10 protocols for the royal wedding

2017-11-28 16:16

Cape Town – Time to bust out the champers! There’s nothing in the world quite like a British royal wedding. From the glitz and glamour to the fans and the hype – it’s a show like nothing else. 

But with the privilege of becoming a royal comes the protocols – most often steeped in years of tradition, some bizarre, but all not to be messed with.

Let’s take a look at what Prince Harry and Meghan Markle can expect as they count down the days to their 2018 wedding.

1 Brand-new names

As was the case with Prince William, the Queen will bestow a shiny new title on Prince Harry upon his marriage. Wills was granted the Cambridge dukedom, making him and his lovely wife a duke and duchess. Rumour has it the one the monarch has in mind for Harry is Sussex, The Telegraph reports, making him and Meg the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Sorry, America! Meghan's not technically going to be a princess. Still, at least she'll get a fancy 'Her Royal Highness' before her name...

2. Military men

Oh how we love a man in uniform! It’s tradition for the men to get married in their military uniform, and Harry, who served in Afghanistan during his 10 years in the army, will follow in the footsteps of his brother, Prince William, and his father, Prince Charles, who all donned their military attire. According to The Mirror, the tradition dates back to Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's consort. 

3. God's right hand

"Are you with the bride or groom?" Apparently it's going to be a whole lot easier than that for the usher's at Harry and Meghan's nuptials. If the groom is royal, there’s only one rule: All members of the royal family sit on the right-hand side of the church. Done.

4. Crowning glory

It’s tradition for the bride to wear a tiara - and there will be no diamante on this one! Like the royal brides who have gone before her, Meghan will be allowed to borrow a tiara from the royal vaults. The tiara is symbolic of the crowning of love and the loss of innocence to marriage.

5. Let them eat cake!

While ordinary folk usually make do with one cake, the royals often have more. According to The Mirror, William and Kate had the traditional fruit cake plus a chocolate-fudge cake while Prince Charles and Princess Diana served 27 cakes at their 1981 wedding!

6. Putting a ring on it

It’s customary for royal men to not wear a ring although Prince Charles bucked the trend, with both his first wife, Diana, and current wife, Camilla.

7. A bouquet of love

According to royal tradition, the wedding bouquet must contain myrtle – known as the herb of love. Kate's bridal bouquet included myrtles from a tree planted by Queen Victoria in 1845, according to Hello! Magazine

8. The last hoorah

Prince Harry can have a stag do – but the details are normally top secret. The Express reports Wills had his last hoorah at a friend’s estate in the country, while Prince Charles had a night out at Whites, a gentleman’s club (no, no a strip club) in London.

9. Two is better than one

When it comes to royal receptions, that is. In more recent years, it's become tradition for British royals to have a wedding breakfast and an evening affair too, Wedding Wire reports.

10. The honeymoon

Harry may follow his brother and have a ‘mini-moon’ before heading off on a proper honeymoon at a later date. 

Sources: The MirrorThe ExpressPeopleThe Telegraph, Wedding Wire, Hello! Magazine

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