Harry & Meghan to Marry at Windsor, Carry Out Their First Engagement on Friday

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Guys, I know there’s been a dearth of historical posts this month and I promise we’ll start rectifying that this weekend. Between recapping The Crown and the sheer volume of current news coming out in the last few weeks it’s been a lot and a few posts planned have had to be punted for December and January to accommodate. I can promise that I’ve written a handful of posts scheduled for next week and that things should slow down a bit with the Windsors as we get closer to Christmas. Unfortunately, the Duchess of Cambridge’s absence from the spotlight in September and most of October means there’s been a flurry of activity and, well, here we are.

On that note, Kensington Palace followed up on yesterday’s exciting news of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s engagement with a few more details on their wedding. As they told us yesterday, it is indeed scheduled for this coming spring. Per their announcement, the wedding will be held in May 2018 at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

Timing-wise, this makes a lot of sense. The new Cambridge baby is due in April, which essentially knocks out the entire month given that Kate will either be heavily pregnant or recovering from childbirth for a several-week period. A wedding in March is trickier due to Lent and the month of June tends to be busy for the royal calendar between Trooping the Colour, Ascot, etc. We don’t know when exactly in May yet, but it will likely be scheduled to give enough cover for the Cambridges’ due date – yet another date we don’t know. When KP announces the wedding date we may actually get a better sense for when the new baby will appear. If they follow the precedent set with William and Kate’s engagement, then we may get those details by mid-December, so not too long of a wait.

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As for the location, this was also expected. It wasn’t, however, my first choice, which was St. Paul’s Cathedral. Yes, I understand the connection to the Prince and Princess of Wales’s wedding and all the baggage that summons, but I thought there was a chance Harry would see it as both a nod to his mother and a way to give the location a bit of a re-birth with a new, happy memory. I mean, let’s face it, that can hardly be the last royal wedding that ever takes place there. Someone has to bite the bullet.

But St. George’s Chapel was the royal watchers’ consensus since Westminster Abbey was ruled out as the Cambridges’ venue. It’s smaller, a bit more modest and outside of London, offering a completely different vibe. It was last used for a high-profile royal wedding back in 2008 when Harry’s cousin, Peter Phillips, married Autumn Kelly, and it was also used by the Earl and Countess of Wessex back in 1999.

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Image by Aurelian Guichard

Windsor is the favored home of the Queen, who has lived there since childhood, and she has spent more and more time there over the years. The Castle’s proximity to Eton College, where William and Harry attended secondary school, offered numerous occasions for the boys to visit their grandparents when they were growing up. And, rather surprisingly, KP noted today that Harry and Meghan have spent time there together as a couple over the last year-and-a-half. Who knew?

We’ve also been assured that the wedding will be televised, so the public will certainly be able to take part in the festivities just as they did back in 2011. What is less clear is what sort of procession, if any, will be set up, so there may be less of the hoopla we saw with William and Kate’s drive through London and the famous two kisses on the Buckingham Palace balcony.

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Edward & Sophie back in 1999

Back in ’99, Edward and Sophie did ride through town in a carriage, a practice Harry and Meghan might repeat so as to further involve their well-wishers.

In the meantime, Meghan faces a few logistical hurdles she’ll have to clear. First, she’ll need to baptized and confirmed in the Church of England before her marriage. It was confirmed today that she is indeed Protestant, not Catholic as previously thought due to her attendance of a Catholic high school, but she’ll still need to formally enter the CoE regardless. Additionally, she’s in the process of applying for UK citizenship, though she may retain her U.S. citizenship as well. Marrying into the Royal Family will certainly help and not hurt her application, but the UK process is no joke and will take both time and quite a bit of studying.

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As one reporter on Twitter pointed out, it will also include some royal history ;):

And while we wait for all that, KP also announced that Harry and Meghan will carry out their first joint engagement together in Nottingham this Friday. Certainly they already appeared together in Toronto in September, but this week will be the first “official” event in which Meghan has been formally brought under the RF’s wing. This is also fast! Back in 2010, Kate didn’t join William on an engagement until December 18, more than a month after their wedding was announced. Fittingly it was in Norfolk, the location of their future country home and their preferred base.

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According to reporter Rebecca English, Meghan will be spending the next few months traveling around the UK for both public and private events as she visits friends and learns more about her new country. You know, in case she didn’t have enough to do with planning a wedding, becoming a British citizen and getting baptized. But her stress is our gain because I think it’s a safe bet we’ll see plenty of her and Harry over the winter. Unclear whether she’ll join the RF at Sandringham for Christmas, but fingers crossed.

Also according to English, while Meghan is living at Nottingham Cottage with Harry, life is still a bit up in the air. Her personal belongings are still in the process of being shipped from Toronto, and while one of her dogs has joined her in the UK, the other has been permanently re-homed with friends in North America. No reason has been given, but age may have a lot to do with it. I can’t imagine that was an easy decision given how much Meghan loves her dogs (my evidence for this? Instagram, natch.).

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While Meghan will eventually have her own staff, akin to what Kate keeps (a private secretary, etc.), at the moment she will rely on Harry’s until their household is expanded.

And with that, here’s to hoping they have 48 hours to chill until Friday.

Here’s the full release issued by KP, kindly shared by Emily Andrews on Twitter:

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