It seems like only yesterday that we were celebrating the marriage of William and Kate, but now it's time for the next eagerly awaited Royal wedding, with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle set to tie the knot on May 19th.
How it all began
The pair first met on a blind date in early 2016, after being introduced to each other by a mutual friend. Amazingly, they managed to enjoy five or six months of getting to know each other outside of the public eye, which included five days together in Botswana, where Harry spent a month in 2016. It was in late October the same year that the press announced that the Suits actress and the Prince were dating - a revelation confirmed by Kensington Palace in early November.
It wasn't until February 2017, though, that they made their first public appearance hand in hand - and it was in May that Meghan made her first official appearance as a Royal girlfriend, watching the Prince playing polo. Reports confirmed that Meghan was taken to Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen in mid-October.
The wedding: what we know so far
Just over a month later, on November 27th, the official announcement of the royal engagement was made, with the wedding date revealed a few weeks later. 600 invitations for the ceremony, which will take place at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, have been posted out, while 200 people have been invited to the after party at Frogmore House. 2,640 members of the public have been invited to watch the ceremony from the Windsor Castle grounds, and the pair have also promised that they will take a carriage ride through Windsor straight after the ceremony to greet the well-wishers who are expected to fly in from across the globe.
The cake won't be a traditional fruit cake, but a lemon and elderflower cake crafted by an East London bakery, while the flowers will be seasonal and taken from the Royal Parks and Crown Estate, as well as from wildflower meadows.
As yet, there's been no official announcement about Meghan Markle's dress, but designers Antonio Berardi and Ralph & Russo are both hotly tipped for the honour of making the royal gown.
As with any event involving the Royal Family, security at Harry and Meghan's wedding will be incredibly tight. It's reported that security and policing costs for William and Kate's wedding topped £10m - and we wouldn't be surprised if this wedding cost more, especially with so many members of the public in attendance. Airport-style security measures will be in place to screen guests, while metal barriers will be erected to reduce the risk of vehicle attacks.
CCTV and automatic number plate recognition technology will be used on the day and beforehand - and it's not just Thames Valley Police who will be responsible for keeping the couple and their friends and family safe. The National Police Air Service, search dogs, the road policing unit and the mounted section will be joining the local police force to make sure that the day is the happy occasion that it's supposed to be.
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