With the wedding of the year — ahem, decade? — just days away, royal curiosity has certainly hit its peak. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are set to wed Saturday, May 18, and between the guests, the fashion, and all of the royal fanfare, it's a lot to look forward to. Though there are customary wedding practices that will likely remain consistent, Harry and Meghan aren't opposed to breaking protocol here and there. Do royals write their own wedding vows? And will Harry and Meghan be sharing their own personal commitments with each other?
The short answer is: no. The New York Times reported that royal wedding vows follow a religious tradition: "The royal wedding vows are likely to follow a rigid script of words and rituals based on the traditional Anglican wedding ceremony prescribed in the Book of Common Prayer," an article on royal wedding FAQs explained. But what exactly does that mean? For those not familiar with the religion, Anglican vows are typically the ones you hear recited at weddings, in which the bride and groom commit to each other "for better or for worse," "in sickness and in health," and so on.
William and Kate also recited these vows during their 2011 nuptials. Anglican.org, the website for the international Anglican (Episcopal) Church, explains that the Book of Common Prayer vows are as follows:
In the Name of God, I, N., take you, N., to be my [husband/wife], to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow. Then they loose their hands, and the Woman, still facing the man, takes his right hand in hers, and says In the Name of God, I, N., take you, N., to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.
The Seattle Times reported that Harry and Meghan will also be married at St. George's Chapel, whereas William and Kate were married at Westminster Abbey. As for who will be officiating the marriage, it is technically three people working together. The dean of Windsor, Rt. Rev. David Connor (the spiritual leader of St. George's chapel) will officiate, while the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will "preside over the vows." Rev. Michael Bruce Curry, who is the head of the Episcopal Church, the U.S. branch of the Anglican Communion, will deliver the sermon at the service.
Though many aspects of the wedding will likely mirror Will and Kate's, as well as other royal nuptials prior to theirs, there are a few things that Harry and Meghan are doing differently. For example, the couple will be marrying in the traditional St. George's Chapel, and as Hello! reported, the reception for 600 guests will follow at Windsor Castle, and will be hosted by the Queen. Afterwards, another reception will be held at Frogmore House, for just 200 of the closest friends and family of the couple.
As for what new traditions Harry and Meghan are bringing in, there are a few. For starters, Meghan is choosing and also paying for her own wedding gown, Insider reported. CNN has also reported that the couple chose their own entertainment, and went with a more modern selection. Karen Gibson of the Kingdom Choir and 19-year-old cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason are just two of the musicians set to perform on Saturday.
Just a few more days until the world can see just how the classic royal traditions merge with Harry and Meghan's modern touches. Either way, it's sure to be a spectacle.