The day of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding has finally arrived. Here’s everything you need to know – from how to watch it and who’s attending to who has designed the dress, flowers and cake…
When is the Royal Wedding?
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will marry on May 19th 2018 in the town of Windsor near London, England. Unlike the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the 2018 Royal Wedding will not be a public bank holiday. However, it’s not all bad news… the pubs will be open until 1am on the Saturday night/ Sunday morning to allow two extra hours of “celebration” up and down the land.
Will it be on TV?
Due to the high profile of the wedding it is expected to be shown on TV networks around the world. A single pool camera will capture the nuptials and so most UK networks will air footage of the big day.
In the UK the BBC, ITV and Sky News are expected to cover the event extensively. ITV has already unveiled its full plans for coverage of the Royal Wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle this May.
On ITV Phillip Schofield and Julie Etchingham will front the live coverage of the wedding on Saturday 19th May from a purpose-built studio in Windsor, beginning at 9.25am and running until 3pm. ITV3 will also produce a special hour-long Royal Wedding highlights show later in the day.
Sky has announced that it will broadcast the entire wedding in Ultra High Definition (UHD), a world first for any royal event, the broadcaster says.
Presenters Kay Burley and Anna Botting will front the Sky coverage from The Long Walk and Castle grounds., from 9am to 3pm.
The BBC has also announced that it will waive the licence fee for local communities wanting to watch the wedding, meaning that the British public will be able to watch the royal nuptials at special events and parties.
Dermot O’Leary, Kirsty Young and Huw Edwards will lead live coverage from Windsor Castle on BBC1 from 9am to 2pm. See the full summary of BBC coverage here.
Is the Royal Wedding broadcast on radio?
The Royal Wedding coverage will be broadcast all day on Radio 1, Radio 2, Radio 4, 5 Live and Classic FM. Chris Evans starts the coverage at 8am on Radio 2, followed by hours of celebratory reporting cross the day.
What time is it on?
The ceremony itself is set to start at 12pm with coverage beginning early in the morning and lasting well into the afternoon.
Football fans should note that the Royal Wedding does take place on the same Saturday as the FA Cup final but the football airs much later in the afternoon, with kick-off scheduled for 5.15pm.
Where will the wedding take place?
The Royal Wedding will take place at Windsor Castle in the historic St George’s Chapel. The 800-seat chapel will hold the ceremony which is set to begin from 12PM.
Can I watch it live in Windsor?
The streets of Windsor are going to be lined with celebrators on May 19th. If the couple’s engagement tour is anything to go by we expect the atmosphere on the day to be something special.
Kensington Palace noted on Twitter that the newlyweds would take a Carriage Procession from the chapel through Windsor Town in order to allow the public to soak up the special day.
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
Where will the carriage procession be?
The newlyweds will leave St George’s Chapel at 1pm to begin their carriage procession through the flag-filled streets of Windsor and back to Windsor Castle, which is expected to take about 25 minutes.
In order to be visible to as many people in the packed crowds as possible, they’ll travel in a horse-drawn Ascot Landau carriage, used by the Queen at Royal Ascot — although if it rains heavily they will use the gold-upholstered Scottish State Coach.
Their escort will be provided by the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment. The roads within the precincts of the castle will be lined by members of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards, along with military personnel from 3 Regiment Army Air Corps and the Royal Gurkha Rifles (both of which Prince Harry served in, out in Afghanistan), the Royal Navy Small Ships and Diving Unit, the Royal Marines and also RAF Honington. Celebratory music will be provided by the Band of the Irish Guards.
What’s the carriage procession route?
The route will take the couple past the following landmarks: the bronze statue of Queen Victoria, created by the Austrian sculptor Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm, which was unveiled for her Golden Jubilee in 1887; the 17th-century Guildhall, where Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles were married in 2005 and which, later that same year, also hosted the civil partnership ceremony of Sir Elton John and David Furnish; The Church of St John the Baptist, once the site of a leper colony; The Victoria Barracks, where the Household Division, who provide the Foot Guards at Windsor Castle, is based; and the life-size bronze statues of two horses, Daniel and Storm — two Windsor Greys stabled at the Royal Mews who draw the Queen’s carriages on state occasions. The statues were erected to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012.
Then it’s on to the magnificent, tree-lined and spectator-lined Long Walk, famous for The Copper Horse, a statue of George III on horseback. Finally, they will return to Windsor Castle for a formal luncheon reception, hosted by the Queen, for 600 wedding guests in St George’s Hall.
What do we know about the dress?
The dress the whole nation has been waiting to see has finally been revealed, and it’s designed by Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy. With a long, sweeping veil, the gown was described by Kirsty Young as “exquisitely cut, minimal and traditional”.
Will Meghan’s father be at the wedding?
Meghan Markle released a statement on Twitter via the Kensington Palace account, confirming that “sadly” her father Thomas Markle would not be attending the wedding.
“I have always cared for my father and hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health,” she added.
A statement from Ms. Meghan Markle: pic.twitter.com/TjBNarmuBU
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 17, 2018
— Charlie Proctor (@MonarchyUK) May 14, 2018
It had been revealed that a series of heartwarming and supposedly candid images of Mr Markle – including a snap of him brushing up on British history – had actually been orchestrated with a member of the paparazzi.
Kensington palace previously released a statement, asking for privacy and for “understanding and respect to be extended to Mr. Markle in this difficult situation”.
Mr Markle has claimed that the photos were taken to present a better front to the press, rather than for the money. However, the revelation has caused great embarrassment for the palace.
“He’s now decided not to go [to the wedding] because he doesn’t want to embarrass the Royal Family or his daughter,” TMZ reported.
Who will walk Meghan down the aisle?
In the absence of Ms Markle’s father, Kensington Palace has announced that Prince Charles will walk the bride down the aisle. The Prince of Wales was “pleased to be able to welcome Ms Markle to the Royal Family in this way”, the palace said in a statement.
Ms Markle’s mother Doria Ragland, a yoga instructor and social worker, had previously been the favourite to walk her daughter down the aisle.
Who will the bridesmaids and pageboys be?
There’ll be no adult bridesmaids or maid of honour at the wedding, as Meghan Markle reportedly struggled to choose between her friends. Instead, the six young bridesmaids are Princess Charlotte, Florence van Custem, Remi Litt, Rylan Litt, Ivy Mulroney and Zalie Warren.
The four pageboys are Prince George, Jasper Dyer, Brian Mulroney and John Mulroney.
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 16, 2018
What about the best man?
Prince William has been confirmed as his brother’s best man. Harry served as his best man during his wedding to the Duchess of Cambridge back in 2011.
Who are the rumoured celebrity guests?
Meghan Markle’s Suits co-star and on-screen husband Patrick J Adams has arrived in the UK ahead of the royal wedding, and he headed straight to one of England’s oldest pubs after touch down.
Several other Suits stars have also recently arrived in the country, including Sarah Rafferty (Donna Paulsen) and Gabriel Macht (Harvey Specter). They’re expected to join the ranks of a celebrity-studded guest list on the big day.
— The Sunday Times Magazine (@TheSTMagazine) May 19, 2018
Tennis legend Serena Williams has shared some snaps from Windsor…
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) May 19, 2018
Idris Elba and his fiancée Sabrina Dhowre along with Oprah Winfrey were among the first celebrity guests to arrive…
— BBC Three (@bbcthree) May 19, 2018
The Beckhams have arrived, after Victoria hinted that she’d received a royal invite during an interview on The Late Late Show with James Corden.
George and Amal Clooney are also on the scene and viewers at home are absolutely bowled over by Amal’s beautiful yellow dress…
— Sky News (@SkyNews) May 19, 2018
AMAL CLOONEY IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMAN INTHE WORLD. LIKE A SEXY LIBERAL GIRAFFE
— Caitlin Moran (@caitlinmoran) May 19, 2018
Amal Clooney best dressed so far by a million miles. Perfect colour
— Camilla Long (@camillalong) May 19, 2018
Elton John is also in the house…
— The Sunday Times Magazine (@TheSTMagazine) May 19, 2018
What are Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s new titles?
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Kensington Palace has announced.
The Prince will also take on the titles Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel and, as well as Ms Markle’s Duchess title, she may also be known as Princess Henry of Wales.
Who is making the wedding cake?
Bringing an American flavour to the wedding, Californian raised chef Claire Ptak will be making the couple’s wedding cake. Where the Duke and Duchess opted for a more traditional, white iced cake, Ms Markle and Prince Harry have chosen an elderflower and lemon flavoured cake decorated with buttercream and fresh flowers.
Who is designing the flowers?
Meet Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s brilliant, self-taught florist Philippa Craddock, who spoke to Radio Times about her ethical approach to the marriage of the year. Craddock also designed the flower arrangements for Ronan Keating and his wife Storm in 2015.
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 19, 2018
Who is performing?
Britain’s Got Talent star and BBC Young Musician of the Year 2016 Sheku Kanneh-Mason will play at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding. He recently told Radio Times: “I was bowled over when Meghan Markle called me.” Meet the 19-year-old cellist here.
While the choristers of St George’s provide the traditional vocal accompaniment under their director of music, James Vivian, the chapel roof will be lifted by the Kingdom Gospel Choir, conducted by Karen Gibson.
Welsh soprano Elin Manahan Thomas joins an orchestra made up of musicians from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the English Chamber Orchestra and the Philharmonia.
The conductor will be Christopher WarrenGreen, who also performed at the weddings of the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall in 2005 and the Duke and Duchess.
Who is photographing the event?
Alexi Lubomirski, who photographed the pair for their engagement, will be taking the official wedding shots.
The photographer, descended from an influential Polish family, has the title His Serene Highness Prince Alexi Lubomirski. He has made a career photographing celebrities such as Beyonce, Gwyneth Paltrow, Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman and Scarlett Johansson.