The love story of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is undoubtedly one of the most famous in the world. But you might have missed these interesting facts about the couple's wedding…
Watched by a record 27.7 million people, the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was one of the most famous royal celebrations of the last five years. The nation quickly fell in love with the unlikely couple as we watched their engagement photos make the front pages of newspapers and more information was revealed about their wedding.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding took place in May 2018, at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. It was the same location that Prince Harry’s uncle, Prince Edward had got married, along with the blessing of the marriage of his father, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. Arriving separately on the day, the bride and groom were joined by members of their family. Prince William was his brother’s best man and close friends of Meghan’s attended the ceremony, along with her mother.
We also remember how the couple first met (through a mutual friend), when they got engaged (2017) and how fashion house, Givenchy designed Meghan’s dress.
These are the details that any of fan of this royal couple will know. But how did Prince Harry actually propose? How did the couple break the royal rulebook on their wedding day? And did they really give a fridge magnet to their guests?
Here are 10 things you missed from the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle…
Prince Harry had to ask the Queen’s permission to have a beard
Prince Harry served in the army for ten years and so it was only natural that he would wear his Blues and Royals uniform on his wedding day. However by military law, those who wear army uniform should be clean shaven.
In a statement from Kensington Palace, it was revealed that the Queen had given permission for Prince Harry to get married in his uniform and this likely included permission to keep his beard. As Historian Hugo Vickers explained to the Sun at the time, permission might also have been granted as Harry has now retired from active army duty.
Princess Diana was represented in Meghan’s bouquet of flowers
The forget-me-nots in Meghan bridal bouquet were a tribute to her fiancée’s mother, the late Princess Diana as they were her favourite flowers.
In a statement about the choice, Kensington Palace also said that several of the bouquet’s flowers were hand-picked by Prince Harry the day before the wedding to Meghan Markle.
Meghan’s bouquet also included other flowers such as jasmine, lily of the valley (which is coincidently her son, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor’s birth flower), sweet peas and myrtle.
Members of the public – as well as Hollywood stars – were invited to the wedding
Along with members of the royal family, politicians and famous faces like Victoria and David Beckham, James Blunt, George and Amal Clooney, Priyanka Chopra and Tom Hardy, some members of the public were invited to the celebrations.
It was announced via Twitter that members of the public who had shown “strong leadership, and those who have served their communities” would be joining the 2,600 party in the grounds of Windsor Castle.
All guests received a gift bag, which contained a fridge magnet
To commemorate the event, every single one of Prince Harry and Meghan’s 2,640 guests who joined the couple for celebrations at Windsor Castle were given initialled gift bags. According to ones found for sale online, the date and location of the wedding was embossed on the front of the bag.
Inside there was an order of service booklet, a gold chocolate coin, a bottle of water, a fridge magnet, a 20% off voucher for the Windsor Castle gift shop and a set of handbag shortbread.
Their wedding date was against royal tradition
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle married on Saturday, May 19 2018.
Traditionally, royal weddings happen during the week and the day is announced as a bank holiday for the country. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (another famous royal love story) had their wedding on a Friday and the Queen married Prince Philip on a Thursday. On both occasions there was a public holiday to mark the event.
However, the decision of whether to grant a bank holiday lies with the government. On this occasion, they argued that there wasn’t “a precedent in this area”. There was also speculation that this unique day was chosen to allow Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge to recover from the birth of Prince Louis.
But other traditions were kept…
Following years of royal tradition, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding invitations were created by Barnard Westwood. They were made using American ink on British card and each invite was printed in gold and black, before being burnished to bring out the shine. Then they were gilded around the edge and in the middle, the three-featured badge of the Prince of Wales was featured.
Prince Harry and Meghan didn’t want wedding presents
As is tradition, many members of the public gift the royal family presents on their wedding day. Instead of doing this, Prince Harry and Meghan asked that donations be given to seven charities of their choosing.
These included homeless charity Crisis, Surfers Against Sewage, an organisation that uses sport to support young people called Street Games and Scotty’s Little Soldiers, a charity that helps children who lost a parent serving in the Armed Forces.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had a similar request in advance of their wedding in 2011.
Meghan’s engagement ring was made with Princess Diana’s diamonds
When the couple announced their engagement, there was lots of excitement over Meghan’s engagement ring. Reportedly, Prince Harry worked with the jeweller Cleave and Company to create the ring especially for his fiancée.
On the gold band on either side of the centre stone – sourced from Botswana, where the two had their first holiday together out of the public eye – are stones taken from a brooch that belonged to Princess Diana. In an interview with Sky News shortly after the engagement was announced, Harry said that he wanted “to make sure she’s with us on this crazy journey together”.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had a small (ish!) ceremony
By small, we’re still talking about 600 people! But in comparison to other royal weddings of the past, this couple had far fewer guests. The Queen’s wedding in 1947 had 2,000 people in attendance and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding had 1,900 guests.
One reason for this is that the wedding was less of a state occasion and the prince is sixth in line to the throne, so he didn’t have to invite diplomats to the celebration. However, it was also reported that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle mainly invited people to the wedding who they had a direct relationship with.
Their wedding cake was made with 200 lemons
The recipe for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding cake included 200 Amalfi coast lemons, which are protected under EU law and have a uniquely sweet taste. These lemons along with 500 eggs, 10 bottles of Sandringham’s elderflower cordial and decorative flowers were used create the royal wedding cake.
The cake, made by London-based baker Claire Ptak, was created at Buckingham Palace before being put together for the 600 person reception at Windsor Castle on the day of the wedding.