All The Royal Wedding Traditions Prince Harry And Meghan Markle Are Required To Follow

Royals | News | Celebrity | Trending

All The Royal Wedding Traditions Prince Harry And Meghan Markle Are Required To Follow

As more details trickle out about the upcoming royal wedding, the anticipation is getting overwhelming.


It's only been six years since Prince William and Kate Middleton tied the knot, but that already feels like a lifetime. And since then we've already forgotten all the traditions and protocols that go along with a royal wedding.

In case you need a refresher, here's what to expect when Harry and Meghan say "I do" this spring:


First and foremost, Harry had to get his grandmother's permission before he even proposed to Meghan. That's not just royal courtesy, the 1772 Royal Marriage Act requires him to get his choice of bride pre-approved by her majesty the Queen.

In the build-up to the wedding, no one is more excited than the happy couple, and just like us common folk Harry and Meghan will say goodbye to single life with bachelor and bachelorette parties. But don't expect to hear all the sordid details.

Even years later the events of Will and Kate's parties are hush hush, and the royals go to great lengths to keep these parties private.


For the big day itself, it's traditional for the groom to arrive dressed in a military uniform. Prince Albert began this tradition at his marriage to Queen Victoria in 1840, and both Prince Charles and William have continued it.

Other royal grooms in their wedding uniforms.

While Charles wore a naval commander's outfit, and William was dressed in an Irish Guard's uniform, there's no telling what uniform Harry will pick.

Meanwhile, Meghan's wedding day outfit has its own traditions to follow.

Just like we know for certain that Harry will be decked out in military attire, Meghan will definitely be wearing a white dress.

Queen Victoria's trend-setting white wedding dress.Racked

While we think of that as a popular wedding tradition, it actually dates back to Queen Victoria's wedding to Prince Albert. Meghan's bouquet will be another throwback to Victorian times. Ever since Victoria grew a myrtle bush from part of her bouquet, royal brides have carried a cutting of her "shrub of love" in their own bouquet.

And if you're lucky enough to get invited to the wedding, don't expect to catch the bouquet. Meghan will lay hers at the tomb of the Unknown Warrior, which is traditional.

Kate Middleton's wedding bouquet.Tesselaar Flowers

While the style might vary, the royal bride's outfit almost always features a tiara and a train, which varies in length. Kate Middleton's was a reasonable 9 feet long while Princess Diana's was a stunning 20 feet.


If you thought drawing up a seating plan for your wedding was a nightmare, imagine planning a royal ceremony. To keep things simple, the groom's family will always sit on the right-hand side of the church.

The "best man" wasn't always a common part of royal weddings (grooms usually picked a "supporter" instead) but since William made Harry his best man, the younger prince will probably return the favor.

Expect to see William at Harry's side during the ceremony.The Best Man Speech Blog

Other members of the wedding party will include bridesmaids (who are normally relatives under the age of 18) and a page boy to carry the bride's train. Prince George might be the page boy at this ceremony, because he played that role at Pippa Middleton's wedding.

Prince George at Pippa Middleton's wedding.Birmingham Mail

Finally, both Harry and Meghan will get new names during the ceremony, as a sort of wedding gift from the Queen. This also gives Meghan her royal title. While she won't become a princess, royal watchers expect the couple to be named the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

But there are special traditions for the wedding reception as well!

As if all of the hustle and bustle of a royal wedding wasn't enough, Harry and Meghan will also have two receptions afterwards.

The royal couple traditionally leave the ceremony in a horse-drawn carriage.Daily Mail

It's traditional for the Queen to host a "breakfast" or brunch after the morning wedding, and modern royals like to host a dinner party later in the day, to really spend time with their guests.

Will and Kate greet guests at their reception.Zimbio

At the receptions, guests will have their choice of two cakes, because the bride and groom both get their own. And, of course, both cakes normally feature at least three huge layers. The groom traditionally chooses some kind of fruit cake, but William broke with tradition and chose fudge instead (we can't blame him).

One of William and Kate's wedding cakes.Hello!

There's one wedding tradition the royal men don't participate in, and that's wearing wedding rings. It's extremely uncommon for royal men to sport their rings after the wedding, but Charles does. He started wearing Diana's ring on his little finger after her death, then wore his own ring after re-marrying in 2005.

Prince Charles wears his wedding band (underneath his signet ring) on his pinky finger.Hello!

Finally, the royal couple might enjoy two honeymoons as well. William and Kate enjoyed a "mini-moon" in the UK to let the media frenzy die down, before flying to the Seychelles for a vacation. There's speculation that Harry and Meghan will do the same.

US Weekly

And while we have no idea where they might jet off to, the prime minister of Antigua invited the prince to return for a honeymoon with Meghan when he visited the country last year.

Share this story if you can't wait for the royal wedding!

I write about all sorts of things for Shared, especially weird facts, celebrity news, and viral stories.