Prince Harry sure knows how to charm. Though an insider revealed in the new issue of Us Weekly that Westminster Abbey would be Queen Elizabeth’s first choice for her grandson’s May 2018 vows to Meghan Markle, she agreed to go with his preference: Windsor Castle’s stately St. George’s Chapel.
An insider says the queen, along with the Dean of Westminster and the Archbishop of Canterbury, were pushing for the nuptials to be held at the historic church, where Harry’s brother, Prince William, and Duchess Kate cemented their relationship in 2011. (Though there was some question as to whether the former Suits actress, briefly wed to talent agent Trevor Engelson could marry there, a spokesperson put that to rest last spring, announcing it was “possible for divorced people to be married in the Church of England.”)
But for the 33-year-old royal, “pomp and pageantry are the last thing he would want,” says a pal. And with Markle’s affinity for understated celebrations (her 2011 nuptials took place outdoors on a Jamaican beach), one insider says he “favored” Windsor.
The 800-seat chapel, steps away from one of the queen’s residences, and just down the road from Eton College, the posh boarding school Harry once attended, says a source, “is smaller and more intimate.”
And queen-approved. On Tuesday, November 28, Kensington Palace officials released a statement that the monarch “has granted permission for the wedding to take place at the Chapel,” adding, “The Royal Family will pay for the wedding. Further details about the wedding will be announced in due course.”
But some are already set. Former army helicopter pilot Harry will be in full military dress, says an insider, noting, “He’s extremely proud of his background.” And while Markle hasn’t settled on a dress designer, the classic beauty — she told Us in 2013 she favors “a really solid pair of pointy toe pumps, a great cashmere sweater and the perfect pair of jeans” — has tapped close friend and stylist Jessica Mulroney to pull options. Says a source, “She will definitely be working with her.”
Come 2018, she will be working alongside Harry to identify new causes to champion. “One of the first things we started talking about the day we met was different things we wanted to do in the world,” Markle said in their November 27 joint interview. Her prince is eager to start. “The fact that I fell in love with Meghan so incredibly quickly was a confirmation to me that all the stars were aligned and everything was perfect. This beautiful woman tripped and fell into my life and I fell into her life,” he explained. “We’re a fantastic team.”
For more on Harry and Markle’s romance and upcoming nuptials, pick up the new issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands Wednesday, November 29.
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