Thursday May 17 2018

Harry and Meghan: A royal wedding

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. AFP PHOTO 

By Desire Mbabaali

You may want to agree that we have walked this love journey with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. We have rooted for them, fought some of their social media battles, cheered them on and we sure can’t wait to see them crown off what they started when they tie the knot come Saturday May 19.

We are holding hour breaths, lost in anticipation and literally on the edge of our couches waiting. Guess this is what makes royal weddings so special – you never get all the information when you need it – just piece meal.

One thing we are sure about though is we a having a royal wedding “… guided by tradition, allowing everyone to celebrate what makes Royal Weddings so special, but also one which reflects the personalities of Prince Harry and Ms. Markle” according to a tweet by Kensington Palace on May 4.
But as we wait for more communication from the royal family, here is how the memorable day is expected to go down.

We know for a fact that the that Harry and Meghan will be wed at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, making it the 16th royal wedding at Windsor since 1863 – according to Kensington Palace. The couple will then proceed with a carriage procession around Windsor city to grace the crowds and back to St. George’s Hall for a reception hosted by the Queen with approximately 600 guests. This will advance into an evening reception at Frogmore House where about 200 guests will be hosted. According to Reuters, the vows will be officiated by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby while David Conner, Dean of Windsor will lead the service.

As tradition has been for royal couples to make an appearance at Buckingham Palace to give the crowds a view and share their first public kiss, it appears we won’t have the balcony scene this time round since the couple will wed at Windsor. But surely, balcony or no balcony, who wouldn’t want to witness the couple share their first public kiss? Hopefully they’ll have it fixed somewhere in between.

Another of the things UK might not get is a public holiday. A number of royal wedding days have been declared public holidays – including Prince William and Duchess Kate’s wedding, since it was on a Friday. Well, this is on a Saturday – which means we will already be in weekend mood.

A few more things we know (and don’t know)…

The ring
One thing is true about the two brothers (Prince William and Prince Harry) – they want to share in on their love journeys with their late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales. Meghan’s engagement ring already has a piece of Diana’s jewelry and it may not be a surprise if her wedding ring carries another piece of late Diana’s jewellery/stones.

Entourage
The other thing we know for a fact is that Prince Harry is returning the favour and making his brother Prince William his best man, leaving us guessing who Meghan’ s maid of honor will be. We might want to consider the option of having Princess Charlotte and Prince George being on the entourage of their uncle.

Speculations in the corridors and on social media have however often pointed at Markle’s friends Lindsy Roth, at whose wedding Markle was the maid of honor in 2016 or Jessica Mulroney, while some have pointed at her sister-in-law to be, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.
We shall however have to wait for Kensington Palace to announce those details a week before the wedding as they promised.

Audience
Royal weddings have always recorded a big audience. At Prince William’s wedding for example, TV audiences peaked at 26.3 million viewers only in the UK and 72 million livesteams on Youtube. But we know that due to controversies in their relationship, the two have garnered public attention since they went public. Thousands of millions around the world are therefore expected to watch the ceremony which will be given live coverage.
But, who will pay the bill? Whereas the costs of William’s wedding were borne by the royal family and the Middletons, Prince Harry’s will be borne by the royal family – for reasons unknown to us – according to a communication by Kensington Palace.

Gifts
Shall we bring wedding gifts to the royal couple or donations like the case was with Prince William? That is still unclear.

Guests
The couple has since pronounced its interest in involving the public in their wedding – which followed invitations in March. According to a tweet by Kensington Palace on March 22, 2,640 members of the public will be invited. But apart from the obvious guests (the couple’s family, religious leaders, members of royalty, military officers etc), don’t be surprised to see faces of Hollywood celebrities, and other highly placed figures. And whereas it is very likely the Queen will bestow a Dukedome on Prince Harry, it is unlikely Meghan is becoming a princess since she is not of English blood. So, what title will she hold? Duchess?

Honeymoon
Previous royal couples have set precedent in their love to visit African countries for their honeymoon. Prince William for example went to Kenya and later at a private Island in Seychelles. The two have already enjoyed their stay in Botswana after their second date. Shall we have one African country lined up for the couple’s honeymoon?

Wedding dress
Speculations have also mingled around who Meghan’s wedding dress designer is or what it will look like. But if one knows anything about Meghan – she is bent to look like royalty and Hollywood at the same time. We might have to wait till that special day.

In the final week, Kensington Palace will announce more on:
• The Instrument of Consent
• Details of the Bridesmaids and Page Boys
• The work of florist Philippa Craddock and the Crown Estate gardeners who have been growing and preparing the flowers that will fill the church
• An update from Claire Ptak, the baker who will make the wedding cake, and the chefs who have been working in the palace kitchens to make the final preparations
• The full Order of Service on the website on Saturday morning so members of the public can follow the service at home.

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