The British monarchy has a number of wedding traditions that have stood the test of time. Today’s couples are still expected to incorporate these royal wedding traditions in their weddings today. More than 24 million viewers tuned in to watch Prince William and Kate Middleton tie the knot back in April 2011. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is another royal wedding that has the entire public- U.S.A and the U.K. – on edge with excitement and anticipation. Will the couple keep with royal wedding traditions or make way for a more modern wedding?
The next Royal Wedding
The younger British prince has finally popped the question to the American actress, boosting the world with joyous guessing on every wedding detail. Coming from century-old rules and regulations the expected newlyweds have already broken the mold and ventured to be different with their wedding.
Save the date ladies and gentlemen because the royal couple is getting married on Saturday, May 19th, 2018.
Throughout the years and many royal weddings there has been common traditions kept and common traditions broken. There are royal traditions that may not be common knowledge to the public so here is a breakdown of what we could expect to see.
1. Wedding Day Attire
The bride must wear white on her wedding day and the groom is to be dressed in full military uniform. This well-known tradition started with Queen Victoria in 1840 and husband Prince Albert. While long sleeves are not required, both princess Diana and Kate Middleton opted for sleeves to keep with tradition and the queens personal preference. Prince Harry will be expected to be in military dress as is the standard, but we can’t wait to see what Meghan picks for her wedding dress style.
2. Wedding Invitations
Royal wedding invitations are formally send under Queen Elizabeth’s command, as she is the current head of the Church of England. The queen sent out 1,900 invitations for Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding. On March 22, 2018, Kensington Palace confirmed that invitations for Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan’s wedding had been sent out.
3. Wedding Cake
A royal wedding tradition is to have a multi-tiered fruitcake. (Not our first option for cake flavor) At Prince William and Kate’s wedding the groom requested to have a second cake, chocolate biscuit. Will Prince Harry have a second cake for his wedding reception?
4. The Bridal Bouquet
At Queen Elizabeth’ wedding in 1923, she unexpectedly laid her bouquet at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, located at Westminster Abbey. The move was a tribute to her brother, Fergus, who was killed at the Battle of Loos during World War I. Every royal bride has done the same since.
Another bridal bouquet tradition started with the marriage of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1840. Queen Victoria carried myrtle, known as the herb of love in her bouquet. After the wedding, Victoria planted the myrtle in her garden. To this day, every royal bride carries a sprig of myrtle from that very shrub.
5. Royal Wedding Bands
Since the marriage of Prince Albert (later King George VI) and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyons 1923, all of the royal women’s wedding bands have been made using Welsh gold from a mine in Dolgellau, North Wales. This type of gold is three times more valuable than gold from Australia or South Africa.
6. 1701 Act of Settlement
This act prohibits royals from marrying Catholics. As the head of the Church of England, the goal of this act is to preserve the Protestant Heritage. Although, Meghan attended a catholic high school, she was not raised catholic. Markle will be baptized into the Church of England before the wedding.
7. Permission to Marry
The Royal Marriage Act of 1772 requires all royal descendants to seek the sovereign’s approval for the marriage. This is act was put into place to guard against marriages that could diminish the status of the royal house. Any marriage that did not receive consent from the monarch is considered null and void. Even more importance is placed on gaining permission from the queen if you are marrying a commoner. No offense Meghan!
8. Stag and Hen Parties
In the UK groomsmen have taken the tradition of a bachelor party and turned it into something slightly different. Now the celebration lasts longer than one evening and is turned into an entire weekend. Instead of bachelor party it is referred to as Stag Parties. Bridesmaids have the same ole tradition of a bachelorette party and refer to it as a Hen Party. Same concept but with different titles.
9. Wedding Favors
A piece of the wedding cake is mailed out as a ‘thank you’ to guests. In 2011, William and Kate sent out their wedding slice in a delicate tin box.
10. The Wedding Date
Traditionally, British royal weddings occur during the work week, giving the populace an extra day off from work to celebrate. The tradition has been broken due to this May 19th wedding which is on a Saturday.
Prince Harry is the sixth in line to the throne and will be marrying American actress Meghan Markle at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle on May 19th, 2018. Harry’s wedding is likely to be a smaller affair than his older brother since the chapel can only hold 800 guest. Their romance all started in July 2016 when mutual friends set them up on a blind date. The proposal came just a year and a half later in late November 2017. It was love at first sight.