Many people have been tracking Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's relationship since it's beginnings and the world is excited to finally see them tie the knot. Since this isn't a typical wedding, there are some traditions that the couple are expected to follow. For anyone unfamiliar, here are six royal family wedding traditions that may pop up at the wedding.
Right now, the couple is set to have their wedding on May 19, 2018. As the wedding date nears, it seems that there are a couple areas where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding will break tradition. However, those variations seem to be more about time and place.
The wedding is scheduled for a Saturday, though most royal weddings take place during the work week. And the venue is currently set to be at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, which is about 10 miles west of London. Traditionally, most royal couples get married at the capital's Westminster Abbey. Back in 2011, that was where Prince William and Kate Middleton exchanged their vows.
But, according to Harper's Bazaar, the non-traditional venue choice isn't a total break from protocol. There have been a number of royal couples who walked down the aisle at Windsor Castle. Prince Harry's own father, Prince Charles, and stepmother, Camilla Parker Bowles, shared a special blessing ceremony at Windsor Castle after their civil marriage service in 2005.
Changes like this don't mean that tradition will be totally abandoned, so let's take a look at what exactly makes up royal wedding traditions.
The Bride Wears A White Wedding Dress
Back in 1840, Queen Victoria chose to wed Prince Albert in a white gown, and that's been the style ever since. There have been some variations on style; in later years, it's become customary for the bridge's gown to include lace.
Given that this is a staple for most brides, not just royal weddings, it's fair to expect that a white bridal gown will pop up in this wedding.
And The Groom Wears A Military Uniform
Another tradition that we can thank Queen Victoria and Prince Albert for!
According to The Knot, Prince Albert was the first to start the trend of royal grooms wearing military uniforms. Which means, on May 19, you can expect to see Prince Harry don his sashes and medals.
The Wedding Cake Has To Be Fruitcake
In America, fruitcake isn't a well-loved dessert. Grocery stores might carry it once a year and most of the product gets thrown out.
But, according to Vogue, royal families have been serving fruitcake as their wedding cake flavor of choice for centuries. Its roots can be traced back to the Middle Ages, when rich, spicy fruitcakes were served at feasts. The dessert became a sign of wealth and prosperity, given the cost of acquiring the ingredients for it.
It also came to represent the British empire, in a way, as the cake called for ingredients from across the globe.
The Person Marrying In Must Be A Member Of The Church Of England
There's no exact law stating royalty can't marry someone of a different faith, but the Act of Settlement of 1701 confirmed that the king or queen also becomes the Head of the Protestant Anglican Church of England.
That means anyone in line to the throne who marries someone outside of the Church will lose their right to the throne (that means Harry, in this case). And church includes anyone outside of the Protestant tradition.
As a result, Markle is set to be baptized into The Church of England, and confirmed before the wedding in May.
Women Marrying Male Royals Will Assume Their Husbands' Titles
That's right, even after the wedding, tradition dictates that we won't be calling Markle "Princess Meghan." Apparently, the title of princess is reserved only for those born into the royal family.
However, this tradition has been broken the past. For example, Princess Diana would then be referred to as Diana, Princess of Wales.
The Bouquet Is Laid At The Tomb Of An Unknown Warrior
This tradition was started by the former Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, according to The Knot, who placed her bouquet at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey. She did so to honor her brother, who had died during World War I.
The tomb is one of the only spots where people are not permitted to walk within the abbey.
Every royal bride since Queen Elizabeth (the current Queen Elizabeth's mother) has left her bouquet in the same spot.
It's a somber tradition, but important all the same.