Cape Town – It’s royal wedding week!
With the final touches of Britain’s wedding of the year taking place and dealing with a scandal or two, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are preparing to say ‘I do’.
HERE IS EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW AHEAD OF THE ROYAL WEDDING:
Date, time and place:
Harry and Meghan will marry at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle at 12:00 GMT (13:00 CAT) on Saturday, 19 May.
The Dean of Windsor, The Rt Revd. David Conner, will conduct the service while Harry and Meghan will be wed by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.
The Most Reverend Michael Bruce Curry, the 27th Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church, will give the address at their wedding.
Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle have asked that The Most Reverend Michael Bruce Curry, the 27th Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church, give the address at their wedding : https://t.co/a14L7JGcAd #RoyalWedding pic.twitter.com/njqCaN55Gr— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 12, 2018
Following the ceremony, Harry and Meghan will embark on a carriage parade, that will last about 25 minutes, along a route from St George's Chapel, leaving Windsor Castle via Castle Hill and processing along the High Street and through Windsor Town, returning to Windsor Castle along the Long Walk.
The newly married couple will be transported in the Ascot Landau carriage. Two of the Windsor Grey Horses named Storm and Tyrone will pull the carriage.
Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle have selected the Ascot Landau carriage for their procession through Windsor Town after their wedding on May 19th. pic.twitter.com/uR9bKgqmiX— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 2, 2018
The wedding reception:
A reception for the couple and their 600 wedding guests will be held in St. George's Hall after the carriage ride.
Prince Charles, the father of the groom, will give a private evening reception for the couple, close friends and family at an undisclosed location.
The wedding gifts:
After receiving an overwhelming number of gifts and well wishes ahead of their wedding, Harry and Meghan requested those wanting to send something to rather make a donation to one of their chosen charities.
Prince Harry & Ms. Meghan Markle are incredibly grateful for the goodwill they have received since their engagement, & have asked that anyone who might wish to mark the occasion of their wedding considers giving to charity, instead of sending a gift. https://t.co/lzfrRmoeUv pic.twitter.com/nxrTZtIKBY— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) April 9, 2018
The menu for Harry and Meghan’s first reception has been led and sourced locally by the freshest produce available. Several tastings for the couple have been held ahead of the special day to make sure only the best dishes are served to their guests.
Sweet treats, which will be served at St George's Hall after the ceremony, include: Chocolate truffles, bite-sized Crème brûlée, biscuits with mango panna cotta topping and yellow macaroons.
We dropped in on the Kitchens at Windsor Castle, who will shortly begin final preparations for the #RoyalWedding.— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) May 14, 2018
Take a look behind the scenes with Royal Chef Mark Flanagan and his team: https://t.co/91PHLXKv3v pic.twitter.com/2W3w1IhQdh
Pastry chef Claire Ptak has been chosen by Harry and Meghan to create a lemon elderflower cake that incorporates flavours and colours of spring.
Ptak is the owner of London-based bakery, Violet Bakery Cafe, and focuses on using only seasonal and organic ingredients.
The British royal and American actress chose a self-taught London floral designer for their nuptials. Philippa Craddock will create the church flower arrangements – which will reflect the wild, natural landscapes from which many of the plants will be drawn.
Her team will include florists from the chapel and from Buckingham Palace for the displays in the chapel and at St. George's Hall. The Royal Parks will also supply some plants taken from wildflower meadows.
The flowers will be given to charities after the wedding.
The dress Meghan will wear when she marries her prince has remained a massive secret. Multiple sources have however confirmed that British high-fashion designers Ralph & Russo have been enlisted to make the first of two gowns she is set to wear on her wedding day.
The dress, which will be hand-stitched and heavily beaded, is rumoured to cost around £100 000 (around R1.7m) and will be funded privately by the royal family.
The bridal party:
Little details about Meghan’s bridal party have been released, but it has been confirmed that Prince William will serve as Harry’s best man.
Kensington Palace shared a list of the chosen bridesmaids and page boys for the couple, which includes Princess Charlotte and Prince George.
Both of Meghan’s parents will play a significant role in the wedding. Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland will travel with her daughter by car to Windsor Castle on 19 May.
Thomas Markle, Meghan’s father, is expected to walk his daughter down the aisle of St. George's Chapel for the ceremony. However, it was recently reported that he has withdrawn from the royal wedding totally, following backlash over staged paparazzi photos taken of him.
The late Princess Diana’s family will also largely be involved in the wedding. All three of Diana’s siblings will be in attendance and Lady Jane Fellowes will give the reading.
2 640 members of the public have been invited to Windsor Castle by Harry and Meghan. The large group will be made up of young pupils from local schools, members of charities supported by the couple, members of the Royal Households and Crown Estate as well as people from all corners of the UK.
Prince Harry and Ms. Markle would like their wedding day to be shaped to allow members of the public to share in the joy and the fun of the day. They have today given further details how public guests will be involved in the celebrations on May 19. pic.twitter.com/V62uqRW8m0— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) March 2, 2018
It was also decided that an official list of political leaders — both UK and international — is not required for the wedding, leaving US President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May off the list.
Indian actress Priyanka Chopra, who is a close friend of Meghan’s, confirmed that she will be in attendance.
The official photographs:
Alexi Lubomirski – who photographed Harry and Meghan for their engagement announcement – has been chosen to take the official wedding photos.
Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle have selected Alexi Lubomirski to take the official photographs at Windsor Castle following their wedding at St George's Chapel on 19th May.— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) April 13, 2018
Harry and Meghan will reportedly jet off to Namibia for their honeymoon. The couple will first however, carry out their first engagement as a married couple in the week following their nuptials.
It's no surprise that Africa has topped the list for the loved-up pair - it was always a strong contender in potential honeymoon destinations as their first trip together was to Botswana.
Watching from home:
ITV Choice (DStv 123) will broadcast live, comprehensive coverage of the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan. The coverage will start at 10:25 and run through to 16:00.
It will also be broadcast live on BBC Lifestyle (DStv 174) and BBC World News (Dstv 400). BBC Lifestyle will be showcasing it all live from 10.15 and finishing at around approximately 15:30.