Royal Wedding: Which traditions will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle follow and which ones can they skip?
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have turned their back on some centuries-old royal wedding traditions. (Twitter: Kensington Palace)
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are a modern couple, so it is no surprise they have already turned their back on some centuries-old royal wedding traditions.
What time does the Royal wedding start?
However, Kensington Palace has announced that as well as being an event to reflect the bride and groom’s personalities it will also “be guided by tradition, allowing everyone to celebrate what makes Royal weddings so special”.
So what traditions can we expect to see at Windsor Castle’s 16th Royal wedding?
The one Royal tradition the couple must keep
It might be their big day but for a moment it will be all about the Queen.
Queen Elizabeth, then Princess, leaves Westminster Abbey with her husband the Duke of Edinburgh after their wedding in 1947. (AP)
Once Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are pronounced husband and wife they will walk down the aisle together like any other married couple
Their first stop must be in front of Her Majesty so that Prince Harry can bow and Ms Markle can curtsey.
It is customary for Royals to curtsey to the Queen when they first see her each day, but Ms Markle will not have to do it when she is on her way up the aisle.
Kate Middleton did not have to do it when she walked up the aisle either, but she and Prince William headed straight to Her Majesty after the formalities were done.
What other Royal traditions will we see?
Since Prince Harry and Ms Markle ditched the traditional Royal wedding fruit cake in favour of a trendy lemon elderflower cake with butter cream and a topping of fresh flowers, royal watchers have been asking if anything is safe.
Well, some things seem safer than others.
Pastry chef Claire Ptak, owner of the London-based bakery Violet Cakes, has been chosen to create a lemon elderflower cake for the wedding. (Twitter: Kensington Palace)
First there is the ring. The Queen Mother’s wedding ring in 1923 was made from a lump of Welsh gold and that same nugget has provided the gold for every Royal wedding ring since.
Word is it is running out though, so Ms Markle’s ring could be the last one crafted from this piece of Royal history.
Given his proud military service you can be sure Prince Harry will wear his uniform.
Prince Harry wears his Household Cavalry uniform as best man to The Duke of Cambridge at his wedding in 2011. (Twitter: Kensington Palace)
He is also keeping with tradition by inviting members of the armed forces to carry out ceremonial duties on the day — there will be more than 250 of them from regiments and units the Prince has relationships with.
All Royal brides since Queen Victoria in 1840 have worn white, and while the details of Ms Markle’s dress remain a closely guarded secret, she is widely expected to keep the tradition going.
Queen Victoria started another trend when she carried a sprig of the herb myrtle in her wedding bouquet for good luck.
It has since been spotted in the bouquets of Queen Elizabeth the second, Diana, Camilla and Kate.
Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, carried a sprig of myrtle in her bouquet when she married Prince Charles in 2005. (Supplied: Royal Family website)
Kensington Palace has also confirmed Prince Harry and Ms Markle will follow another tradition passed down from Victoria’s reign — the use of Windsor Grey horses to pull their carriage after the ceremony.
If the weather is nice Kensington Palace says the couple has chosen to travel through Windsor Town in one of the Royal Family’s five open-top, Ascot Landau carriages.
This is the same type of carriage Prince Harry was in with the young bridesmaids and page boys after his brother’s wedding in 2011.
One of the Ascot Landau carriages the newlyweds have chosen for their procession through Windsor Town. (Twitter: Kensington Palace)
What Royal wedding traditions will be broken?
Yes, the lemon elderflower cake has been talked about a lot, but this couple is putting a modern stamp on the day in other ways too.
Royal watchers expect Ms Markle to omit the word “obey” from her wedding vows, just as Diana and Kate did before her.
Princess Diana omitted the word ‘obey’ from her vows when she married Prince Charles in 1981. (Reuters)
Because she is is a proud feminist you can all but guarantee the 36-year-old will not let her husband speak for her in the wedding speeches — Ms Markle is widely tipped to be preparing her own speech and if it happens she will be the first Royal bride to do so.
For only the second time in Royal wedding history, Kensington Palace has announced there will be a best man — Prince Harry was Prince William’s best man in 2011, and now the elder brother will return the favour.
There will be no “kiss and wave” from the balcony of Buckingham Palace like we saw at the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding as the palace is too far away.
Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after their wedding in 2011. (Dylan Martinez: Reuters)
The public will see plenty of waves and maybe even a kiss during Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s 25-minute carriage procession through Windsor Town.
Political figures have been left off the guest list, including British Prime Minister Teresa May and even Prince Harry’s friends, Barack and Michelle Obama.
Representatives of Prince Harry’s charities and inspirational members of the public have been invited instead.
The invitations follow many years of Royal tradition and have been made by Barnard Westwood. (Twitter: Kensington Palace)