The British royal family has announced the month and venue for the wedding of Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle, and chances are you've never seen a royal wedding held in this spot.
— Sir Prince Charles ♔ (@PrinceCharIes_) November 27, 2017
Direct heirs to the throne, such as Prince William and Kate Middleton, Prince Charles and Diana Spencer, and the queen herself, have been married in very public ceremonies at London's Westminster Abbey.
But Prince Harry and his bride-to-be will be married at a place with a little less grandeur and certainly fewer seats. The venue's capacity is 800 compared to Westminster Abbey’s 2,000.
The venue was announced on Tuesday from Kensington Palace:
“The Royal Family will pay for the wedding,” so likely no cameras inside. And it won't be small. St. George's Chapel seats 800. pic.twitter.com/tON5Mg5LB1
— Patricia Treble (@PatriciaTreble) November 28, 2017
The couple will be married in May at Windsor Castle in Windsor, England:
They will take their vows in the relatively small St. George’s Chapel:
The Express reports that the 500-year-old chapel is the home of some well-known royal weddings, including Prince Charles's second wedding to commoner Camilla Parker Bowles:
— Sir Prince Charles ♔ (@PrinceCharIes_) November 28, 2017
They were married in 2005:
The last wedding to take place there was the union of Harry's father, Prince Charles, 69, and Camilla Parker Bowles, 70, in 2005, where they received a blessing from The Archbishop of Canterbury.
Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, 53 — the youngest child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip — and Sophie Rhys-Jones, 52, also married there in 1999.
Peter Phillips, 40, son of Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips, married Autumn Kelly, 39, in the chapel in 2008.
Bowles was a divorcee, as is Markle.
The BBC reported that the chapel is special to the couple:
BBC royal correspondent Daniela Relph said St George's Chapel held many happy childhood memories for Prince Harry, and while a more intimate venue than Westminster Abbey or St Paul's Cathedral, was grand enough for royal wedding.
And the decision to have the wedding in May is somewhat special as well, as it's about one month after Prince William and Kate are expected to have their third child.
And Markle has many changes to make. She'll become a member of the Church of England and a citizen of the U.K.:
#Harry and #Meghan will get married in St George's Chapel at Windsor in May. Meghan will also apply to become a British citizen but retain her US citizenship. Meghan will be baptised into the Church of England and will be confirmed before the wedding day. pic.twitter.com/WFtvlysgDh
— ♔ Royal_Reporter (@Royal__Reporter) November 28, 2017
Markle is marrying into the royal family, complete with diamonds from Princess Diana's collection:
But the BBC reported that she won't be known as a “princess”:
The brutal answer is that, by the standards of British royal protocol, the former Hollywood star lacks “royal blood.”
That means that she cannot call herself Princess Meghan.
The arcane rules mean that Meghan will be compelled to follow the example of her future sister-in-law.
When Catherine Middleton and Prince William were pronounced “man and wife” in 2011, she automatically became Her Royal Highness, Princess William of Wales. The overwhelming likelihood is that the new royal fiancee will in turn become HRH Princess Harry of Wales. Officially, we can forget about Princess Kate and we can forget about Princess Meg.
The reason for this is simple: Catherine Middleton was not of royal blood, and what applies to her will also apply in the case of Meghan Markle.
The report also pointed out that Princess Diana was never officially a princess:
The rules also meant — to the consternation of many — that Lady Diana Spencer was never officially Princess Diana. She was the Princess of Wales and, after her divorce from Prince Charles, she was Diana, Princess of Wales.
Some worry that because the wedding will be at the smaller venue, no public cameras will be allowed, but the couple says they want to involve the public somehow in the celebration.
No official date in May has been set, but the two are attending to many of the details of their own wedding, and Kensington Palace is expected to announce the date very soon.