When are Prince Harry and Meghan Markle getting married? Royal wedding date, venue, dress, bridesmaids and best …
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are getting married this year - with the eyes of the world on them as they tie the knot. Seven years after Harry was best man for brother William's wedding to Kate Middleton, there's no doubt it will be the wedding of the year. When Harry and Meghan announced their engagement to a flurry of excitement in November, they set a rough date for their royal wedding - just days after Harry had popped the question over roast chicken.
But there's a lot the lovebirds need to sort out. Who will be on the guest list? What dress will Meghan wear? Where will Harry go on his stag do?
And will any of the bridesmaids steal the limelight like cheeky Pippa? Subscribe to the Mirror's royal podcast Pod Save The Queen for regular updates on the royal wedding gossip, and bookmark this page to catch up with the latest news and rumours...
Wedding date and time confirmedPrince Harry and Meghan Markle will marry in May (Image: Getty)
Prince Harry and Meghan's wedding day will be Saturday May 19, Kensington Palace has confirmed. The couple had initially promised a Spring wedding when they announced their engagement, narrowing it down to May the following day - and some hoped it might be on the Bank Holiday weekend of May 26 to give a three day weekend.
The date was officially confirmed as May 19 in December by Kensington Palace, with a statement released on Twitter. And in February it was confirmed that the service will begin at midday. Football fans have joked that Harry chose the time so that the ceremony wouldn't clash with the FA Cup Final, which is being held on the same day.
Will the royal wedding be a bank holiday?
The first question on many people's mind when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's engagement was announced was obvious: do we get a day off work and school?
WhenKate Middleton and Prince William tied the knot
in London's Westminster Abbey on Friday April 29, 2011, the British public was given a bonus bank holiday. There won't be one this time around, though, as Harry is lower down the line of succession. But the Saturday ceremony means much of the country will be able to have the day off to watch it if they want to - and pubs will be permitted to apply for longer opening hours.poll loading
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Wedding venue confirmedWindsor Castle could be where the couple say their vows (Image: Getty)
A church wedding beckons, despite Meghan being a divorcee.
The day after the engagement news was released, it was announced the wedding would take place at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. Prince Charles and Camilla had their blessing there in 2005 and it was where Harry was christened. Meghan will be baptised and confirmed into the Church of England ahead of her wedding day.
Harry's communication's secretary Jason Knauf said Windsor was a "very special place" for Harry, and that he and Ms Markle had spent time there together during their 16-month romance. He said the couple were delighted to be holding the wedding in the "beautiful grounds of Windsor". The couple were "extremely grateful" for the happy response to their announcement, adding they were also grateful to The Queen for granting use of the chapel.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wedding
Who will conduct the ceremony?
The Dean of Windsor, The Rt Reverend David Conner, will conduct the service, while The Most Reverend and Rt Honourable Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, will officiate as the couple make their marriage vows.
After their engagement announcement, the Most Rev Justin Welby said the couple had "chosen to make their vows before God". He also declared himself "absolutely delighted" to hear their news, wishing them "many years of love, happiness and fulfilment".
What happens after the ceremony?
After the vows, a carriage procession will begin at 1pm. It was announced in February that their route will take them from Windsor Castle via Castle Hill and process along the High Street and through Windsor Town, before returning to Windsor Castle along the Long Walk.
A spokesman said: "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." After the procession, there will be a reception at St George's Hall for the couple and guests from the congregation. Later on, Harry's father the Prince of Wales will host a private evening reception for the couple and their close friends and family.
Who will be in the wedding party?Prince George helps out little sister Princess Charlotte (Image: WireImage)
Prince George and Princess Charlotte already have one page boy and flower girl gig on their CVs - for their aunt Pippa Middleton on her wedding day last May.
George did have a bit of a moment, in tears after the ceremony and with a telling off from mum Kate, but he and his little sister are surely set to be page boy and flower girl for Meghan too. There will be another little brother or sister around too, with Kate set to give birth to her third child in April, but at just a few weeks old, they will miss the fun. Another potential flower girl is the daughter of Meghan's good friend Jessica Mulroney. Four-year-old Ivy often featured on Meghan's Instagram before it was closed.
Will Prince William be best man?Prince Harry wore his dress uniform as best man for brother Prince William - will he ask William to return the favour? (Image: PA)
Strictly speaking, royals have a supporter rather than a best man.
But whatever it's called, Harry performed the role for his big brother Prince William back in 2011. Harry's father Prince Charles chose two "supporters" for his wedding, with Prince Andrew and Prince Edward doing the same, but William opted for Harry alone in a best man role. The brothers are close, and William would be an obvious choice as best man.
But in January, while recording a charity interview, Wills revealed he was yet to be asked and it could be a "sensitive subject". Harry has been an usher for a number of his friends, including Guy Pelly, and Thomas van Straubenzee - and also at the wedding of Tom Inskip in Jamaica last March, which Meghan also attended.Video LoadingVideo UnavailableClick to play Tap to playThe video will start in 8Cancel
Will Meghan's dad walk her down the aisle?Thomas Markle speaks with Daily Mirror reporter Chris Bucktin (Image: Andy Johnstone/Daily Mirror)
When they announced their engagement, the couple said Harry was yet to meet Meghan's dad - but he has spoken to him on the phone. The Mirror spoke to Thomas Markle in Mexico in December.
When we asked if he will be at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle to give Meghan away, he beamed: "Yes. I'd love to." It has been reported that Harry got approval from Meghan's mum Doria Ragland before proposing, rather than following the old tradition of speaking to his girlfriend's father.
With Meghan's dad known to be deeply private, it has been suggested he may be unlikely to give a speech at the reception.
Potential bridesmaidsOne of Meghan's best friends is Jessica Mulroney, who could double up as a bridesmaid (Image: jessicamulroney/Instagram)
Meghan has her own girl squad in Toronto, so there sould be plenty of glamorous friends wanting to her bridesmaids. One of her best friends is Canadian stylist Jessica Mulroney, 37, whose father-in-law was former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. They've been inseparable since Meghan moved to Canada to film Suits and was regularly seen partying with her on Instagram - until Meghan quit social media for a royal life.
Another close friend is US actress and former Miss World, Priyanka Chopra, 35, who hit it off with Meghan after they met at a Toronto party two years ago. The Quantico and Baywatch star, who has made more than 50 Bollywood films, shares her passion for charity work and has also made it clear she has Meghan's back - on a recent appearance on a US talk show she lambasted host Wendy Williams for calling Meghan "Prince Harry's girlfriend", saying "Also Meghan Markle ... you know, an actress in Suits, her own achievements...".Another close friend is Priyanka Chopra (Image: Getty)
Also in the running is tennis ace pal Serena Williams, who she first met at a charity flag football game in February 2014. One person it's unlikely to be is Meghan's half-sister, Samanatha Grant.
Samantha, who shares the same father, has previously spoken out against Meghan, calling her a "social climber" and suggesting she'd targeted Harry as she has "a soft spot for gingers". Since the engagement she has reached out to say she regrets their earlier fallouts, but has continued to be outspoken. Read her interview in the Mirror.
And Samantha's ex-husband has also weighed in to say she shouldn't be invited.
Wedding dress designer and styleMeghan has already posed in a dreamy wedding gown for a magazine (Image: Kleinfeld)
The designer behind Meghan's wedding dress will have a world spotlight, so the job is sure to be in high demand. And the challenge will be on to create something that stands alongside dresses worn by previous royal brides. As a stylist, best pal Jessica Mulroney may well be called in to help Meghan pick out the perfect wedding gown for her big day, with reports she flew in for a visit when Meghan discussed "a number of options" with the chosen designer.
Meghan previously posed in a beautiful gown for Canada's Hello magazine, modelling a dress from Jessica's Kleinfeld Canada bridal shop. The picture was reposted last year, showing Meghan in a princess-style full skirted gown with the hashtag "Princess goals."
That style seems to fit with Meghan's own passions. When asked about her perfect wedding dress, she once said: "I personally prefer dresses that are whimsical or subtly romantic."
She's also previously said she'll "always be a fan of Elie Saab" when asked about her perfect wedding dress, the Lebanese designer known for embroidery and embellishments. We also have a clue what she might not want.Meghan Markle's character Rachel Zane had an unhappy wedding day
While she also loved the Anne Barge Versailles dress she wore when her Suits character Rachel Zane was jilted on her wedding day by Mike Ross, Meghan stressed it was a little too formal for her taste, saying: "It's not my personal style, because I'm a lot more relaxed than Rachel but I love that I got to play dress up in this gown." Meghan's first wedding to director Trevor Engleton saw her wear a simple strapless white dress with a silver belt for the beach ceremony and party.
In February, two bookmakers suspended betting on Meghan's wedding dress being McQueen - but our Pod Save The Queen podcast team, featuring royal correspondent Victoria Murphy and fashion director Amber Graafland, is sceptical.
GuestsThe Obamas could be given an invite to the nuptials (Image: Getty)
Prince Harry said he and his bride-to-be were still working through the guestlist at Christmas, when he guest edited Radio 4's Today programme. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall and Harry's pals Tom Inskip, Thomas van Straubenzee, Arthur Landon and Guy Pelly will, of course, be on the groom's side of the church, as well as The Duchess of Cambridge, who may or may not have the newest royal baby with her (as she has nannying on tap, we suspect not). Natalie Pinkham, Ben Fogle and Joss Stone are also likely to be on Harry's list.
Kate's sister Pippa invited Harry to her wedding last year, so it is likely she and husband James Matthews will be on the guestlist. It has also been reported Harry is inviting two of his ex girlfriends - Chelsy Davy and Cressida Bonas. Sir Elton John has cancelled two concerts on the weekend of the royal wedding and appears set to attend. Every wedding has some invitation diplomacy to negotiate, but it is on another level for the royals.
Harry is under no obligation to invite heads of state, but US President Donald Trump is said to want an invitation - even using a trade deal as leverage, according to Fire and Fury author Michael Wolff. He shouldn't get his hopes up, though, with a Royal Household source saying: "There is no reason he would be invited."
The Obamas, however, are genuine friends of the royal and it is likely he would like to invite them - but it has been reported they may miss out as Harry "would not wish to cause a diplomatic row". Trump told Piers Morgan he was not aware of an invitation
Meghan is pals with former Made in Chelsea star Millie Mackintosh as well as Sophie Ellis-Bexter and her rock star husband Richard Jones. The actress is also very close to her Suits co-stars which could mean invites for Patrick J Adams and his wife, Pretty Little Liars star Troian Bellasario, and Gabriel Macht and his Bridget Jones' actress wife Jacinda Barrett. She's also likely to invite co-stars Sarah Rafferty and Gina Torres, best known for hit Firefly, who she previously asked for advice, saying: "Sarah and Gina give me such great advice - not just on being a good actor but being a wife and mom some day."
The invitations do not seem to have been sent out as yet, with Mike Tindall - married to Harry's cousin Zara Phillips - saying they had not yet received one in a Sunday Mirror interview in late January.
Based on the timings of the invitations sent out for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's wedding, they are likely to arrive between mid February and early March. According to Spice Girl Mel B, they have been sent out and are "proper" (don't miss her big claim about the celebrations in the reception section...).
Will Meghan wear a tiara?Kate wore the 1936 Cartier halo tiara on her wedding day (Image: Getty)
The Queen loaned Kate the 1936 Cartier halo tiara for her wedding day in 2011, and Meghan could also be loaned jewellery from the royal collection. The actress always wears her grandma's charm bracelet on her left wrist, so she's likely to wear an heirloom from her own family as well as royal jewels on the big day.
And her stunning engagement ring, worth an estimated GBP50,000, was designed by Prince Harry and has a centre diamond from Botswana, where they went on holiday for her birthday. Either side is a diamond from his mother Princess Diana's personal collection. Meghan has also been wearing sparkling jewellery from Birks, picking GBP5,250 diamond Snowflake earrings for both the Christmas lunch at Buckingham palace and Christmas Day at Sandringham.
She will certainly leave with a ring on her finger - but Prince Harry probably won't wear a wedding ring after their marriage.
Make-up and beauty secretsMake-up artist Tanya Burr could be enlisted to work her magic on Meghan for the big day (Image: Getty)
When it comes to make-up, the star is good friends with British make-up artist Tanya Burr, who regularly posted on Meghan's now-defunct lifestyle blog The Tig. When asked her beauty secrets, Meghan previously revealed she's a fan of contouring made famous by the Kardashians. She said: "The power of concealer, with the hours we work, is pretty brutal.
The highlight and the contour and just knowing your angles. And of course hydrating is the biggest secret." And her bouquet is sure to include myrtle, carried by every royal bride since Prince Albert's grandmother gave Queen Victoria a myrtle bush which still grows on the Isle of Wight.
Hen and stag dosBookies think Harry may head back to Vegas for his stag do (Image: Getty)
It was reported Harry had been planning a water-themed celebration with high-speed boats and water skiing in Exmouth, Devon, for brother William until the details being leaked sparked a last minute change of plan, so could that be the kind of do he'd love to have himself?
It has been claimed his close protection officers were spotted on a recce in posh Swiss skiing resort Verbier, where Prince Andrew has a GBP13million chalet and celebrity-owned La Vache is a favourite bar. But with his love of privacy, he's likely to follow William, who had a quiet stag do in Norfolk, and have a bash at a private country house. Hot favourite locations are Cornwall - he has regularly hung out at Rock with his private school pals - or Anglesey where his brother used to live in a cottage with wife Kate.
Bookies are also taking bets on Harry returning to Las Vegas, scene of his naked billiard game in 2012.
In the past Meghan has talked about her ideal hen do - or bachelorette party as they're known in America, saying: "The thought of running around a city trying to get into clubs and wearing headbands of the phallic persuasion didn't seem very 'on brand' for us". Instead she said a girls' getaway in Europe was her perfect destination and raved about pal Lindsay Roth's hen do in Hydra, Greece. Meghan said of it: "There is something cathartic about being able to turn it all off - to sunbathe with no one watching, swim in the briny Mediterranean, eat copious amounts of Greek salads."
It has been claimed the pair could also have a 'hag' do - a combined stag and hen do - at a polo event. Meghan has chatted about her hen do on two official engagements. On her visit to Cardiff, she said a hen do in the city would be "a lot of fun".
And on her trip to Edinburgh she told well wishers the bachelorette celebrations were "sorted".
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Meghan Markle is a proud feminist - and it has been suggested she is not going to let the men do all the talking at the wedding. The Sunday Times reported Meghan, an accomplished and confident public speaker, is keen to give a speech at the reception. She is said to be planning an "affectionate" tribute for her new husband, some jokes, and thanks to the Queen, her family and friends.
Traditionally wedding speeches were given by the father of the bride, toasting the couple, the groom answering on their behalf and toasting the bridesmaids, and the best man answering on their behalf and toasting the couple. But it is increasingly common for brides and bridesmaids to give their own speeches.
Wedding breakfast meal and the reception
Just like her character Rachel in Suits, Meghan has revealed she has an "obsession" with food. She said she loves "fresh seafood and wonderful wine".
And she has posted her favourite recipes, including sweet potato and white bean soup and smoked salmon and dill dip. Meghan's other speciality is roast chicken, which they were making when Harry proposed. So will they be making an appearance on the wedding reception menu?
She is also reported to love French fries, with claims she wants chips at her wedding - perhaps one for the evening party. Local reports have already suggested Harry and Meghan could follow William and Kate by having English wine and bubbly from Chapel Down vineyard in Kent at their reception.
Wedding reception party music and first dancePrince Harry met the Spice Girls as a child - now could they perform at his wedding celebrations? (Image: GETTY)
As for the wedding song, Meghan is a big fan of pop. She lists English singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor and French band Christine and The Queens on her playlist of favourites, describing them as "a little euphonious pick-me-up".
And Mel B claimed Meghan has inspired a Spice Girls reunion, saying her bandmates Victoria Beckham, Geri Horner, Emma Bunton and Mel C were set to join her at the wedding - and perform. Although all that blabbing seems somewhat odd. Harry did pose shyly with the girlband when he was just a boy.
Two Become One for the first dance, anyone...?Video LoadingVideo UnavailableClick to play Tap to playThe video will start in 8Cancel
Harry and Meghan are also fans of American rock outfit The Killers, with Harry a regular at their concerts, including last summer's Hyde Park gig. Sir Elton John has cancelled two concerts on the weekend of the royal wedding. He famously performed at the funeral of Prince Harry's mother Princess Diana and remains a family friend - so could he be adding another royal gig to his CV?
Meet the Markles
- Who is Meghan Markle?
- Meet the mother of the bride
- Who was Meghan Markle's first husband?
- Who are Meghan Markle's bridesmaids?
HoneymoonBotswana could be the honeymoon destination (Image: Getty)
Botswana has a special place in the couple's heart after Harry revealed he invited Meghan there just three weeks after their first meeting.
In their engagement interview he reminisced about the romantic getaway, raving that it was "absolutely fantastic" and that they "camped out with each other under the stars". They returned for Meghan's birthday this year - so could it be top choice for their honeymoon? Meghan is also a huge fan of Croatia, calling it "unbelievable" and sharing pictures on her blog The Tig.
The site gave further insight into where Meghan loves to travel, with her "Insider Guides" listing Bordeaux, New York, Madrid and Athens among her favourite cities in the world.Video LoadingVideo UnavailableClick to play Tap to playThe video will start in 8Cancel
Where will Harry and Meghan live?(Image: PA)
Tucked away in the grounds of Kensington Palace, the newly-engaged couple will set up home in the prince's current apartment, Nottingham Cottage, a two-bedroom property on the 17th century estate.
Will Meghan be a Princess - and what will her title be?Like Kate, Meghan is likely to be given a title when she marries (Image: Getty Images Europe)
As when Kate Middleton, got married, one thing is certain: Meghan will be a princess - but not in her own right. She will be HRH Princess Henry of Wales. It is likely the Queen will bestow a title on the couple when they marry, as she did with William and Kate.
It has been suggested Prince Harry could become the Duke of Sussex, making Meghan the Duchess of Sussex.
The situation is slightly further complicated by Meghan using her middle name rather than her first name, Rachel.
But just as Duchess Catherine of Cambridge remains Kate Middleton for many of her fans, Meghan's maiden name is also likely to stick.