It's official! Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are engaged and they aren't wasting any time. Kensington Palace has already confirmed that the wedding will take place May 2018. And while their relationship has been anything but traditional, they will now have to abide by many strict engagement and wedding rules as they approach their big wedding day. Well, they don't have to, but then they would have to deal with the queen...and I know that I wouldn't want that. Would you?
You may be wondering what kind of rules. First of all, their interview announcing their royal engagement was not just for fun. There is always an announcement and then an interview when someone in the royal family announces an engagement. It is part of the royal tradition.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's interview was very different than interviews in the past. It was intimate and laid back. Go ahead and watch Prince William and Kate Middleton's interview again and you'll see what I mean.
The bride must wear white on her wedding day, with no exceptions. The dress is usually made out of lace. Kate Middleton's dress was designed by Sarah Burton and Princess Diana's dress was designed by Elizabeth Emanuel. Who do you think will be the lucky designer that gets to design Markle's gown? The groom is required to wear military regatta the royal family must take an official wedding portrait. This is the one from Prince William and Catherine's wedding. Wait a minute! If Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding is going to take place in May, and Kate Middleton is going to give birth to her third child in April, then the new little one will be in the royal wedding portrait! Hooray!
It is always the Queen's job to send out the wedding invitations. Queen Elizabeth sent out 1,900 invitations for Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding. Well, she probably had someone else do it for her, but you know what I mean!
The wedding reception will have not one cake, but two cakes. This cake here is one of Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding cakes. The traditional flavor of the cake is fruitcake, and a piece of the wedding cake is mailed out to guests as a "thank you" after the wedding.
While I am sure that a few of Markle's friend are already hoping that they catch the bouquet, they don't have a chance. The bride will have to leave her bouquet at the grave of the "Unknown Warrior," a spot in Westminister Abbey where all brides since Queen Elizabeth I have left their bouquets after the wedding. Sorry ladies! It's tradition!
Speaking of bouquets, the royal bride always carries a sprig of myrtle in the bouquet. These flowers have been used as a royal tradition dating back to Queen Victoria. Why do they use myrtle? Myrtle is known as the “herb of love.”
The bride is encouraged to wear a tiara at the wedding. Queen Elizabeth gave the famous "Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara" to Princess Diana as a wedding gift. That same tiara was passed down to Kate Middleton for her big day.
If the groom is a member of the royal family, they have what they call "supporters" instead of a "best man." Prince William broke this tradition when he called his brother his best man.
According to The Guardian, "Bridegrooms in royal weddings traditionally chose a 'supporter' instead of a best man. The Prince of Wales chose his brother Prince Andrew to be his supporter when he married Diana at St Paul's Cathedral in 1981."
All of the royal wedding bands should contain Welsh gold. This began in 1923 with the wedding of the Queen's late mother. Welsh gold is three times more valuable than gold from Australia or South Africa.
You may be wondering who pays for the wedding. Well, the royal family does. That's lucky for Markle, since typically the bride's family pays for the wedding, and well, we're sure this wedding is going to be a bit pricey.
The royal family is old school when it comes to traditions. The 1701 Act of Settlement prohibits royals from marrying Catholics, because the royals are the head of the Church of England, which is a Protestant Anglican church. The goal of the Act is to keep the Protestant heritage alive and well. Because of this, Markle will be baptized into the Church of England before the wedding.
Before there are any announcements, royals must get the Queen's permission to marry. Especially if you are marrying a commoner. The Royal Marriages Act of 1772 also requires it. Markle spent a lot of time with the Queen before marriage was even an option.
When picking a place to get married, the most traditional site is the Chapel Royal at St James Palace. This is where the weddings of Queen Anne (1683), George III (1761), George IV (1795), Queen Victoria (1840), and George V (1893) took place. Kensington Palace announced Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will be doing something different and their wedding will take place at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.
The royal family typically travels in a Glass Coach to and from their weddings, with some exceptions. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge traveled by car and Princess Diana and Prince Charles took a carriage. We can't wait to see what Prince Harry and Meghan Markle decide to do!