Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to marry: When and where will the pair wed?

Prince Harry is to marry his girlfriend, the American actress Meghan Markle, Clarence House has confirmed.

The couple will live at Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace in London, but their wedding venue hasn’t been announced yet.

The prince, who is fifth in line to the throne, will marry Ms Markle next spring. The pair got engaged in secret earlier this month.

Here we look at some potential options for venues.

St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle is the favourite to be the Royal wedding venue
St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle is the favourite to be the Royal wedding venue

St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle
The most likely option for Harry and his new fiancee, this 15th century gothic church set in the Lower Ward of Windsor Castle is a popular choice for royal weddings.

It’s an intimate venue: it usually holds around 800 guests, whereas Westminster Abbey – where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge wed – can accommodate 2,000.

With the Queen now 91 and the Duke of Edinburgh 96, the choice would be especially convenient for Harry’s ageing grandparents, who spend a great deal of time at home in the castle.

Charles and Camilla had their televised blessing there in 2005 after their civil ceremony.

Harry was also christened in the chapel in December 1984 when he was three months old, which, according to Church of England rules, means he can also marry there.

Harry and Megan will marry next spring
Harry and Megan will marry next spring
St Paul’s Cathedral is one of London’s most iconic landmarks (Rex)
St Paul’s Cathedral is one of London’s most iconic landmarks (Rex)

St Paul’s Cathedral, London
If Harry and Ms Markle decide to opt for a large-scale royal wedding with the full works, they could pick London’s St Paul’s Cathedral.

With room for more than 2,000 guests, the grand central venue, with its distinctive black and white chequered floor, would have the advantage of providing an alternative setting to William and Kate’s wedding in Westminster Abbey.

Harry’s parents, the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer, wed in Sir Christopher Wren’s famous domed landmark on July 29, 1981.

Will Harry and Megan follow by marrying at Westminster Abbey?
Will Harry and Megan follow by marrying at Westminster Abbey?

Westminster Abbey, London
Harry and Ms Markle could follow William and Kate’s lead by marrying in this gothic abbey, which is well-rehearsed at staging important royal ceremonies.

A short distance from Buckingham Palace, the central London location is convenient and the interior of the abbey is impressive.

Harry’s grandmother, the Queen, and great-grandmother, the Queen Mother, were both married at Westminster Abbey.

Overseas
The couple could ditch the UK entirely and head abroad for their nuptials. Ms Markle is American and made a home in Toronto, Canada, and she and Harry also both share a love of Africa.

But such a decision would create a raft of problems, especially for an elderly Queen and Duke of Edinburgh.

Also, the logistical and security considerations of staging a royal wedding abroad would be immense.

It would be an unpopular move — the cost of royal security falls to the taxpayer — and royal weddings on home soil boost the British tourist industry.

In 2011, the year William and Kate married, a record number of foreigners holidayed in the UK.

The Palace of Holyroodhouse: perfect for a Scottish reception?
The Palace of Holyroodhouse: perfect for a Scottish reception?

Other options
Harry and Megan could even follow in the footsteps of Zara and Mike Tindall, who went to Scotland, marrying in Edinburgh’s Canongate Kirk and holding the reception at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

As an outside bet, the Church of St Mary Magdalene, Sandringham, close to the Queen’s much-loved private Norfolk retreat, is regularly used as a place of worship by the royals, particularly on Christmas Day.

The pretty country church, which dates back in its present form to the 16th century, might be the perfect choice for a small, intimate wedding if Harry and Ms Markle decide to keep their actual ceremony private on the big day.

London’s Guards’ Chapel at Wellington Barracks is the religious home of the Household Division, and would have military connections for ex-soldier Harry, who served in the Blues and Royals regiment of the Household Cavalry.

But it is also where Camilla married her first husband, Andrew Parker Bowles, in 1973.

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