The royal wedding countdown is on as the world waits for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry to tie the knot. While some wedding day details are being tightly guarded and left to speculation (c’mon, just a hint about Meghan’s dress … please?!), others have been released with Kensington Palace being pretty clear about what royal fans should and should not expect.
Sure, some omissions seem purely logistical (or perhaps because Prince Harry is *only* sixth in line for the throne). But we’d like to think other decisions are ones Meghan and Harry made so that their special day is truly their own — and that’s something we can totally support!
Here is what will be missing when Meghan and Harry get married on Saturday, May 19:
An Extra Day Off in the UK
Breaking from royal weekday wedding tradition, the couple is getting married on a Saturday, so there isn’t going to be an official bank holiday (like there was when Prince William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, walked down the aisle in 2011). Besides, even before the wedding date was announced, Downing Street warned that it didn’t have any plans for one. The good news for Brits and the Welch? Pubs are allowed to stay open until 1am on Friday and Saturday for a “celebration period.” Cheers!
A Westminster Abbey Ceremony
There is no set venue for royal weddings, but Harry and Meghan won’t be getting married at Westminster Abbey in London, where Wills and Kate did. Instead, the wedding will take place 20 miles west of London at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, which holds 800 people — 1,200 fewer than Westminster. Apparently, the Castle is where baby Harry was christened and is a place where the soon-to-be-newlyweds have spent a lot time.
A Guest List of Political Dignitaries
What do the Obamas, President Trump, and Prime Minister Teresa May have in common? Well, none of them were invited to the nuptials. In fact, a Kensington Palace spokesperson said that an official list of political leaders wasn’t at all required for this event. Instead, aside from the couple’s 600 guests (who will witness their vows), 2,640 members of the public — including local students and young community leaders — have been invited to the grounds of Windsor to watch the wedding arrivals.
A Maid of Honor
Nope, no right hand woman for Meghan. “She has a very close circle of friends and she could not just choose one [to be maid of honor],” said a royal aide for the Palace. “They will all be traveling to London that week to spend some quality time with her and she is pleased to have all their support there on her wedding day.” While won’t be seeing Kate in that role, we will be seeing William serving as Harry’s best man.
That Balcony Kiss
Yep, the whole world swooned when William and Kate had their iconic post-ceremony balcony kiss at Buckingham Palace. (William’s parents, Princess Diana and Prince Charles, did the same.) But not Meghan and Harry. Instead, the Palace says they’ll partake in a 25-minute carriage procession through Windsor following the ceremony en route to their reception at Frogmore House. And don’t bank on an alterna-balcony: St. George’s Chapel does not have one for this made-for-TV smooch.
A Traditional Fruitcake
Out with the old … and in with a new lemon elderflower flavor. Meghan and Harry are breaking with royal fruitcake tradition and have tapped pastry chef Claire Ptak (who owns Violet Bakery in Hackney, London) to, according to the Palace, “create a lemon elderflower cake that will incorporate the bright flavours of spring” and “will be covered with buttercream and decorated with fresh flowers.”
The royal couple is bound to receive an ornate gift or two, but Harry (like his older bro) and Meghan asked that anyone wishing to give a gift instead contribute to seven organizations that, according to the Palace, “represent a range of issues that they are passionate about.” These are: Children’s HIV Association (CHIVA), homeless charity Crisis, the Myna Mahila Foundation (which empowers women in Mumbai), Scotty’s Little Soldiers for bereaved Armed Forces children, sports charity StreetGames (which aims to change young people’s lives), marine conservation group Surfers Against Sewage, and The Wilderness Foundation UK.
A Speech From the Father of the Bride
This one has been a bit of a royal roller coaster — but now it seems most likely that Meghan’s dad, Thomas Markle, will not be attending the wedding at all. Instead, the bride-to-be is still reportedly planning her own speech as an “affectionate” tribute to Harry and a thank you to the Queen. The public, of course, won’t be privy to her toast at the private reception, but we love how Meghan may flip the traditional royal wedding script.
An Immediate Honeymoon Bon Voyage
Talk about getting back to business! According to royal reporters, the newlyweds will be attending Prince Charles’ 70th Birthday Patronage Celebration in the Buckingham Palace Gardens on May 22. As for their delayed honeymoon getaway? Travel + Leisure confirmed through a source that the couple will be going to the southwest African country of Namibia.
Newborn Price Louis
Sadly, it looks like we won’t be getting a new photo opp of Prince Louis at the wedding. The Duke and Duchess’ littlest royal, born April 23, won’t even be a month old yet, so he will be left with his nanny while his siblings, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, will participate in the royal festivities as part of the wedding party along with several of Meghan and Harry’s goddaughters and children of close friends (like her stylist Jessica Mulroney). Squee!