Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's royal wedding: Everything you need to know

It’s a quick engagement for Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle.

The couple announced their engagement in November and will wed on May 19. Read on for a look at what we know about the much-anticipated upcoming royal wedding.

When is the wedding?

Prince Harry — formally known as Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales — will marry Markle on May 19 in an hour-long ceremony starting at 7 a.m. EST, or noon local time.

The date is a Saturday — unusual, as most British royal weddings take place on a weekday.

Where is the wedding?

The wedding will take place at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

“The Dean of Windsor will conduct the service and The Archbishop of Canterbury will officiate as the couple make their vows,” Kensington Palace announced on Feb. 12.

The Most Rev. Michael Bruce Curry, the 27th Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church, has been chosen to give the address, Kensington Palace confirmed on May 12.

The wedding venue holds a central location in the history of the royal family. Windsor Castle, west of London, is one of Queen Elizabeth II’s main residences. The 15th-Century chapel is as historic but more intimate than Westminster Abbey, where Prince William married Kate Middleton in 2011. The queen is also very involved in the College of St. George, according to its website.

When the engagement was announced, the palace said the wedding will “reflect [the couple’s] characters and personalities” and be a moment of “fun and joy.”

After the ceremony, the royal couple will undertake a carriage procession from St. George’s Chapel through Windsor Town and then return to Windsor Castle.

“They hope this short journey will provide an opportunity for more people to come together around Windsor and to enjoy the atmosphere of this special day,” the palace said.

Kensington Palace revealed on May 2 the Ascot Landau carriage will be used. 

“The carriage is one of five Ascot Landaus in the Royal Mews,” the palace said. “The carriages are used in official and ceremonial state events, such as Coronations, Royal Weddings and State Visits.”

Wedding guests are slated to meet the pair for a reception at St. George’s Hall. 

Harry’s father, Prince Charles, will hold a private reception later that evening for the newlyweds, with close friends and family members in attendance at an undisclosed location.

Prince Harry, 33, and Markle, 36, are “hugely grateful for the many good wishes they have received since announcing their engagement,” the palace said Feb. 12. “They are very much looking forward to the day and to being able to share their celebrations with the public.”

What about other aspects of the wedding? 

Claire Ptak of Violet Cakes will create the couple’s wedding cake, Kensington Palace has revealed.

“Prince Harry and Ms. Markle have asked Claire to create a lemon elderflower cake that will incorporate the bright flavours of spring,” the palace tweeted March 20. “It will be covered with buttercream and decorated with fresh flowers.”

The chef “focuses on using seasonal and organic ingredients in her cakes,” the palace said. “Ms. Markle previously interviewed Chef Ptak for her former lifestyle website The Tig.”

Floral designer Philippa Craddock will join a team of florists from St. George’s Chapel and Buckingham Palace to create the displays for the royal wedding on May 19, Kensington Palace announced April 1. The designs will include locally sourced foliage and have flowers and plants that are in season during May.

The flowers will be distributed to charities after the wedding.

What needs to happen before the wedding?

Queen Elizabeth II needed to give her formal consent before the happy couple, who have already taken their engagement photos, could marry. 

On March 14, during a Privy Council meeting, the queen did just that.

“I declare My Consent to a Contract of Matrimony between My Most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales and Rachel Meghan Markle, which Consent I am causing to be signified under the Great Seal and to be entered in the Books of the Privy Council,” the statement released to the public the following day read.

The news comes after Markle was baptized on March 6 in the Chapel Royal at St. James Palace, according to a Daily Mail report. Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby was asked to lead the 45-minute service. 

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla Parker-Bowles, attended the baptism as representatives of the crown.

Afterward, Markle was reportedly confirmed into the Anglican faith, allowing her to join her soon-to-be husband at Holy Communion.

And earlier in March, Markle reportedly had a private bridal shower ahead of her big day. 

E! News reported that some of Markle’s friends threw her a bridal shower at the Soho Farmhouse in Oxfordshire, England, in early March. Some of the guests reportedly included Lindsay Jill Roth, Heather Dorak and the actress’ mother, Doria Ragland. 

Additionally, Ragland and Markle’s father, Thomas Markle, will arrive during the week before the May 19 wedding so they have time to meet Harry’s family.

They are slated to visit with the queen, her husband Prince Philip, Harry’s father Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, and with Harry’s brother Prince William and his sister-in-law Kate.  

Harry and Markle will spend the night before the wedding apart. They have been living together in recent months since announcing their engagement, according to The Associated Press. They will spend their first night as a married couple in Windsor Castle.

What should I know about the invitiations and guest list? 

The wedding invitations have been mailed. Six hundred people were invited to the service and another 200 close friends received an invitation to an after party at Frogmore House, Kensington Palace announced on March 22.

The invitations were created by Barnard and Westwood, a printing company that has worked with the royal family since 1985. They featured letters in black ink with the Prince Charles’ Three-Feathered Badge printed in gold on the top. The invitations were burnished, gilded on the edges and completed with a gold border.

Harry’s grandmother Queen Elizabeth II and other royals are expected to attend the wedding, along with Markle’s parents. You can read more about who is expected to attend here

What about wedding gifts? 

The pair announced on April 9 that they will be accepting donations to seven charities they support as wedding gifts for their upcoming royal nuptials.

“Prince Harry & Ms. Meghan Markle are incredibly grateful for the goodwill they have received since their engagement, [and] have asked that anyone who might wish to mark the occasion of their wedding considers giving to charity, instead of sending a gift,” Kensington Palace wrote in a news release.

What do we know about Markle’s engagement ring?

Prince Harry designed the custom engagement ring he gave to his fiancée — and it includes some special sentiments.

The center stone is from Botswana, where the two visited in August. But the two stones that flank the center jewel honor Prince Harry’s mother as they’re from Princess Diana’s collection.

The ring was made by court jewelers Cleave and Company, according to Town & Country magazine.

Is there anything special or unusual about the wedding date?

The timing of the wedding could also have to do with Prince Harry’s aging grandfather, Prince Philip.

Royal expert Kate Nicholl told Entertainment Tonight that the prince’s close bond with his grandfather is behind the timing and venue of the wedding.

But Palace officials said they’re hopeful that 96-year-old Prince Philip will be well enough to attend the wedding festivities. The queen’s husband has been recovering from hip replacement surgery and has not participated in any public events since being discharged from the hospital in mid-April.

And another fact about the wedding date that is perhaps a little less romantic: May 19 is the date that Anne Boleyn, the former queen of England, was executed as ordered by her husband, King Henry VIII, in 1536.

May 19 is also the FA Cup final, one of the biggest English sports events of the year. Prince William, Harry’s older brother, is president of the Football Association and presented the trophy to the winner in 2017.

Fox News’ Katherine Lam, Sasha Savitsky, Zoe Szathmary and Morgan M. Evans contributed to this report, along with The Associated Press.

“The Dean of Windsor will conduct the service and The Archbishop of Canterbury will officiate as the couple make their vows,” Kensington Palace announced in a tweet on Feb. 11.

“The Dean of Windsor will conduct the service and The Archbishop of Canterbury will officiate as the couple make their vows,” Kensington Palace announced in a tweet on Feb. 11.

Madeline Farber is a Reporter for Fox News. You can follow her on Twitter @MaddieFarberUDK.

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