Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wedding news – date, dress, Elton John performance and are her parents invited?
From details of their ceremony to their reception and where members of the public will be able to catch a glimpse of them – to speculation surrounding Meghan’ dress, their wedding performers and who the bridesmaids will be – there is a huge amount of interest surrounding their wedding date.
So, to keep you up-to-date with the royal couple, here’s everything we know so far about Meghan and Harry’s nuptials…
When is the royal wedding date?
Harry and Meghan will tie the knot on Saturday 19 May.
By choosing a Saturday, they’ve gone against tradition – royal weddings usually take place on a weekday. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge wed on a Friday and the Queen on a Thursday.
May 19 is also the day in 1536 when Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII and mother of Queen Elizabeth I, was executed on Tower Green for alleged adultery.
Where are they getting married?
After their engagement announcement, it was revealed they would be tying the knot at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.
His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales and Ms. Meghan Markle will marry on 19th May 2018.
Today's announcement follows earlier confirmation of the month of the wedding and its location at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. pic.twitter.com/7pgdRM90Na
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) December 15, 2017
They will say ‘I do’ in the historic surrounds of the Castle’s 15th century St George’s Chapel.
However, if you’re hoping to make a weekend of it and head to Windsor to glimpse Meghan in her dress, you’ll be in with a hard task of finding a hotel: practically all of them sold out before Christmas.
Ms Markle, who is to become a British citizen, is being both baptised and confirmed ahead of the religious ceremony.
When did they get engaged?
Harry and Meghan announced their engagement on Monday 27 November.
A statement was released via Clarence house on behalf of Prince Charles of Wales.
What is Meghan’s engagement ring like and how much is it worth?
First thing’s first, if you need a reminder of what the ring looks like (we don’t believe you haven’t been staring longingly at pictures of it every day like us for one second, by the way), check it out here:
Romantic Prince Harry designed the ring himself, using diamonds which belonged to his mother Diana, Princess of Wales.
The two outside stones came from the late princess’ personal collection and are a poignant tribute to Diana in the year of the 20th anniversary of her death.
At the centre of the ring is a large diamond from Botswana, a country that holds special significance for Harry, who has visited many times since he was a child.
It is also a place where the couple has spent time together over the last year and a half, Kensington Palace said.
Like his grandfather, Harry opted against using a coloured gemstone in Meghan’s engagement ring.
The jeweller behind the most photographed bling since Prince William got down on bent knee to Kate Middleton in 2010 has vowed never to make a ring like it again.
Jeweler Cleave And Company created Meghan’s stunning three-stone engagement ring with and creative eye of Prince Harry.
‘We’re not going to be making replicas of it,’ Stephen Connelly, the Cleave And Company director, told the Associated Press. ‘If you want a ring, then we’ll design you a different one.’
As well as letting Meghan revel in her unique design that nobody else will have, Connelly also admitted that the reaction to her band had been ‘a bit of a shock’ – so they might not be able to handle the hysteria that would come if they actually did start churning out replicas.
A beaming Ms Markle showed off the sparkling jewels at an open-air photocall in the Palace’s Sunken Garden.
Deborah Papas of Channel 4 show Posh Pawn estimates: ‘Depending on the quality, it could easily be valued as high as £250,000.’
While a monetary value can be estimated by gemologists, as with all of the royal engagement rings – considering the history and the owners of the stunning pieces – their real value is surely priceless.
Harry is not the only royal to design his bride-to-be’s engagement ring using jewels that belonged to his mother.
The Duke of Edinburgh designed an engagement ring for the Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, in 1947.
More: Prince Harry
The Duke had the ring made by the jewellers Philip Antrobus Ltd, using diamonds from a tiara belonging to his mother, Princess Alice of Greece.
When Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton, now the Duchess of Cambridge, he gave her Diana’s famous sapphire and diamond engagement ring.
He hid the priceless heirloom in a rucksack so he could pop the question on holiday in Kenya.
Who is the best man?
One would assume the best man role would automatically go to Prince William, but this might not be the case.
The royal wedding is falling on the same day as the FA Cup Final 2018.
As President of the Football Association, Harry’s older brother the Duke of Cambridge usually attends the high-profile match and presents the trophy.
But before we panic too much, it’s believed that the FA and the royal family are trying to find a way for William to attend both events.
Windsor Castle is less than 30 miles from Wembley Stadium and about an hour’s drive – meaning that William would be away from the celebrations for a minimum of two hours if he was to dash off to present the silverware.
That being said, William was asked by DJ Roman Kemp earlier this month about being best man and the second in line to the throne admitted he still hasn’t been asked.
‘He hasn’t asked me yet – it could be a sensitive issue!’ he joked.
Come on Harry – you were William’s best man. It’s only fair…
What about the bridesmaids?
Likewise, there is still no news on who Meghan’s lucky bridesmaids – or her maid of hounour – will be.
If she chooses to have a flower girl and a page boy, the chances are the roles will go to her future niece and nephew Princess Charlotte and Prince George.
Her best friend Jessica Mulroney’s four-year-old daughter Ivy has also been tipped for the role of flower girl, while Jessica has been linked to a bridesmaid spot.
Other names that are in the running to be Meghan’s maids on the day include Priyanka Chopra, Millie Mackintosh and Serena Williams.
It’s likely she could ask the Duchess of Cambridge, too. But it’s also rather unlikely, considering Kate hasn’t known Meghan as long as the former actress’ other friends and the fact she is the future queen consort, so it’s not too likely she’ll be looking out for another royal bride.
What will the wedding be like?
Palace aides have already said that the Prince and Ms Markle’s wedding will ‘reflect their characters and personalities’ and be a moment of ‘fun and joy’.
The royal family are paying for the wedding, including the church service, the music, the flowers and the reception.
But the security costs for the high-profile event are falling to the taxpayer.
The Queen will be there, as will the rest of the royal family, along with Ms Markle’s parents Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland.
What time are they tying the knot?
Meghan and Harry’s wedding ceremony will be taking place at midday on 19 May.
It has been confirmed that the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will marry the couple as they take their vowels.
The Rt Rev David Conner, Dean of Windsor, will conduct the service at the Castle’s 15th century chapel.
Meghan and Harry are getting married in front of 800 wedding guests.
Will their wedding clash with the 2018 FA Cup Final?
Football fans can breathe a sigh of relief as the happy couple’s ceremony will not clash with the 2018 FA Cup Final, which usually kicks off at around 5.30pm.
What will happen after the ceremony?
New plans revealed by Kensington Palace show the public will be able to spot the couple when they take an open carriage ride through Windsor.
The palace said the couple are ‘hugely grateful for the many good wishes they have received since announcing their engagement’, adding: ‘They are very much looking forward to the day and to being able to share their celebrations with the public.’
At 1pm, the newlyweds will embark on a carriage procession along a route including Castle Hill, High Street, Sheet Street, Kings Road, Albert Road, Long Walk and finally Windsor Castle.
‘They hope this short journey will provide an opportunity for more people to come together around Windsor and to enjoy the atmosphere of this special day,’ the palace said.
Concerns have been raised by some royal fans that the wedding in Windsor won’t allow for the iconic ‘kiss shot’ on the balcony of Buckingham Palace – as seen at the wedding of William and Kate.
Where is the reception?
After the service, there will be a reception at St George’s Hall for the couple and guests from the congregation.
Harry and Meghan will join their guests at the reception when they return from the carriage procession.
Later that evening, the Prince of Wales will give a private evening reception for the couple and their close friends and family.
What is Meghan’s dress like?
Top secrecy surrounds Meghan’s wedding dress, as one would expect of any bride, let alone a royal bride.
It was rumoured back in December that it could be the creation of Israeli designer Inbal Dror after the fashion house revealed they’d been asked to submit designs for Meghan’s dress by Buckingham Palace.
But nothing more is known of the frock she will say ‘I do’ in – apart from the fact that she’s apparently already started having her fittings at Kensington Palace. TOO EXCITING!
What’s this about Meghan doing a speech?
It was speculated earlier this month that Meghan will be giving a speech in tribute to Prince Harry on the big day.
It’s likely her father, who is thought to be shy, won’t be doing a father-of-the-bride speech and she will be speaking instead.
Who is walking Meghan down the aisle?
While it had been rumoured that Meghan had asked her mum to walk her down the aisle, it’s understood that Thomas Markle, her father, will indeed be taking on the traditional role for the father of the bride.
Is Elton John performing?
It’s hotly rumoured that Elton John will be the guest of honour on Meghan and Harry’s big day, performing for the newlyweds.
He performed at Diana, Princess Of Wales’ funeral and attended Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding in 2011, so it’s expected he will be in the crowds on 19 May for Harry and Meghan.
But it’s likely he won’t just be a guest at the ceremony, with reports claiming Elton will be putting on a show, too.
Earlier this month he added fuel to the fire when he cancelled two of his Las Vegas gigs – 18 and 19 May – at Caesars Palace.
Of course this could just be coincidece.
It’s unclear exactly who is on Meghan and Harry’s guest list but Elton has previously said ‘it would be nice’ to attend the nuptials’.
What about the weather? Will it be sunny?
According to AccuWeather Inc, a media company that provides weather forecasting services worldwide, Saturday 19 May won’t be too shabby, with a high of 17 °C and a low of 8 °C.
But thanks to the good old British weather, anyone’s guess is as good as the weather man’s when it comes to predicting what will really happen with the weather.
With this in mind, we’ve turned to trusty history to make a judgement call on what Meghan and Harry should expect for their big day.
So, is 19 May a good weather day to get married on?
Let’s take a look at what history tells us the weather is like in Windsor, Buckinghamshire on their wedding date…
19 May 2017 – ‘Wet throughout the day, gradually ceasing by late afternoon.’
19 May 2016 – ‘Dry and bright, then light and patchy rain spread from the west from late morning.’
19 May 2015 – ‘Some sunshine, but also widespread showers, some with hail and thunder.’
19 May 2014 – ‘Dry, warm and sunny with the area recording 26 °C. Heavy showers broke out in the south-west by late morning and spread slowly east towards Berkshire.’.
19 May 2013 – ‘Bright with scattered rain in the morning.’
19 May 2012 – ‘Unsettled, cool, windy and and spells of rain.’
19 May 2011 – ‘Largely dry with the temperature reaching 20 °C in the area.’
19 May 2010 – ‘Largely dry with prolonged sunshine.’
19 May 2009 – ‘Heavy downpour’.
19 May 2008 – ‘High pressure, generally rather cool.’
Based on the above historical evidence, therefore, 19 May is typically a dry day in South-Eastern England, with perhaps the odd scattered shower or sunny spell.
Going by the law of averages, it looks like the happy couple may be in for some luck.
If it does rain, no doubt the royal household will have a smooth back-up plan and guests won’t have to get their hair drenched.
Will Kate have given birth before the wedding?
The Duchess of Cambridge is due to give birth to her and Prince William’s third royal baby in April, meaning she’ll have time to recover before the big day.