18 May 2018

Your Royal Wedding Guide

Update May 19 1:27 BST


Royal Watcher Blog has published a detailed post about Queen Mary's Diamond Bandeau (or Filigree Tiara). Designed in 1932 to incorporate a diamond brooch that Mary had received as a wedding gift from the County of Lincoln, the tiara reflects the style of its day with pave settings but it looks very current, and therefore highly suited to Meghan's sleek, sophisticated style. The tiara has not been worn publicly since before Mary's death in 1953. Mary was the paternal grandmother of Queen Elizabeth II and was therefore Prince Harry's great-great grandmother. Mary's own mother was Queen Victoria's first cousin, Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge.

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And, the long-hoped-for kiss...

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Update May 19 1:14 BST


The little bridesmaids and page boys include Harry's nephew and niece Prince George and Princess Charlotte of Cambridge; Harry's goddaughters Florence van Cutsem and Zalie Warren; Meghan's goddaughters Remi and Rylan Litt; Harry's godson Jasper Dyer; and family friends Ivy Mulroney and twins Brian and John Mulroney. The girls were dressed in white gowns that reflected the design of Meghan's gown with floral crowns on their heads. The boys were dressed in black jackets and pants inspired by the groom's Blues and Royals uniform.

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Update May 19 12:56 BST


According to the press release from Buckingham Palace, Meghan selected Clare Waight Keeler, earlier this year because of her "timeless and elegant aesthetic, impeccable tailoring, and relaxed demeanor." British-born Keeler served as the creative head of Chloe and of Pringle of Scotland, before taking over the French design firm of Givenchy last year.

The dress is made of silk organza in pure white. The basic structure of the dress emphasizes the bateau neckline and sculpted waist. Three-quarter sleeves "add a note of refined modernity."

The five-meter veil of silk tulle is hand-embroidered with flowers representing each of the 53 nations in the British Commonwealth, to which The Queen has dedicated her life. The press release includes a complete list of each country and its representative flower.

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Update May 19 12:35 BST


Most of the British Royal Family are in attendance: The Queen, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, Duke of York, Princess Beatrice of York, Princess Eugenie of York and her fiance Jack Brooksbank, the Princess Royal and Sir Timothy Laurence, Peter and Autumn Phillips, Zara and Mike Tindall, Lady Sarah and Daniel Chatto with sons Arthur and Samuel, the Earl and Countess of Snowdon with Viscount Linley and Lady Margarita Armstrong-Jones, Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Duke and Duchess of Kent, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, and Princess Alexandra, as well as today's honorary royal lady, Doria Ragland, mother of the bride. Please enjoy these albums.

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Update May 19 12:07 BST


Meghan is wearing a white dress with clean lines, a bateau neckline and long sleeves. Kensington Palace release says the dress was designed by Clare Waight Keller, the first female Artistic Director of the House of Givenchy. Per Meghan's expressed wish, her veil includes distinctive flora from each of the 53 member states of the Commonwealth.

Update May 19 11:55 BST


After much speculation, it appears that Meghan is wearing a tiara on loan from Her Majesty The Queen. It is Queen Mary's Filigree Tiara. Here is a post about it on Tiara Mania. More to come from the Royal Watcher blog shortly.

Update May 19 11:38 BST


Both Prince Harry and his best man Prince William are wearing the frock coat of the Blues and Royals, British Army regiment that is part of the Household Cavalry. Prince Harry served in the Army, including two combat tours in Afghanistan.

Update May 19 11:29 a.m. BST


Remember all those reports saying that Sarah Duchess of York and Harry's ex-girlfriend were highly offended to NOT be invited to the wedding. Well, here's photographic proof that both of them are there and looking smashing.
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Update May 19 10:49 a.m. BST


Harry's maternal uncle Earl Spencer and his third wife Karen have arrived. Lady Kitty Spencer, one of the Earl's seven children has also been photographed arriving. Harry was a pageboy at the Earl's first wedding.
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Update May 19 10:01 a.m. BST


The blog Meghan's Mirror is offering up great coverage of who is wearing what today, from members of the Royal Family to celebrities. Check it out here.

Update May 19 | 9:19 a.m. BST


Buckingham Palace released a PDF of the royal wedding program at midnight. You can download it here. The booklet was designed and printed before Mr. Thomas Markle's health prevented him from attending the wedding, so it lists him as escorting Meghan. We now know that her future father-in-law Charles Prince of Wales will escort her today.

Other new information gleaned from the program:
- Unlike many other men in the BRF, including Prince William, Prince Harry will wear an wedding ring.
- Unlike previous royal weddings, the couple will not use their full Christian names of Henry Charles Albert David and Rachel Meghan when reciting their vows, opting instead to just be Harry and Meghan. You may recall that Diana and Sarah both made errors when reciting their husband's long names: Diana reversed Charles' first two names while Sarah repeated Andrew's third name.
- The couple credits Prince Charles with helping them select the music for the day.


By Alexi Lubomirski/Kensington Palace
Update May 19 | 9:03 a.m. BST


Buckingham Palace announced that The Queen has created Harry Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel. This the second creation of Duke of Sussex, which had previously been granted to King George III's sixth son Prince Augustus. That Duke of Sussex was the uncle who "gave away" Queen Victoria at her own wedding, since her father died when she was an infant. Although Augustus as two wives, both of whom were the daughters of earls, they were not deemed worthy of a royal marriage and never bore their husband's titles. Read my post, Meet the Duchess of Sussex for more details. Sussex was ancient Anglo-Saxon kingdom, located in what is now southeast England.

This is the first royal use of Earl of Dumbarton, although it was created once before and held by two successive men named George Douglas in the 17th and 18th Century. Dumbarton is located in West Dumbartonshire, Scotland. This is the first creation of Baron Kilkeel. The town of Kilkeel is located in County Down, Northern Ireland.

If Harry and Meghan have a son, that child will be able to use the Earl of Dumbarton title during Harry's lifetime. If the earl has a son during Harry's lifetime, the grandson will be called Baron Kilkeel.

Update May 18 | 10:25 p.m. BST

WHERE/HOW to watch the wedding

The most comprehensive guide I have found is posted on the Mad About Meghan blog. It includes how to stream the wedding online and broadcast outlets in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France and Germany as well as how to watch it in movie theaters. Plus, you can enter to win a pair sunglasses like Meghan's. Scroll down their page for a complete schedule of events and a wedding-themed map of Windsor.

Update May 18 | 9 p.m. BST

On Saturday, May 19, beginning at 10 a.m. BST, I will be regularly updating this post with the latest news, tidbits and historical context for everything about the wedding of Prince Harry of Wales and Meghan Markle. You can also follow me on Twitter @PalacePrincess for real updates with the hashtag #royalwedding as well as for fun and frivolous (and fictional) updates using the hashtag #unfoundedroyalrumor. (This hashtag was invented by Marilyn Braun of Marilyn's Royal Blog and me in the run-up to the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

While you wait for the wedding to begin, here are all of my Meghan-related Princess Palace posts, for you to enjoy:

"Old" Royal Brides
Written before Meghan arrived on the scene to rebut the idea that 29-year-old Catherine Middleton was the "oldest royal bride ever", this post is still relevant to 36-year-old Meghan.

Princess Meghan? FAQs about Prince Harry's Future Wife
My very first post about Harry and Meghan's romance, in which I announced that we needed to leave them alone until it was officially acknowledged. Instead of focusing on them, it focuses on things that would be true no matter whom Harry married.

Meghan is Official, Now Let's Leave Her Alone
Published just a week later, when Harry issued a statement denouncing media intrusion and (generally racial) harassment of Meghan, her friends and family, this post underscores why Harry was so keen to take this unprecedented step to protect her and their relationship.

Royal Engagements 
Toward the end of November 2017, everyone was getting really excited about a possible royal engagement, especially after a "royal announcement" was expected on Nov. 24. In the spirit of the moment, I took a look back at royal engagements since Harry's parents announced their own in 1981.

An American Princess for Harry 
We finally got the engagement announcement on 27 November 2017. On this occasion, I posted my first bio of Meghan, plus a slideshow from that morning's photocall and a video of that afternoon's engagement interview.

The Brides of St. George's Chapel, Part 1
The Brides of St. George's Chapel, Part 2
Following the announcement that Harry and Meghan would marry at St. George's Chapel in Windsor, I offered up this two-part series about the 15 royal brides who married there before Meghan. These include the gorgeous Alexandra of Denmark, the stylish Lady Helen Windsor, the popular Sophie Rhys-Jones, and the Canadian Autumn Kelly.

Meet the Duchess of Sussex
The public has assumed that Harry will be named Duke of Sussex, so I thought we'd look at the previous Duchesses of Sussex, but there are none. Instead, I profile the two wives of the only previous Duke of Sussex, both of whom were deemed unworthy of a royal title, despite being the daughters of earls.

Meghan Markle, Duchess of What?
Meghan the Scottish Duchess
Refusing to accept Sussex as the only possible title for Harry and Meghan, I took a look at the other titles that have been granted to English princes over the centuries and followed that up with a post about the titles that have been borne by Scottish princes.

Mother of the Bride
Following the announcement that Meghan's father would not attend the wedding for health reasons, but before was announced that Prince Charles would escort Meghan, I highlighted some royal wedding traditions established by Queen Victoria, including having the bride's mother "give away" the bride.

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