middleton married in 2011, they chose Westminster Abbey as the location for their vows. That’s the same place Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip said their “I do’s.” Prince Charles also chose a large venue — St. Paul’s Cathedral – when he married Princess Diana.

So, Harry and Markle have broken a relaxed, albeit pretty standard tradition with their chosen wedding day locale. They’ll be saying their vows in St. George’s Chapel at Winsdor Castle. That makes sense, when you consider that it was rumored Markle and Harry were hoping for a more intimate ceremony.

But it’s not just the size of the venue and guest list that have some raising their eyebrows. It’s who’s invited as well.

Next: These surprising guests will be in attendance at the royal wedding.

4. Markle and Harry took a unique approach to choosing their wedding guests

Meghan Markle writes a note for 10 year old Caitlin Clarke from Marlborough Primary School as Prince Harry looks on during a walkabout.

They know the world will be watching their wedding, but they wanted to welcome the local public. | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Most of the buzz surrounding the royal wedding guest list has been over which famous faces we might see in the crowd. And though there are only a limited number of seats at St. George’s Chapel, Harry and Markle have worked out a way to make sure as many people as possible can share their special day.

The couple has invited more than 2000 guests to Winsdor Castle to watch their procession into the chapel. And many of those on the guest list aren’t celebrities or dignitaries, but rather members of the public from across the United Kingdom.

Next: Many of the royal wedding guests have one thing in common.

5. Markle and Harry’s guests share one important trait

Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle attend a street dance class.

The couple will be joined by some respectable and hard-working people. | Geoff Pugh/WPA Pool/Getty Images

On their big day, Markle and Harry wanted to make sure to pay homage to one of their shared passions – philanthropy. So, according to a Kensington Palace statement, “the couple has asked that the people chosen are from a broad range of backgrounds and ages, including young people who have shown strong leadership, and those who have served their communities.”

The guest list will also include people who’ve worked in Harry’s charities and students from around Great Britain. But there are a few notable people who will not be in attendance.

Next: Harry and Markle have broken yet another royal tradition with their wedding guest list.

6. Many VIPs didn’t receive invitations to the royal wedding

Prince Harry and Michelle Obama smiling and laughing.

The wedding list won’t include everyone. | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Some dignitaries and famous faces will undoubtedly be in attendance at Markle and Harry’s wedding. But many world leaders have been left off the guest list. That means Prime Minister Theresa May, President Trump and Harry’s friends, the Obamas, will not be in attendance.

A statement from the Palace explained the decision: “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.”

Next: Markle and Harry’s unique wedding day request may be their biggest change from royal protocol yet.

7. Markle and Harry have asked for something unique in lieu of wedding gifts

Prince Harry laughs and looks downward as Meghan Markle looks at him.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have proven to be charitable souls. | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

For those who did receive a coveted wedding invitation, Markle and Harry have a special request. Instead of bringing gifts, the couple has asked their guests to donate to seven charities.

This, too, is keeping in line with their commitment to philanthropy. And they’re doing it so “as many people as possible benefit from this generosity of spirit.”

Next: The charities that Markle and Harry have chosen hint at their philanthropic priorities.

8. The charities Markle and Harry have chosen reflect their priorities perfectly

Princess Diana and Prince Harry at an outdoor event.

Princess Diana would have been proud. | AFP/Stringer/Getty Images

Each of the seven charities that Markle and Harry have chosen to honor on their wedding day is significant for the couple. They include the Myna Mahila Foundation, which offers employment resources for women in Mumbai, and the Children’s HIV Association (CHIVA), a cause Princess Diana was passionate about.

There’s also Scotty’s Little Soldiers, which helps children who’ve lost parents in combat, Surfers Against Sewage, an environmental protection charity, the Wilderness Foundation UK, and Crisis, which helps homeless people throughout the United Kingdom.

Traditional gifts will likely still arrive on their wedding day. But by putting attention on the importance of service, Markle and Harry have made it clear that they don’t want their public lives to be solely about them.

Follow Katherine Webb on Twitter @prufrox.

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