Odds narrow for royal wedding in May amid Prince Harry, Meghan Markle engagement speculation
Monday - 27/11/2017 09:22
MARRYING a royal is no simple feat, especially when you’ve been through a divorce. Here’s what’s next for Harry and Meghan.
FROM the horse-drawn carriage to balcony kiss and national holiday, life is different when you’re marrying a royal.
That’s especially true for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle who have already had to conduct their relationship in secret under the glare of the world’s press.
The fifth-in-line to the British throne (until the next royal baby is born) has already had to jump through several hoops to get to the engagement stage by securing the permission of his fiancee’s parents and the official consent of his granny, the Queen.
Here’s what we can expect from the most hotly-anticipated Royal nuptials since Wills and Kate in 2011.
GETTING A MARRIAGE VISA
Having been born and raised in LA, Meghan Markle will need a fiancee settlement visa and a marriage visa to live in the UK, AP reports.
They will also need a special wedding license from the Archbishop of Canterbury if they want to marry in a church like Westminster Abbey — tipped as a likely venue — because of her divorce from American film and TV producer Trevor Engelson. Westminster Abbey officials have already indicated Meghan Markle’s divorce won’t be an issue if she weds Prince Harry in a church.
That’s after the couple already needed to secure official permission from the Queen for their wedding, reportedly granted after a meeting for afternoon tea at Buckingham Palace in October. The Royal Marriages Act requires the first six in line to the throne to obtain consent to marry.
CHOOSING THE VENUE
The most traditional site for Royal weddings has been the Chapel Royal at St James Palace, where five monarchs including Queen Victoria tied the knot.
But the frontrunner for the spring 2018 wedding is Westminster Abbey which would mean Prince Harry following in the footsteps of his brother Prince William, who married Kate Middleton there in 2011.
The Abbey has hosted five Royal weddings since 1919, including the Queen’s. Other potential venues mentioned in the British press included St Paul’s Cathedral, which hosted the spectacular nuptials of Harry’s parents Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981, St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, Edinburgh’s Canongate Kirk, and Crathie Kirk near Balmoral Castle in Scotland.
WRITING THE GUEST LIST
The high-profile couple is likely to have a celebrity-laden guest list as their royalty and entertainment worlds combine.
Among Meghan Markle’s closest friends are Star Wars actor Janina Gavankar and Jessica Mulroney, a stylist and daughter of the former Canadian Prime Minister, Brian Mulroney.
Fashion designer Misha Nonoo is also likely to attend and is believed to have been the one who introduced the couple. UK celebrity and heir to a sweet company, Millie Mackintosh could also attend along with Serena Williams, who met Meghan Markle in 2014. Prince Harry has recently worked closely with former President Barack Obama who may put in a surprise appearance.
Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding included a huge Royal family contingent as well as foreign royals from Denmark, Bulgaria, Bahrain, Morocco, Tonga and Spain with governor-generals from Commonwealth territories invited. UK political, religious and military figures made the cut along with friends and celebrities like Sir Elton John, David Beckham, Joss Stone and photographer Mario Testino.
WHERE TO HONEYMOON?
The reception and honeymoon venues remain unclear, however Antigua could be a frontrunner following a lavish invite from the prime minister following a royal tour.
In front of hundreds of guests, Gaston Browne said: “I am told that there may be a princess and I just want to say that should you make the decision to honeymoon — then Antigua and Barbuda want to welcome you.”
The couple have previously travelled to Botswana and Jamaica together.
DECIDING ON A ROYAL TITLE
Technically, Ms Markle will be a princess when she marries Harry. But he may receive a peerage from the Queen when he marries, just as Prince William received the hereditary title Duke of Cambridge, with his wife Kate becoming the Duchess of Cambridge.
The newlyweds are tipped to become the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The title Duke of Sussex has only been used once before by Prince Augustus in the early 1800s. Other dukedom titles currently not in use are Clarence and Buckingham.
However Clarence is considered unlikely because the previous Duke of Clarence, Queen Victoria’s grandson Prince Albert Victor, was a suspect in the Jack the Ripper murders.
ROYAL WEDDING TRADITIONS
Certain elements are regarded as “must-dos” for royal weddings, and you wouldn’t want to mess with hundreds of years of history.
Myrtle has been in the bouquet of every royal bride since Queen Victoria married Prince Albert in 1840. The ring is usually made from Welsh gold following a tradition started by the Queen Mother when she married the future King George VI in 1923.
Harry is expected to don his military uniform, as per tradition for Royal grooms which was also followed by Prince William. Who will make Meghan Markle’s dress will likely be the subject of intense secrecy, speculation and competition as was the case with Kate Middleton, who wore a dress designed by Sarah Burton for her 2011 wedding.
As far as food goes, fruit cake is a staple at Royal weddings, however Prince William also had a chocolate cake.
The most watched for moment of the day however is the Buckingham Palace balcony kiss which was begun by Prince Charles and Diana and carried on by Kate and Wills. It’s the most visible moment for thousands of people who are expected to line The Mall to catch a glimpse of the Royal couple.
WHERE TO LIVE?
The couple announced they would live in Nottingham Cottage located in the grounds of Kensington Palace, where Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge live. The two-bedroom home is where Prince Harry currently lives and is regarded as a Royal “starter home” while they look for a place of their own.
The wedding announcement marks Harry’s evolution from a man once regarded as a “playboy prince” who was busted playing “strip billiards” at a party in Las Vegas in 2012 and apologised for wearing a Nazi uniform to a party in 2005, to a Royal who has used his profile to raise awareness of mental health issues and for returned servicemen and women.
He has recently spoken about how he “shut down” his emotions following the death of his mother in 1997 when he was 12.
“I have probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions when all sorts of grief and sort of lies and misconceptions and everything are coming to you from every angle,” he told The Telegraph’s Mad World podcast.
It wasn’t until he was 28, when royal engagements sparked anxiety and feelings of being “on
the verge of punching someone”, that he sought help from counsellors.
“Because of the process I have been through over the past two and a half years, I’ve now been able to take my work seriously, been able to take my private life seriously as well, and been able to put blood, sweat and tears into the things that really make a difference and things that I think will make a difference to everybody else.” he said.