11th May 2018
One week ahead of the royal wedding – what should we expect?
New details have emerged about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding day on 19th May.
Royal wedding buzz is reaching fever pitch now that it’s merely one week away, and who’s to blame?! While some of the most pressing questions about the royal wedding remain unanswered – like, you know, the designer behind the bride’s dress, the A-list celebs who made the cut, official members of the wedding party, and so on – there are plenty of new details for us to chew on.
Here’s a breakdown of what to expect on 19th May – don’t forget to prep the popcorn.
The eve of the royal wedding
At some point in the evening on Friday 18th May, Meghan Markle will arrive at her accommodation which is where she’ll spend the night before the big day. Kate Middleton had stayed at the Goring Hotel with her family the night before her 2011 wedding to Prince William.
The day of
Both the ceremony and the receptions will be taking place within the grounds of Windsor Castle, a residence with a long-standing association with the British monarchy, known to be Queen Elizabeth II’s preferred weekend home.
The 1,200 members of the general public invited by the royal couple specifically chosen for “their work supporting their communities” will start taking their places at 9am (GMT+1) on the castle grounds. They will be able to witness the procession but not the actual ceremony.
Between 9.30 and 11am, 600 invited guests will arrive for the ceremony at the Round Tower and make their way inside St George’s Chapel. They will enter through the South Door, while the royal family is expected to arrive at the chapel at 11.20am, either by car or on foot, and enter the chapel through the Galilee Porch.
The groom and his brother will walk to St George’s Chapel and greet guests along the way, entering the chapel via the West Steps at around 11.30am. Around the same time, Meghan Markle will leave her overnight accommodation with her mother, Doria Ragland, and they’ll arrive at Windsor Castle via the Long Walk, allowing her to greet well-wishers along the way. The Queen will be the last guest to arrive before the bride and her party do.
Upon her arrival at the Chapel’s West Steps, her mother will exchange places with the bridesmaids and page boys (all of whom will be children), while Meghan Markle’s father, Thomas Markle, will make his way to the West Door to meet his daughter and walk her down the aisle. Both her parents, who divorced when she was six years old, will form an important part of proceedings on the day.
The bride-to-be is believed to have not chosen a maid of honour for her bridal party. According to a palace spokesperson, “she has a very close-knit circle of friends, and she didn’t want to choose one over another. All have been actively involved in helping her prepare for the day and will be there in the days beforehand. She’s very happy to have their support.” While it’s been assumed that Prince George and Princess Charlotte will form part of the bridal party (new-born Prince Louis will be skipping this occasion), they have yet to be confirmed.
As for Prince Harry, he’s chosen his brother, Prince William, as best man, and his mother’s side, the Spencer family, will also be involved – the late Princess Diana’s older sister, Lady Jane Fellowes, will be giving a reading. “This wedding will be guided by tradition, allowing everyone to celebrate what makes royal weddings so special, but also one which reflects the personalities of Prince Harry and Ms Markle," the palace spokesperson said.
The wedding ceremony will begin at noon and last one hour. The Dean of Windsor will conduct the service and the Archbishop of Canterbury will officiate the vows. At 1pm, the newlyweds will exit the church and wave to well-wishers before entering a carriage for a 25-minute procession. Meanwhile, guests make their way to St George’s Hall for a lunch reception hosted by the Queen.
In the evening, the bride and groom will head to an evening reception at Frogmore House, hosted by Harry’s father, Charles, the Prince of Wales, located half a mile away from Windsor Castle.
The newlyweds are likely to be going on honeymoon at a later date, and have confirmed their first royal engagement as a married couple a few days after the wedding.