The Royal Wedding of Prince Henry of Wales & Ms Meghan Markle
On the 19th May 2018, Prince Henry of Wales will marry Ms Meghan Markle at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, this will be a joyous occasion as Prince Harry is a much-loved member of the Royal family and Ms Markle has been welcomed into the Royal family and the public have taken her into their hearts too. On the 27th November 2017 Clarence House announced that Prince Harry will marry Ms Meghan Markle, after a private proposal where Prince Harry went down on one knee to ask for her hand in marriage at their cottage in the grounds of Kensington Palace, Meghan said, “it was a romantic surprise” and the mood was “sweet and natural”, and she said yes, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh conveyed their happiness at the wonderful news. The Royal engagement ring, which is set on a gold band, encompasses of a large focal diamond from Botswana with two exquisite diamonds from his mother, Princess Diana’s, personal jewellery collection, and was designed by Prince Harry and crafted by Cleave & Company. The official engagement photographs of the couple were taken in the grounds of Kensington Palace, in the Sunken Garden, which was a favourite of Princess Diana.
The Queen has granted her approval for the nuptials to take place at St Georges Chapel, the Chapel is attended by the resident community where services are held each week, the Queen also enjoys attending the Chapel, at Easter and the annual service for Thanksgiving on St Georges Day for the Order of the Garter are memorable events. The Right Reverend David Conner the Dean of Windsor has the honour of leading the service and The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby the Archbishop of Canterbury will officiate over the Royal couple making their vows. The Most Reverend Michael Bruce Curry the 27th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Chicago, Illinois has also been asked by the couple to take part in the service. The service is expected to begin at 12 noon and Prince Harry will stand with the Duke of Cambridge, his brother, whom he has chosen to be his Best Man.
The Instrument of Consent has now been granted by the Her Majesty the Queen, officially giving Prince Harry and Meghan Markle consent to marry, formal consent was given on 14th of March at a Privy Council meeting, the Consent reads “Now know ye that we have consented and do by these presents signify our consent to the contracting of matrimony between our most dearly beloved grandson Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales, K.C.V.O., and Rachel Meghan Markle.”. Buckingham Palace has released a statement, saying it is a “hand written and illuminated on vellum by one of a panel of scrivener artists retained by the Crown Office” and is sealed with the Great Seal of the Realm. This elaborate record has been created with a heraldic symbol of Wales the red dragon and floral emblems, the rose, thistle, shamrock and the leek for England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, three red escallops from the Spencer family arms has been included. A rose, the National flower of America, an olive branch implemented from the Great Seal of the United States of America and golden poppies have also been included as they are the official flower of the state of California, Meghan’s home when she lived in the USA. The document will be given to the couple after they are married.
Kensington Palace has now confirmed that the official wedding photographs are to be taken at Windsor Castle by Alexi Lubomirski. Alexi took the couples official engagement photographs at Frogmore House in November 2017, Meghan has been an admirer of the photographer who is based in New York, and who has a notable client list, is quoted as saying “I could not be more thrilled or honoured to photograph this historic occasion”.
Barnard & Westwood, the company which has held the Royal Warrant for Printing by Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen since 1985 has printed the Royal wedding invitations. The invitations are die stamped, burnished and finished with bevelled gold gilded edges, the Three Feather Badge of the Prince of Wales is featured in gold at the top of each invitation, and the names of each guest has been beautifully calligraphed onto them. The invitations read “His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales KG KT requests the pleasure of the company of ……. at the marriage of His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales with Ms Meghan Markle at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle on Saturday 19th May, 2018 at 12 Noon followed by a reception at Windsor Castle.” The invitations also request the dress code as morning coat or lounge suite for the gentlemen and day dress with hat for the ladies for the daytime ceremony, so we will be seeing some very fashionable ensembles from the ladies and gents who have had the honour of being invited.
Meghan’s wedding gown will probably be designed by a British designer and with a very classical look, with her arms and shoulders concealed as a mark of respect, we will see it for the first time as she enters the wedding car with her mother to travel to St Georges Chapel, and it is thought that she will change into a second gown for the private reception hosted by Prince Charles at Frogmore House. One of the outfits that Meghan chose to wear for her official engagement photographs at Frogmore House was a Michael Russo and Tamara Ralph couture gown with beautiful beaded sheer top and ruffled skirt, but we will have to wait to see who has designed Meghan’s wedding gown. Prince Harry, who is Captain General of Royal Marines, will adhere to tradition and wear his uniform for the ceremony. Also, I can not wait to see what the cute bridesmaids and page boys will be wearing, Princess Charlotte who is three years old and Prince George who is four years old, who was an attendant at his Aunt Pippa’s wedding last year are in the wedding party, Prince Harry’s three godchildren, Jasper George Galloway Dyer who is six and Florence van Cutsem who is three are page boy and bridesmaid and youngest bridesmaid Prince Harrys other goddaughter will be two year old Zalie Warren, Remi Litt who is six and Rylan Litt who is seven are goddaughters to Meghan and will be bridesmaids, Ivy Mulroney who is four will also be a bridesmaid and Brian and John Mulroney who are seven year old twins and are Meghan’s friend’s children will be page boys.
Flowers for the wedding day are being designed by luxury floral designer Philippa Craddock, she will be overseeing her team and working alongside John Anderson, Keeper of the Gardens at Windsor Great Park as well as the florists from Buckingham Palace, St Georges Chapel and the Crown Estate gardeners who started planning for the wedding in the months over winter. They will be featuring some of Princess Diana’s favourite flowers, white garden roses, along with foxgloves and peonies, two types of geraniums Dusky Cranesbills and Mayflowers, ferns, beech, birch and hornbeam branches. Many of the seasonal florae and foliage are being acquired from the beautiful gardens and parklands in the Royal Palaces, Windsor Great Park and Savil Gardens for the floral arrangements at St George’s Chapel for the Ceremony and the Reception Lunch at St George’s Hall. The design for the arrangements are going to echo the natural and wild settings from the flowers natural environments. All the plants used in the Royal wedding will be replanted in the Royal gardens and the floral arrangements are going to be donated to charitable groups after the wedding, with the exception of the bride’s bouquet, the wedding bouquet will be left at the burial place of the unknown British warrior at Westminster Abbey as is time-honoured by all Royal brides. Meghan’s favourite flowers are peonies and are in season at the moment, white peonies are meant to signify good fortune, so we might see them included into her bouquet. Royal bouquets have traditionally been all white as not to detract from the exquisite wedding gown worn by the Royal bride. In 1840 Queen Victoria added Myrtle to her bouquet to signify love and hope and since then every Royal bride has had a sprig in their bouquets.
Californian raised pastry chef now living in London with her British husband has been picked to bake the Royal wedding cake. Prince Harry and Meghan are aiming to bring a fresh experience to the Royal wedding cake by incorporating “bright flavours of spring”, they have chosen to have the cake infused with lemon and Elderflower flavours a balance of sweet and tart, which will embrace organic seasonal ingredients, layered with lemon curd and sponge and drizzled with an elderflower syrup with elderflower swiss meringue buttercream and be adorned with fresh flowers. Designed by pastry chef Claire Ptak of Violet Cakes based in London, she is already popular with the public who queue up to eat her pastries. She has been working closely with the chefs in the Royal Palace kitchens in the lead up to the Royal wedding. One of the ingredients of the Royal cake Elderflower is a tiny white starry flower that has a light perfume and a floral vanilla taste, it can be found in Spring and Summertime in the countryside in hedge rows throughout the Queens Royal estates, ten bottles of Elderflower Cordial from the Queen’s Sandringham estate will be used in the making of the cake. The cake will be served to guests attending the wedding breakfast with edible rose petals, how romantic.
Kensington Palace has announced the Royal couple are inviting two thousand six hundred and forty members of the public into the grounds of Windsor Castle to watch the couple and the guests arrive at the Chapel, they believe that their special day should be a “moment of fun and joy” and have planned to let members of the public share their happiness. The guests will include one thousand two hundred chosen by the Lord Lieutenants, two hundred guests chosen from charities and organisations that Prince Harry and Meghan are involved with, a hundred from St Georges School and The Royal School, six hundred and ten residents from the Windsor community and members of St Georges Chapel and five hundred and thirty from the Crown Estates and Royal Households. Guests attending the service inside St Georges Chapel will start arriving at 9.30am at the South door of the Chapel and the Royal family will arrive at 11.20am at Galilee Porch, then the Prince and his Best man The Duke of Cambridge will arrive at the West Steps by foot, where they will greet two hundred charity delegates and members of the public assembled at the Horseshoe Cloister at the foot of the steps. Prince Harry and the Duke of Cambridge feel a “tremendous responsibility” towards their charity work and “want to make a difference” the Prince has expressed.
Kensington Palace has confirmed that Prince Harry and Meghan have selected the music for their service with absolute attention to detail, embracing well known hymns and choral pieces and will be conducted by James Vivian the Director of Music at St George’s Chapel. Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason who combines international concerts with being a student at the Royal Academy of Music says, “I’m so excited and honoured to perform at Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle’s wedding”. Two choirs, the Kingdom Choir a gospel group conducted by Karen Gibson are recognised for their cohesive sound and passionate vitality and St George’s Chapel choir, who have twelve Lay Clerks singing alto, bass and tenor and twenty-three choristers from St Georges School, will be conducted by James Vivian. The orchestra, consisting of musicians for the Philharmonic and English Chamber Orchestra and the National Orchestra of Wales conducted by Christopher Warren-Green will be joined by Elin Manahan Thomas a Welsh soprano, David Blackadder a principal trumpet player. Luke Bond who is the Assistant Director of Music at St George’s Chapel will be the organist and the State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry will deliver the fanfare. Baroness Jane Fellowes, Princess Diana’s sister, who will be attending the service with her brother Earl Charles Spencer and sister Lady Sarah McCorquodale, will give a heartfelt reading at the wedding.
Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland arrived at Heathrow Airport and was escorted to the VIP lounge in the Windsor Suite, she then left with a Police escort to meet up with Prince Harry and Meghan, before meeting The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at Clarence House and on Thursday met with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the children whom are said have made her feel very welcome, Ms Ragland then met with The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh on Friday. Meghan’s mother is having a special moment with her daughter on her wedding day, where she will accompany her daughter in the car from Cliveden House to Windsor Castle and then enter the Chapel at the Galilee Porch, Meghan will then be accompanied by her bridesmaids and page boys, where Meghan will make her way up the West Steps accompanied by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and walk together down the aisle of the Quire to a waiting Prince Harry.
The wedding ring that Prince Harry will put on Meghan’s finger will almost certainly be made of pure Welsh gold, as is traditional in the Royal family, they have worn yellow Welsh gold from the Clogau St David’s Gold Mine near Dolgellau in Wales since the Queen Mother Elizabeth Bowes Lyon married the George VI the Duke of York on 26th April 1923, this tradition has been carried forward through many Royal nuptials.
Following their vows, as the couple leave the Chapel they will greet two hundred delegates from Prince Harrys charities who will be congregated in the Cloisters, Members of the Household Cavalry will form a staircase party for the newlyweds and the State Trumpeters and Captain’s Escort will be giving ceremonial assistance, Windsor Castle Guard from 1st Battalion Irish Guards will line the streets of Windsor Castle and the Band of the Irish Guards will play as the processional rides through Windsor Town, further Armed Forces support will be provided by The Royal Ghurkha Rifles, Royal Marines, 3 Regiment Army Air Corps, RAF Honington and Royal Navy Small Ships and Diving, they hold immense importance to Prince Harry and he wanted them to be part at his wedding to Meghan.
The couple have selected the Ascot Landau open top carriage for the procession through Windsor Town, it is described as “wonderfully bright, small, lovely carriage, very easy for people to see, lots of visibility for everybody” by The Crown Equerry Col Toby Browne, and if it happens to rain then a Scottish State coach with the Royal Arms of Scotland and the Insignia of the Order of the Thistle displayed on the carriage door, it has large glass windows and clear panes in the roof, it was given to Queen Mary as a gift in 1920, has been chosen to keep the couple nice and dry. The carriage will be pulled by four of the Windsor Grey Horses, Milford Haven and Sir Basil, Storm and Tyrone, a father and son, alongside Londonderry and Plymouth who will be the outriders. The processional will travel from Windsor Castle along Castle Hill, down High Street, and along Sheet Street, Kings Road and Albert Road in Windsor Town, the town will be decked in ceremonial banners and bunting and live performances from local groups will entertain everyone, the couple will then return to Windsor Castle along the Long Walk, giving the public a chance to cheer and celebrate as the couple pass by.
The newlyweds will hold their Lunchtime Reception at St Georges Hall for the guests from the congregation hosted by the Queen, the Hall is designed in a modern gothic style and is draped with vibrantly ornate shields honouring the heraldic element of the Order of the Garter, has a nineteen-foot sideboard crafted from rosewood and oak. This will be followed by an evening reception at Frogmore House hosted by The Prince of Wales for family members and close friends. Frogmore House is a Grade one listed English country house located in the grounds of Home Park and has the most beautiful gardens. No members of the Royal family presently live at Frogmore House as the Queen uses it for hosting dinners and events. The Royal kitchens at Windsor Castle will be preparing the wedding breakfast, a team of thirty chef’s and assistants led by Royal chef Mark Flanagan, who is quoted as saying that Prince Harry and Meghan “they were all their decisions, we purely made suggestions and they’ve tasted everything, they’ve been involved in every detail” and it was requested that they use as many of the locally produced seasonal products as they can and much of the produce will be coming from the Queens own estates, and local farms around Norfolk and Kent. It is said that for the wedding breakfast the couple have gone for serving the six hundred guests attending the afternoon reception with mini main courses and will not be the traditional sit-down meal, so that they can mingle with their guests, this will then be followed by speeches and the traditional cutting of the cake. The evening reception that will be hosted by Prince Charles will have outside caterers.
Wedding gifts are not a top priority with the couple and they have asked that guests give gifts in the form of charitable contributions to seven charities, notably Children’s HIV Association, Scotty’s Little Soldiers, The Myna Mahila Foundation, Crisis The national homeless body, StreetGames, The Wilderness Foundation UK and Surfers Against Sewage, the couple don’t have any official associations with these charities but have selected them because they embody the varied concerns that as a couple they are impassioned about. The Queen gifted a home to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge when they married in 2011 and it is thought that she will do the same for Prince Harry and Meghan, also on the morning of the wedding she will bestow a title on the newlyweds as is traditional with the Royal family.
Congratulations to Prince Harry and Meghan on their Marriage
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