Prince Harry is set to marry his American actress girlfriend Meghan Markle in the spring of 2018. And it seems the couple have already decided on a wedding venue following the news that the Archbishop of Canterbury has been asked to give his blessing to a church wedding for Prince Harry and US divorcee Meghan. In a statement following the engagement announcement, Justin Welby said: "I am absolutely delighted to hear the news that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are now engaged. I have met Prince Harry on a number of occasions and have always been struck by his commitment and passion for his charities, and his immense love for his family."
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are engaged
He added: "Marriage is a special and joyous commitment, one that Jesus celebrated together with friends at the wedding in Cana. I am so happy that Prince Harry and Ms Markle have chosen to make their vows before God. I wish them many years of love, happiness and fulfillment and ask that God blesses them throughout their married life together." Should the pair choose to have a large-scale royal wedding, they could follow in the footsteps of Harry's older brother, Prince William, who wed Kate at Westminster Abbey. The central London location is also where Harry's grandmother, the Queen, and great-grandmother, the Queen Mother, were wed.
Heir to the throne the Prince of Wales, who divorced Diana, Princess of Wales, married divorcee Camilla Parker Bowles, now the Duchess of Cornwall, in 2005. They had a civil ceremony, followed by a religious blessing afterwards.
But Charles, unlike Harry, is a future monarch who will one day be Supreme Governor of the Church of England. Meghan is a divorcee, but the Church of England agreed in 2002 that divorced people could remarry in church under certain circumstances, at the discretion of the priest.
A spokesperson for Betfair has revealed that Westminster Abbey is the odds-on favourite wedding venue, saying: "It's the announcement the world has been eagerly awaiting and after some intense speculation over the last few days, the couple have now confirmed their engagement and a Spring wedding. May is the favourite at 2/5, with April or May both at 10/3… Westminster Abbey is the 1/12 favourite for the venue of the wedding, ahead of Windsor Castle at 2/1 and St Pauls, where his parents were married, at 5/1."
The Abbey can accommodate 2000 guests - but the couple may instead opt for St George's, the church set in the Lower Ward of Windsor Castle, where Prince Charles and Camilla had their televised blessing back in 2005. With space for 800 guests, it would be a more private affair, and would also be convenient for Harry's grandparents, the Queen and Prince Philip, who spend most of their time at home in the castle. It is also where Prince Harry was christened back in 1984, and according the Church of England rules, it means that he can also marry there. Surrounded by the Horseshoe Cloisters and the Henry VIII gate, it would ensure a level of privacy on the exciting day.