All the details about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal wedding
The couple will tie the knot on Saturday 19 May
As Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's big day approaches, royal watchers across the world can't wait for the celebrations to start! We're taking a look at absolutely everything you need to know. When and what time is the wedding, what dress has the bride chosen and what roles will Prince George and Princess Charlotte have at the ceremony? All your questions are answered below – keep reading…
When and where is the royal wedding?
Harry and Meghan's church ceremony will start at 12 noon on Saturday 19 May at St George's Chapel in Windsor. The service will last for one hour, and fans will be able to tune in from home. The Prince has a strong connection to Windsor; he was baptised in the very same chapel where his wedding ceremony will be held. As a teenager, he spent a considerable amount of time in and around Windsor as he attended the prestigious Eton College from 1998 to 2003.
Where is the wedding reception?
After the ceremony, the first reception, hosted by the Queen, will be held at St George's Hall at Windsor Castle for all 600 guests. This will be followed by a second, more exclusive reception for Harry and Meghan's 200 closest friends and family at Frogmore House, also in Windsor. The latter will be hosted by the groom's father, Prince Charles.
The first reception will be held at St George's Hall at Windsor Castle
Why is Thomas Markle not attending the wedding?
Two days before the wedding, Meghan released her first official statement via the palace, confirming that her father would not attend the nuptials. Thomas had been suffering heart problems and underwent treatement in hospital. The statement read: "Sadly, my father will not be attending our wedding. I have always cared for my father and hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health. I would like to thank everyone who has offered generous messages of support. Please know how much Harry and I look forward to sharing our special day with you on Saturday."
Who will walk Meghan down the aisle?
The day before the wedding, Kensington Palace revealed that Meghan will be walked down the aisle by her future father-in-law Prince Charles. The statement confirmed that Charles, 69, will do the honours, following the news that Meghan's father Thomas Markle is too ill to attend. It read: "Ms. Meghan Markle has asked His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to accompany her down the aisle of the Quire of St George's Chapel on her Wedding Day. The Prince of Wales is pleased to be able to welcome Ms. Markle to The Royal Family in this way."
It's understood that Meghan, 36, will walk the first part of the aisle with her six bridesmaids, four pageboys and the Dean of Windsor, as was always planned, and then Charles will meet her at the start of the Quire.
Thomas Markle is reportedly not attending the wedding
Who is Prince Harry's best man?
Prince William will act as best man on the day and is expected to arrive at the church with Harry 45 minutes before the ceremony starts. The brothers will spend the pre-wedding night at Dorchester Collection's Coworth Park. Back in 2011, Harry played the role of best man for William's wedding to Kate.
Who is Meghan's maid of honour?
Meghan won't have an official maid of honour as she couldn't decide between her closest friends! Instead, each of her closest friends will have an active role and will be supporting her on her wedding day. Her mum Doria Ragland will accompany her in the car to the church, while her dad Thomas Markle will walk her down the aisle.
Prince William will act as best man
Who are the bridesmaids and pageboys?
The former actress will have a bridal party though, made up of six bridesmaids and four pageboys. Harry's nephew and niece Prince George and Princess Charlotte will act as a pageboy and bridesmaid, just like they did at auntie Pippa Middleton's wedding last year. Other children who will join the bride include Harry's goddaughters Florence van Cutsem, three, and Zalie Warren, two, Meghan's godchildren Remi Litt, six, and Rylan Litt, seven, and Harry's godson Jasper Dyer, six. Meghan has also asked her best friend Jessica Mulroney's children Ivy, four, and twins Brian and John, seven, to play starring roles.
What wedding dress will Meghan wear?
We won't know what the bride will wear until the day, but bets are on that Meghan has chosen Ralph & Russo. The actress handpicked the British brand for her official engagement photos, posing in a daring black dress worth a whopping £56,000.
Can I go to Windsor on the day?
Fans and well-wishers can, of course, go down to Windsor on the weekend, but they will face airport-style security in the town. On the day of the wedding on Saturday, roads in and out of Windsor will be closed from 6am! Trains will be running throughout the night and in the early hours of the morning to accommodate fans travelling from all around the country.
Meghan is slated to wear a dress by Ralph & Russo
What will happen on the day?
A total of 600 guests will attend the church ceremony. Because of the large scale, they have been asked to be seated by around 9:30am. Members of the royal family will start arriving from 11:20am, with Harry and William expected for around 11:45am. The Queen will be the last to take her seat, just before Meghan's entrance. The ceremony will last for an hour, after which the bride and groom will take part in a 25-minute carriage procession around Windsor.
The first afternoon reception will begin at St George's Hall at 1:30pm and finish at 4pm. Later that evening at around 7pm, the second, more exclusive wedding reception for 200 guests will begin at nearby Frogmore House. The celebrations are expected to culminate with a fireworks display, just like William and Kate's reception.
See the royal wedding schedule and timetable
Prince George and Princess Charlotte will have starring roles
Will the ceremony be televised?
The wedding will be televised on the BBC, Sky News and ITV who will provide all-day coverage. There's plenty of opportunity to tune in! The BBC is also allowing a one-off dispensation which means that those celebrating the royal wedding through special events - such as parties in town halls, community centres and streets across Britain - will be allowed to screen the event live without needing to purchase a licence. The rule will also apply to shops and events such as agricultural shows.
Here's where you can watch the royal wedding
Who's paying for the big day?
Kensington Palace have confirmed that the royal family are paying for the "core aspects" of the wedding, and released a statement which read: "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, such as the church service, the associated music, flowers, decorations, and the reception afterwards." The wedding is estimated to cost around £32million, with around £6million expected to go towards security.
When were the invites sent out?
Eight weeks before the wedding, the couple sent out their wedding invites, which were made by Barnard and Westwood. The company have been making royal invitations since 1985, and hold royal warrants to the Queen and Prince Charles. The palace revealed that the invitations were made in a process known as die stamping, on a machine from the 1930s. Using American ink on English card, the invitations were printed in gold and black, then burnished to bring out the shine, and gilded around the edge.
The invites were sent out two months before the wedding
Who's on the guest list?
Apart from the royals including the Queen, Prince Charles and Camilla, and Prince William and Kate, members of Princess Diana's family, such as her brother and two sisters, will also attend. Celebrities will add a touch of star power to the nuptials; Sir Elton John is said to be on the guest list, as is Serena Williams, Priyanka Chopra and Meghan's former Suits co-stars.
What's on the wedding menu?
Harry and Meghan have been very hands-on with their wedding planning and have selected a wedding menu featuring classic dishes and seasonal British produce. Royal chef Mark Flanagan revealed that guests at the first wedding reception will tuck into sweet and savoury canapés and bowl food that can be eaten standing up, offering a more relaxed atmosphere. Produce will come from the Queen's own estates and the dishes will be prepared at the royal kitchen of Windsor Castle. Harry and Meghan will later have a sit-down wedding dinner with 200 guests at Frogmore House.
Claire Ptak will make the wedding cake
What cake will Harry and Meghan have?
Pastry chef Claire Ptak, owner of the London-based bakery Violet Cakes, will be in charge of creating the wedding cake. The couple have asked for a lemon elderflower cake that will be covered with buttercream and decorated with fresh flowers.
Here's everything you need to know about the wedding cake maker
What role will the army play at the royal wedding?
Harry served in the army for ten years, and given that it's a royal wedding, the armed forces will be involved. More than 250 members of the army will provide ceremonial support at the wedding and during the carriage procession. Members of the Household Cavalry will form a staircase party at St George's Chapel, while the State Trumpeters and a Captain's Escort from the Household Cavalry will also provide ceremonial support.
The couple will say "I do" at St George's Chapel in Windsor
What music will be played at the royal wedding?
Harry and Meghan have spent a great deal of time planning the music, which will include well-known hymns, and is under the direction of the director of music at St George's Chapel, James Vivian. The service will include a performance from Sheku Kanneh-Mason, a 19-year-old cellist who won BBC Young Musician in 2016.
Who is the royal wedding photographer?
The couple have chosen Alexi Lubomirski – the same portrait photographer behind their engagement photos – to take the official wedding day photographs at Windsor Castle. "I could not be more thrilled or honoured to photograph this historic occasion," Alexi said. "Having taken Prince Harry and Ms Markle's engagement photos, it brings me such joy to be able to witness again, the next chapter in this wonderful love story."