British Royal Wedding Required Traditions


Meghan-Markle-royal-wedding

photo by JANE BARLOW/AFP/Getty Images

With all the buzz about England’s next Royal Wedding between Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle, Miss Meredith Sweetpea’s mind has turned to romance. There are so many things to consider when planning a wedding. Especially so when marrying into the royal family.

In British tradition, there are a number of age-old royal wedding requirements.

  • The monarch must permit the marriage in writing for the six heirs closest in line to the throne.
  • A formal engagement announcement must be made by Kensington Palace, followed by a public photo session and joint interview. Prince Harry and Ms. Markle posed for the press in the Sunken Gardens at Kensington Palace.
  • The king or queen is the Head of the Protestant Anglican Church of England, therefore they and anyone they marry must be a member of the Church of England or they will lose the right to the throne. Ms. Markle will be baptized into the Church of England prior to the wedding.
  • Royal brides must wear a white gown, and customary lace, ever since Queen Victoria wore a white gown at her wedding to Prince Albert in 1840.
  • Royal grooms must wear a military uniform. Prince Albert was the one to start this trend.
  • In Queen Victoria’s bridal bouquet was a sprig of myrtle, expected to harbinger love and good fortune int he marriage. Victoria received the myrtle bush from Albert’s grandmother and planted it on the Isle of Wight. Sprigs of myrtle have been provided from this bush for royal weddings ever since.
  • The bride must wear a tiara. Princess Diana wore a Spencer family tiara for her wedding to Prince Charles. Catherine Middleton borrowed the Cartier “Halo” tiara that was originally given by King George VI to his wife, Queen Elizabeth, then given to Princess Elizabeth on her 18th birthday.
  • The bride’s wedding band must be made from the gold taken from a specific mine in Wales.
  • The bride must lay her wedding bouquet at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior after the ceremony. Every royal bride has done so since the former Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon following her wedding to Prince Albert.
  • There are generally two receptions: one between 11 am and noon with a lunch or brunch, and another in the evening with dinner and dancing.
  • No shellfish can be served at a royal wedding. Or garlic.
  • The wedding cakes must include a fruitcake.

–Excerpted from The Knot, “Will Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Break Any of These Royal Wedding Traditions?” by Maggie Seaver.

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: