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So the BIG DAY is finally almost here! And here’s what you need to know:
—American actress Meghan Markle met Prince Harry on a blind date in July 2016, set up by a mutual friend. Harry said he knew Meghan was the one “the very first time we met.”
—They announced their engagement on November 27, 2017.
—The ring was designed by Harry himself and custom made by court jewelers Cleave and Company using one diamond sourced from Botswana and two smaller stones from Princess Diana’s collection.
—The wedding will take place at St. George’s Chapel, which can hold 800 guests. Prince William and Kate were married at Westminster Abbey, which held up to 1,900 guests. Six hundred guests were invited to the service at St. George’s Chapel, with 2,640 invited to the Windsor Castle grounds.
—The wedding coverage starts in the States at 4:00 am on CNN, CBS, NBC and PBS. Keep in mind that there’s a FIVE-hour time difference. The couple won’t be getting married until 7:00 am our time, so if you want to skip the color commentary and viewing of all those hats, you can set your alarm later than 4:00! Here’s the timeline (our time):
4:00 a.m.: Members of the public who have been invited to watch the wedding day from the grounds of Windsor Castle begin to arrive.
4:30 to 6:00: Wedding guests arrive at the Castle’s famous Round Tower by coach and enter the chapel through the South Door and take their seats.
6:20: Members of the royal family begin to arrive and enter via the Galilee Porch, some on foot others by car.
6:45: Around this time Harry and his brother William arrive at the Chapel’s West Steps, probably on foot walking past the thousands of spectators invited into the grounds of the castle. Harry will acknowledge the 200 representatives from charities he is associated with at the bottom of the steps.
6:55 to 6:59: Following protocol, the Queen will be the last member of the royal family to arrive for the wedding service.
Meghan will start her journey with her mother Doria Ragland, but when the car stops at the castle her mother will exchange places with her bridesmaids and pageboys.
Ms Ragland will enter the chapel by the Galilee Porch and Prince Charles will escort Meghan up the aisle as the ceremony begins.
7:00: Service starts.
8:00: Service ends and the newlyweds emerge at the West Steps of the Chapel. They will be waved off on their carriage procession through Windsor by members of both families. The congregation will head to St George’s Hall for the lunchtime reception hosted by the Queen.
2:00 p.m.: Bride and groom depart Windsor Castle for the evening reception at Frogmore House hosted by the Prince of Wales.
—Prince Charles is walking Meghan down the aisle
—Her mother Doria Ragland will attend, but her father and older half-siblings will not.
—All three of Princess Diana’s siblings will be in attendance – Lady Jane Fellowes, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Earl Spencer.
—Harry is sixth in line to the throne, after his father Charles, brother William, nephew George, niece Charlotte and nephew Louis.
—The Queen had to approve Meghan’s wedding gown last week. It’s reported that she’ll have two gowns—one for the ceremony and one for the reception. And it’s also reported that it will look nothing like Kate’s. The designer of the gown is NOT known, but many are placing bets on Alexander McQueen, with other possibilities including Ralph & Russo, Erdem, Steve Parvin, Roland Mouret and Jenny Packham. Victoria Beckham was also in the running but she stated that she is NOT the designer.
—Instead of bridesmaids, there will be children, which is an English tradition:
Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge,
Miss Florence van Cutsem, 3, goddaughter of Prince Harry, daughter of Mrs. Alice van Cutsem and Major Nicholas van Cutsem
Miss Remi Litt, 6, goddaughter of Ms. Markle, daughter of Mrs. Benita Litt and Mr. Darren Litt
Miss Rylan Litt, 4, goddaughter of Ms. Markle, daughter of Mrs. Benita Litt and Mr. Darren Litt
Miss Ivy Mulroney, 4 , daughter of Mrs. Jessica Mulroney and Mr. Benedict Mulroney
Miss Zalie Warren, 2, goddaughter of Prince Harry, daughter of Mrs. Zoe Warren and Mr. Jake Warren
—Instead of groomsmen, there will be page boys:
His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge, 4
Master Jasper Dyer, 6, godson of Prince Harry, son of Mrs. Amanda Dyer and Mr. Mark Dyer M.V.O.
Master Brian Mulroney, 7, son of Mrs. Jessica Mulroney and Mr. Benedict Mulroney
Master John Mulroney, 7, son of Mrs. Jessica Mulroney and Mr. Benedict Mulroney
—Harry will, however, have all of his buddies on hand as ushers, making sure everyone finds their seats. The ushers include:
Prince William, 35, – Best man
Tom “Skippy” Inskip, 31
Charlie Van Straubenzee, 29
Tom Van Straubenzee, 35
Adam Bidwell, 42
Arthur Landon, 37
William Van Cutsem, 38
Mark Dyer, 52
—Prince Louis will be at home with a nanny.
—Kate does not have an active role in the wedding…she just gave birth to Louis and will be watching over Princess Charlotte and Prince George.
—The cake is being made by London pastry chef Claire Ptak and will be a buttercream masterpiece with lemon and elderflower.
—The flowers at the ceremony will be white garden roses, peonies and foxgloves, picked from the gardens and land of the Crown Estate and Windsor Great Park.
—The wedding is expected to cost more than William and Kate’s, which was around 20 million pounds, due to the increased security needed because of the ongoing terrorist threat level.