Prince Harry and Meghan Markle reveal royal wedding plans
Kensington Palace has released a series of details about the big day, which takes place on the same date as the the 2018 FA Cup Final.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have revealed eagerly-awaited details of their forthcoming wedding.
The pair will have the eyes of the world on them on May 19 when they tie the knot at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.
Kensington Palace has released an update on the big day, which takes place on the same date as the the 2018 FA Cup Final.
Fans of both football and the royals will be relieved to know that the wedding service will begin at midday – meaning that a clash is very unlikely as recent finals have kicked off at 5.30pm.
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.”
Information released included the ceremony time and confirmation that Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will marry the couple.
The Rt Rev David Conner, Dean of Windsor, will conduct the service at the Castle’s 15th century chapel.
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.
After the service, there will be a reception at St George’s Hall for the couple and guests from the congregation.
They are very much looking forward to the day and to being able to share their celebrations with the public Kensington Palace
Harry and Ms Markle 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.
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. pic.twitter.com/z8fukP2nea— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) February 12, 2018
As president of the Football Association, Harry’s older brother the Duke of Cambridge usually attends the FA Cup Final and presents the trophy.
But this year, William, who is tipped to be Harry’s best man, looks likely to be otherwise engaged with wedding duties.
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.
Last month, the second-in-line to the throne joked about whether or not he would be best man, quipping: “He hasn’t asked me yet – it could be a sensitive issue.”
He also said he is “still working” on the date clash between the wedding and the football.
Harry and Ms Markle have gone against tradition by choosing a Saturday, as royal weddings usually take place on a week day.
William and Kate Middleton, now the Duchess of Cambridge married on a Friday and their service began at 11am.
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.
Prince George and Princess Charlotte are likely to take on the roles of pageboy and bridesmaid.
Harry proposed to Suits star Ms Markle during a cosy night in over a roast chicken dinner after a 16-month whirlwind romance.
In his engagement interview he told of how “the stars were aligned” when he fell for his future wife, whom he met on a blind date.
The palace said further details about the wedding day will be revealed in the weeks and months ahead.