Royal Roundup: Commonwealth Day, William’s Middle Eastern Tour & a Royal Wedding Update

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A lot of news has cropped up in the last 24 hours, so we’re going to do a quick royal roundup to capture the greatest hits!

This morning Kensington Palace released an update on the May wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle with further details on the guests and logistics. It read:

Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle have said they want their Wedding Day to be shaped so as to allow members of the public to feel part of the celebrations too. This wedding, like all weddings, will be a moment of fun and joy that will reflect the characters and values of the Bride and Groom.

In addition to the Carriage Procession in Windsor, they have today shared some further details of how the public will be involved on May 19th. Prince Harry and Ms. Markle have invited 2,640 people into the grounds of Windsor Castle to watch the arrivals of the Bride and Groom, and their wedding guests, at the chapel and to watch the carriage procession as it departs from the castle. This group will be made up of:

  • 1,200 members of the public from every corner of the United Kingdom will be nominated to attend by nine regional Lord Lieutenant offices. The couple has asked that the people chosen are from a broad range of backgrounds and ages, including young people who have shown strong leadership, and those who have served their communities.
  •  200 people from a range of charities and organisations which Prince Harry and Ms. Markle have a close association with, including those which Prince Harry serves as Patron.
  • 100 pupils from two local schools: The Royal School, Great Park, Windsor and St George’s School, Windsor Castle – both of which have a strong affiliation with the Windsor Castle community.
  • 610 Windsor Castle community members, including residents of Windsor Castle and members of the St George’s Chapel community.
  • 530 Members of The Royal Households and Crown Estate

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A new engagement was also added to the calendar for the Fab Four, but this time alongside the Queen. Harry and Meghan will join the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as well as the rest of the Royal Family, for Commonwealth Day celebrations on Monday, March 12. Some of you may recall this will be quite the change in tone from last year, which saw #skigate 😉

After the ceremony, the quartet will attend a reception, while William will join the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at a reception at Marlborough House later in the evening. Personally, I’m very excited for these engagements – I love it when the entire RF is gathered at once and this year the celebrations are particularly significant in light of April’s Commonwealth Heads of State meetings due to take place in London. We’ll get  into that more as we get closer to the dates.

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Finally, KP announced yesterday that William will travel to Israel, Jordan and the Occupied Palestinian Territories this summer. While it’s a little disappointing that Kate won’t accompany him – particularly given that she spent a couple years of her childhood living in Amman – it’s also not surprising given that the two will have a newborn at home. Regardless, this is a significant moment for William – not only is it a hefty tour all on its own, but this will mark the first time a member of the BRF officially visits Israel.

Per one royal reporter:

As we know, the RF is not meant to be political, but the visit is believed to be an acknowledgement of Britain’s deepening friendship with not only Israel, but the region in general. The Telegraph reported on the history of the relationship in more depth, so I’ll direct you here if you’re interested in reading more.

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Finally, there is some speculation that William will take the opportunity to visit the grave of his paternal great-grandmother, Princess Alice of Battenberg (mother of the Duke of Edinburgh). She is buried in Jerusalem per her wishes and Philip did visit privately when her remains were transferred to the Convent of Saint Mary Magdalene in Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives.

With that, we’ll return to history tomorrow and Monday, and then have three new engagements between Kate and Meghan to cover off on next week.

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