The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle: Everything to know about the royal nuptials
We’re only a couple of months away from the conclusion of what’s turning out to be a real-life Hallmark movie — the May 19 wedding of Prince Harry and American actress turned humanitarian Meghan Markle — and we’re finally learning about the guest list.
All of the Spice Girls received invites. That’s according to Mel B, who also coyly confirmed Tuesday that she’s attending the royal affair. “I’m going,” she whispered on daytime talk show “The Real” before adding, “I don’t know if I should have said that.”
And will there be a Spice Girls performance at the reception? Mel B isn’t divulging: When asked, she threw her hands up in the air and simply said, “I need to go — I’m going to get fired.”
Speculation has been swirling for months about some kind of reunion of the 1990s pop group, including a possible TV show and endorsement deals. Victoria Beckham shot down the possibility of a reunion last year, but she posted a group photo of the five singers in February:
Interest in the upcoming wedding is incredibly high, and the content of the guest list (aside from obvious family members) has turned into a big guessing game, full of rumors and clues. Will Harry invite Barack and Michelle Obama? What about Elton John, a close friend of Princess Diana?
While the royal family has always occupied an outsize place in the public spotlight, Harry is especially beloved by the public. He is fifth in line to the British throne, and his mother, Diana, was the most famous woman in the world at the time of her death in 1997. And his storybook-like romance with an American actress from Los Angeles best known for her role on USA’s “Suits” has captivated the public, both in England and the United States.
Prince Harry and his fiancee, Meghan Markle, in Nottingham, England, on Dec. 1. (Frank Augstein/Associated Press)
Their relationship generated such vitriol that Kensington Palace, in an unusual move, issued a blistering statement denouncing racist and sexist coverage when the pair were still dating. (Markle’s mother is black.)
Since announcing their engagement, the couple haven’t been keeping a totally low profile — they’ve mostly been spotted at charitable events — and on Wednesday, they appeared for the first time publicly alongside Prince William and his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge.
Here’s everything we know so far about the upcoming nuptials.
When do I need to schedule all of my calendar alerts?
The wedding will take place at noon GMT — meaning 7 a.m. Eastern — on May 19. Set your alarms accordingly.
Where is this shindig?
(If you’re still trying to get yourself invited, probably best not to refer to the ceremony as a “shindig.”) It will take place in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. The Dean of Windsor, the Right Rev. David Conner, will conduct the service, and the Hon. Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, will officiate as Markle and Prince Harry make their wedding vows.
Harry was baptized in the chapel, which has also hosted several royal weddings, including those of Queen Victoria’s children and Prince Edward. Here’s a look inside:
How can us common folk catch a glimpse of the royal couple?
If you happen to be in the neighborhood, you may want to park yourself nearby. At about 1 p.m. GMT (8 a.m. Eastern), the newlyweds will hop in a carriage and go through Windsor Town along High Street and then return to Windsor Castle by the Long Walk.
“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,” a palace statement reads.
This carriage procession will probably be the public’s best chance to see the two on their wedding day.
What else is happening?
Yes, they’re following a lot of traditions, but this won’t be a stuffy wedding.
“It will be a moment of fun and joy that will reflect the character of the bride and groom,” their spokesman has previously said. “The couple of course want the day to be a special, celebratory moment for their friends and family. They also want the day to be shaped so as to allow members of the public to feel part of the celebrations too and are currently working through ideas for how this might be achieved.”
After the ceremony and carriage procession, the couple and guests will head to St. George’s Hall for a reception. Later that night, Prince Harry’s father, the Prince of Wales, will host a private reception for the newlyweds and their close friends and family.
Okay, guest list. Who can I expect?
St. George’s Chapel is relatively small compared with some other royal wedding venues (think a capacity of 800 vs. 1,900). So, sorry, folks, but if you’re reading this, you’re probably not going to get an invite.
Aside from the obvious royal names (Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, etc.), there has mostly been a lot of speculation about potential high-profile guests.
Prince Harry and former U.S. president Barack Obama have hung out a bunch over the years, so lots of folks wonder whether the former first family will attend (and whether that would cause major diplomatic headaches with President Trump). When the BBC asked Harry whether Obama made the cut, he responded: “We haven’t put the invites or the guest list together yet, so who knows whether he’s going to be invited or not. Wouldn’t want to ruin that surprise.”
Serena Williams, who is tennis royalty, is a friend of Markle’s. The Foo Fighters have been mentioned in British tabloids. (The band played at Harry’s Invictus Games in 2014.) And Elton John has rescheduled two shows that originally fell on the wedding weekend. His reasoning? A “scheduling conflict.”
Prince Harry and former U.S. president Barack Obama pose with an athlete at a wheelchair-basketball event during the Invictus Games in Toronto on Sept. 29. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)
What’s left on the to-do list? Can I help?
“We’re pretty tied up with planning a wedding at the moment,” Harry said Wednesday at a Royal Foundation event. Still planning!
At some point, Markle will be baptized and confirmed in the Church of England, and she also intends to become a British citizen, according to royal officials.
Also, the palace has confirmed that the royal family will cover the costs of the wedding.
So, no, you can’t help.
A dramatized version of this love story is relevant to my interests. Anything out there for me?
Why, yes! Production began in February on a Lifetime original movie, “Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance,” starring Murray Fraser and Parisa Fitz-Henley. It’s expected to come out sometime in the spring — just in time for wedding season.