They're both royal weddings, but they won't be the same...
By Alexandra Whittaker
From the editors of InStyle US
Not all royal weddings look alike, as fans of the family have learned throughout the years.
Princess Diana and Prince Charles’s big day was billed as the ‘wedding of the century’. Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip’s nuptials offered a moment of hopeful joy in the somber aftermath of World War II. Kate Middleton and Prince William’s wedding marked the excitement of a non-royal marrying into the family.
So what can you expect of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s big day? As it turns out, their wedding will look similar to Prince William and Kate Middleton’s – but with a few notable exceptions.
‘A wedding is a wedding whether you’re the future emperor of Bohemia or you’ve got a job cleaning somebody’s chimney in the north of England,’ royal expert Alastair Bruce told InStyle exclusively. ‘There are no great [royal] traditions beyond those of traditional weddings. The royal family doesn’t have anything particularly special, except when they sign the register, there are two books: One is the one required by law, and the other is the royal family register. Well that’s about it, really.’
But in addition to Markle becoming ‘Her Royal Highness Princess Harry of Wales’ (not ‘Princess Meghan’, as some thought), there are a few things that will be different for her and Harry than they were for William and Kate.
Before the official wedding on May 19, take a look at what those differences are:
The wedding will not take place in London
In November, it was announced that Harry and Meghan’s wedding will take place at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
‘Windsor is a very special place for Prince Harry, and he and Ms. Markle have regularly spent time there over the last year and a half,’ Kensington Palace said in a statement. The castle is also an official residence of Harry’s grandma, Queen Elizabeth.
Like Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, William and Kate were married in Westminster Abbey, while Prince Charles and Princess Diana said ‘I do’ at St. Paul’s Cathedral.
But Prince Harry and Markle’s will not be the first royal wedding at St. George’s. Back in the late ’90s, Harry’s uncle, Prince Edward, married Sophie Rhys-Jones there, and Harry’s dad, Prince Charles, and Camilla Parker-Bowles had a religious blessing there in 2005, according to NBC News. Harry’s cousin, Princess Eugenie, will also marry there later in 2018.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding will not be a bank holiday
This is a stark difference between the two royal weddings because it means we won’t automatically get the day off, and banks will remain open. Prime Minister Theresa May announced this news on the day the couple announced their engagement.
Meghan’s parents won’t be paying for it
Kate’s parents chipped in for part of the cost of her wedding to Prince William, as did Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth. But Kensington Palace said that the Royal Family will be paying for Harry and Meghan’s entire 2018 wedding, despite CNN reporting that the bill is traditionally footed by the bride’s family.
The wedding will take place in a church half the size of William and Kate’s venue
William and Kate’s venue, Westminster Abbey, holds 2,000 people. St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, where Harry and Meghan will marry, has a maximum capacity of 800.
There will not be an iconic balcony kiss
This difference is mainly due to location. Windsor Castle is 45 minutes away from Buckingham Palace, where William and Kate famously kissed in front of an enormous audience on a balcony.
They’re ditching the traditional wedding cake
No vanilla here! As we previously reported, the couple wants an untraditional banana wedding cake, which represents a significant break from tradition. British wedding cakes normally have a top tier of fruitcake—the idea being that it can be saved and served at the christening of the couple’s first child without spoiling.
Interestingly enough, William and Kate also departed from the traditional cake by opting for an eight-tiered cake with no fruitcake topping. They also served a groom’s cake of chocolate biscuits.
Because they will not be near Buckingham Palace, they will not get a London procession either
According to PEOPLE, a London procession isn’t in the cards for this royal wedding due to logistics. TBD on whether or not they replace it with another grand show instead.