The Queen gives formal consent to the marriage of 'beloved grandson' Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will exchange vows at Windsor Castle on 19 May

The Queen's formal consent to Prince Harry's forthcoming marriage to Meghan Markle has been unveiled. Under the Great Seal of the Realm, the Queen signed an elaborate notice of approval which proclaimed the consent to the union of "Our Most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales, K.C.V.O., and Rachel Meghan Markle". The declaration of the Instrument of Consent read: "A person who (when the person marries) is one of the 6 persons next in the line of succession to the Crown must obtain the consent of Her Majesty before marrying... Now know ye that we have consented."


The Queen has signed her official consent

Under the Royal Marriages Act 1772, all descendants of George II must obtain the sovereign's agreement before they wed, otherwise the marriage is invalid. The Instrument of Consent is an elaborate document made from vellum, usually calf skin, proclaiming the monarch's approval of a marriage and bearing a large red wax Great Seal of the Realm. The Instrument of Consent is usually released days before the actual wedding day.

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The note comes shortly after the Queen's consent letter was revealed in a Privy Council meeting at Buckingham Palace. The letter read: "I declare My Consent to a Contract of Matrimony between My Most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales and Rachel Meghan Markle, which Consent I am causing to be signified under the Great Seal and to be entered in the Books of the Privy Council."

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They announced their engagement in November 2017

Once the nuptials take place on 19 May, it is believed that the Queen will write a more heartfelt letter for Meghan. After the engagement was confirmed, Harry revealed that his fiancée had developed a strong bond with his grandmother. Meghan confessed that their introduction was "surreal," with the Suits actress sharing: "It's incredible, I think, you know, a) to be able to meet her through his lens, not just with his honour and respect for her as the monarch, but the love that he has for her as his grandmother." She added: "All of those layers have been so important for me so that when I met her I had such a deep understanding and of course incredible respect for being able to have that time with her. And we've had a really - she's - she's an incredible woman."

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