Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding is quickly approaching. Everything from Markle’s dress to the guest list is under serious scrutiny. Kensington Palace recently released a statement on behalf of the soon-to-be couple that shocked the public (pages 4 and 5).
Their guest list addition breaks royal protocol, true to form. Markle is also changing one tradition for royal women at her wedding (page 7).
1. Their wedding date is May 19
May 19 will be a big day for British TV. | kruwt/iStock/Getty Images
Meghan and Prince Harry set a May 19, 2018, wedding date at St George’s Chapel. While it hasn’t been confirmed, many speculate the reception will also take place at Windsor Castle. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip recently held their 70th-anniversary party in the same location, dubbed “the party palace.”
The wedding takes place on another big day for broadcast television — the F.A. Cup Final. However, the wedding will take place at 12 p.m. (Greenwich Mean Time) which means Brits can watch both the wedding and the match.
Next: The cost of the royal wedding is out of this world.
2. It’ll cost the royal family half a million dollars — at least
If the last royal wedding was any indication, this one will cost a fortune. | Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
The royal family will foot the bill for the wedding. Kensington Palace released a statement saying, “As was the case with the wedding of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, The Royal Family will pay for the core aspects of the wedding.”
This includes the church service, music, floral arrangements, wedding decorations, and the reception, among other aspects.
Next: They’ll need more security than ever.
3. There’s bound to be heightened security
It takes incredible security for an event of this size. | Paul Hackett/AFP/Getty Images
After Markle went through an anthrax scare, the media speculated her and Prince Harry’s wedding security costs would top Kate Middleton and Prince William’s. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding security cost $33 million in 2011.
The security costs included placing snipers on roofs, filling the streets with undercover officers, and hiring investigators months before the wedding. Markle and Prince Harry have decided to partake in a two-mile procession which will likely call for extra security.
Next: The untraditional addition they made to their guest list.
4. They’re making their wedding open to the public
The couple will be out among the people. | Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
“This wedding, like all weddings, will be a moment of fun and joy that will reflect the characters and values of the bride and groom,” Kensington Palace said. Markle and Harry, both philanthropists, invited a total of 2,640 members of the public to watch their arrival and departure from St. George’s Chapel.
The nine offices of the Lord Lieutenants will nominate 1,200 U.K. guests. This includes young Britons who exhibit strong leadership and serve their communities. “They want their wedding day to be shaped so as to allow members of the public to feel part of the celebrations too,” the press release read.
Next: These are the lucky members of the U.K. public.
5. The attendance breakdown
The couple are huge supporters of the Invictus Games. | Chris Jackson/Getty Images for the Invictus Games Foundation
Markle and Harry are inviting 100 kids from two local schools — the Royal School and St. George’s School — to join them on their special day. Over 600 people who live on the Windsor Castle grounds will attend as well as 530 members of the Royal Household and Crown Estate.
Next: Can you guess which celebrities are invited?
6. There will be plenty of celebs in attendance
Michelle Obama is rumored to have scored an invite to the wedding. | Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Recent rumors suggested the Spice Girls would be performing at the royal reception until Mel C pulled the rug out from under it. “I think [Mel B] was joking. I think the media ran with it a little bit,” she said. Whether or not the Spice Girls make an appearance, the royal wedding is bound to be a star-studded event.
She’s ready for the big day and her speech. | Dominic Lipinski/WPA Pool/Getty Image
There is an alleged royal rule that the only people who speak at the wedding are the groom, the best man, and the bride’s father. These rules, rooted in a centuries-old patriarchy, is considered “a holdover from a bygone time.” Markle sees it as such, at least and is planning to give a wedding speech on her own behalf.
A source told The Sunday Times that Markle wanted “to have the chance to thank her husband and everyone who has supported them. Harry is fully behind her.”
Next: A closer look at who and won’t be in the wedding
8. A pageboy and bridesmaid
Prince George and Princess Charlotte of Cambridge | Chris Jackson/Getty Images
The royal couple has already been living together at Nottingham Cottage, so Markle has had the opportunity to meet Prince Harry’s nephew and niece, Prince George, 4, and Princess Charlotte, 2. The precious tots will also be included in their uncle and soon-to-be aunt’s wedding.
Prince George will act as a pageboy while Princess Charlotte will be one of Markle’s bridesmaids. They’ve already been in one major wedding before, at their aunt Pippa Middleton’s wedding which took place in early 2017. A source told The Telegraph, “The wedding will be a family event. You can expect the family to be involved.”
Next: Middleton probably won’t be a bridesmaid.
9. Why Middleton probably won’t be a bridesmaid
Kate Middleton probably won’t be a bridesmaid at the wedding. | Alexander Koerner/Getty Images
Middleton probably won’t be a bridesmaid in the wedding for several reasons. “The Duchess of Cambridge barely knows Meghan,” royal expert and author Marlene Koeni told Cosmopolitan. “For another, she is the future queen consort when William becomes king after his father, and would unlikely be an attending person to another royal bride.”
But according to Metro, the principal reason she won’t be in the bridal party is that the day is supposed to be all about Markle and the prince, not Middleton. “The Duchess of Cambridge was not her sister Pippa’s matron of honour at her wedding in May as she did not want to upstage her,” wrote Metro.
It is very likely, though, that Prince George and Princess Charlotte of Cambridge will be involved in the wedding somehow. It’s even likely that Princess Charlotte will be a little bridesmaid herself.
The couple just recently got engaged, but we already can’t wait to see what Marke’s wedding dress will look like. Thankfully, she’s given us plenty of hints as to her wedding dress style. According to People, she loves wedding dress designers Elie Saab and J. Mendel.
“I think Meghan will choose an effortlessly chic gown with clean lines and minimal detail,” British bridal designer Suzanne Neville told People. “I think the dress will be elegant and traditional, but with a modern twist.”
Next: Will Markle break tradition with a banana cake?
11. The cake
Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding cake | Lewis Whyld/WPA Pool/Getty Images
Back in the day, the royals would have a massive fruitcake for their wedding cakes. Breaking conventions, Prince Harry’s brother and sister-in-law the Duke and Duchess went with a groom’s cake made of chocolate cookies.
However, they did have an eight-tiered traditional fruit cake for their older guests to enjoy as well. We suspect that Markle might break tradition with the cake too, especially since she says she loves anything with bananas in it.