The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is just days away, which means the final details are currently being fine-tuned. As preparations get underway for the Royal wedding, 600 guests who have been invited are also fine-tuning their outfits for the special day this weekend.
With the wildflower bouquets, organic lemon and elderflower cake and photographer already chosen, people all across the country are speculating on what the Royal wedding will look like –and, most importantly, who will be invited.
Here is everything you need to know about the Royal wedding guest list, from definite yeses to our predictions – and the confirmed no-shows.
Invitations have been posted to 600 lucky guests, with a select 200 close friends invited to an after party at Frogmore House, Windsor.
Royal sources have said the guest list will be restricted to those who have a direct relationship with the couple, both because St George’s Chapel is relatively small and because the prince is not in the direct line of succession.
Some members of the public have received an invitation to wait in the grounds outside the chapel to watch the bride and groom and their wedding guests arrive and leave.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding invitations, in a photo released March 22 Credit: VICTORIA JONES
The invitations, above, were produced by Barnard & Westwood, which has held the “Royal Warrant for Printing & Bookbinding by Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen” since 1985.
They read: “His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales K.G., K.T. requests the pleasure of the company of … at the Marriage of His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales with Ms Meghan Markle at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle on Saturday 19th May 2018 at 12 Noon followed by a reception at Windsor Castle.”
Die-stamped in gold and then burnished, the invitation features The Three Feather Badge of The Prince of Wales. They also reveal that the dress code is Uniform, Morning Coat or Lounge Suit, or Day Dress with Hat.
The rules guests must follow
As well a dress code, guests have reportedly been sent meticulously detailed instructions for the big day. The seven pages of ‘critical guidance’, according to the Mail on Sunday, ban cameras and bulky bags, adding that guests will be asked to “surrender mobile telephones and any devices used for image capture”.
The instructions further specify that guests should not wear medals, in a list of suggestions about accessories that includes: “No swords.”
Two driving routes have been suggested with guests required to meet at the Windsor Farm Shop, founded in 2001 after the Duke of Edinburgh had an idea to support local businesses by selling produce.
There, three miles away from the venue, guests will be put through security checks and asked to show identification before being ushered onto buses to travel to Windsor Castle.
The guidance, the newspaper reports, states: “It should be noted that gifts cannot be brought to St George’s Chapel or the Reception that follows at Windsor Castle.”
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have asked instead for guests who wish to give gifts to donate to seven chosen charities to honour their big day.
The Royal family
More than 50 Members of the Royal family were invited to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding in 2011, which gives us a clue as to how many will be attending the younger prince’s nuptials this year..
The first royal name to be confirmed is Prince William, who will be Prince Harry’s best man. Harry was his brother’s best man in 2011; however the decision means the Duke of Cambridge, who is President of the Football Association, will not attend the FA Cup final happening on the same day.
While the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will both be there, with their older children Prince George and Princess Charlotte expected to be in the bridal party, the newborn Louis will stay away from the public eye.
Prince Louis, who will be less than a month old by the time of the wedding, is likely to be cared for by a nanny close by.
The Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall are also sure to attend.
The Prince and Ms Markle have invited all three of the late Princess’ siblings to the wedding, with Lady Jane Fellowes giving the reading.
Lady Jane, who remains close to members of the Royal Family but has stayed away from the limelight following her sister’s death, will be joined by her siblings Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Earl Spencer at the Windsor Castle wedding.
The daughters of Earl Spencer at the Royal wedding of William and Kate, 2011 Credit: Dave Thompson/AFP/Getty Images
Ms Markle will be surrounded by children as page boys, bridesmaids and flower girls, in a bridal party expected to include Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Harry’s godchildren, and the children of Ms Markle’s closest friends.
Prince George and Princess Charlotte already know the score – they performed those roles at the wedding of Pippa Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge’s younger sister, to James Matthews in May last year.
While it has been confirmed that the Duchess of York has been invited to the service, she is said to be “deeply unhappy” that she has not been invited to the Prince of Wales’ private reception later in the day. The Duke of York and his daughters with Fergie, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie of York are said to be attending both events.
Other royal relatives are likely to include The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and Kent, The Princess Royal, the Queen’s granddaughter Zara Tindall and her husband Mark Tindall.
Members of other royal families from around the world are not expected to attend, although Prince Seeiso of Lesotho might be an exception. In 2006 he and Prince Harry founded the Sentebale charity, with the aim to help vulnerable children and young people in the country.
Both Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, and her father, Thomas Markle are expected to attend. Doria, 60, was born in Los Angeles to an antique dealer father and a mother who was a nurse. After school she worked as a make-up artist, which is how she met her husband, Thomas Markle, a lighting director in Hollywood.
The pair married in 1979 and Ms Markle was born two years later. Ms Ragland later took a job as an air stewardess, meaning their daughter was frequently cared for by her father.
Doria now lives in the house she inherited from her father in 2011 in the Crenshaw area of LA. Ms Ragland and her daughter are extremely close – Ms Ragland once drove a car with the number plate MEGNME – and Ms Markle has spoken of her pride in her free-spirited mother, with her dreadlocks and nose ring.
Meghan Markle with her moother Doria, who has a masters in social work Credit: TIM STEWART NEWS LIMITED
Ms Ragland and Mr Markle divorced in 1987, but remained friends. Thomas, 72, was born in Pennsylvania, of Dutch-Irish descent and made his way to Hollywood where he worked as a lighting director.
He worked for many years on the set of the television show Married With Children, and his work on long-running series General Hospital earned him nine Daytime Emmy nominations, of which he was twice named the winner. Mr Markle and his daughter were very close, with the young Meghan accompanying him on film sets.
Baby Meghan Markle lies on the chest of her father Thomas Credit: TIM STEWART NEWS LIMITED
Meghan’s half-brother, Thomas Markle Jr, a 50-year-old window fitter, is another possible guest, however her half-sister Samantha Grant has voiced her concern that she will not be invited.
On April 11 she tweeted ‘The Markle family is looking forward to our wedding invites. No one has one yet. Still waiting. I hope London is wheelchair friendly. Excited!’, before continuing ‘Smoke and mirros cannot hide the elephant in the room. Out of respect, tradition, and humanitarianism, the #Markles should be invited if 2000 strangers are invited.’
Harry and renowned party animal Tom Inskip have been friends since they were pupils at Eton together. Harry was rumoured to be best man at his Jamaican wedding last year, when he married the flame haired Lara Hughes-Young.
Tom Inskip (right) arrives at the Duke of Cambridge’s wedding in 2011 Credit: Jasper Juinen/PA
30 year-old banked Inskip is the son of Owen Inskip, a friend of the Prince of Wales and David Cameron. He has been present at some of the Prince’s most controversial moments, including when he was photographed naked at a private party.
Also rumoured to be on the guest list are Guy Pelly and Lizzy Wilson. Heiress to the Holiday Inn empire, Wilson is married to Guy Pelly, setting a precedent for Americans to marry into the royals’ inner ‘set’.
Harry and the Duke of Cambridge were spotted with Princess Beatrice at Pelly’s 2014 wedding in the US; surely an invite to the wedding of the year would be appropriately return the favour?
Pelly was thrown into the public eye in 2012 when he was awarded £40,000 by News International after an admission that it had hacked his phone, as well as incorrectly accusing Pelly of supplying Harry with marijuana.
Guy Pelly in 2012 Credit: Clara Molden/Clara Molden
Arthur Landon is also rumoured to be attending the wedding. Another pal of the Princes, Landon was also in Vegas when the naked picture was taken. He is also known as one of Britain’s youngest millionaires, having inherited £500 million from his father.
Jake Warren, a friend from Harry’s Eton era, the son of the Queen’s racing manager, and godson of Princess Diana, is also likely to attend.
Priyanka Chopra confirmed to US Weekly on April 25 that will attend the wedding. When asked about her outfit, she added: “I sort of may have an idea… But no, I haven’t picked one out yet.” On the same day, she disclosed that she would not be a bridesmaid.
Chopra is an Indian actress, film producer, singer and the winner of the Miss World 2000 pageant, who penned a tribute to Meghan in Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People list, released in April. She wrote: “This ever-smiling, strong free spirit found her prince, fell in love and in turn made a cynical world believe in fairy tales again.
“But more than anything else, Meghan is an important influencer in a world that needs strong public figures to respect and look up to. People the world can be inspired by. Meghan, standing shoulder to shoulder with Harry, will be a princess for the people. Love always, my friend. Live happily ever after.”
Stylist Jessica Mulroney, one of Meghan’s closest friends and widely credited with fine-tuning the actress’ fashion choices, is rumoured to be Meghan’s maid of honour. Married to Ben, the son of former Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney, she regularly advises the wife of Canadian prime minister, Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau, on her outfits for public appearances – and she is rumoured to have been advising Markle on her wedding dress.
Markle and Mulroney on holiday in Italy Credit: Meghan Markle/Instagram
The pair are thought to have met when Markle moved from Los Angeles to Toronto for her breakthrough role in Suits and shared an “exceptionally fun” trip to Italy together last year.
Millie Mackintosh is also rumoured to be on the guest list. The only Brit in Markle’s inner circle, the Made in Chelsea socialite is good friends with many of the young aristocracy and well placed for advice on handling the British paparazzi.
American fashion designer Misha Nonoo, the woman tipped to have introduced Ms Markle to Prince Harry, is expected to attend. Markle is reportedly a big fan of Misha Nonno’s fashion, having chosen the designer’s “husband shirt” for her first public appearance alongside Harry at the Invictus Games.
Meghan with Misha Nonoo at the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards in 2015 Credit: Andrew Toth/Getty Images
Nonoo was also another regular on Markle’s Instagram feed (before the actress closed it down) and is known to be friends with Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice, as well as the Duke of Cambridge, whose wedding she attended in 2011.
Plus, fellow American actress Janina Gavankar is expected to attend. A friend of Meghan for 16 years, Gavankar appeared with the bride-to-be in episodes of American sitcom The League. Meghan has previously posted about Gavanakar on her Instagram feed, with the caption: "Couldn’t be prouder of how far we’ve come, and couldn’t be more grateful for being able to share every step of it with you.“
Abigail Spencer, Meghan’s former Suits co-star, is also tipped to attend the wedding: she is known to get along well with Meghan and the pair are regularly photographed together outside of filming duties. Ms Markle’s other former Suits co-stars Sarah Rafferty, Patrick J Adams and Wendell Pierce could also be on the list.
Several celebrities have been rumoured to be on the guest list, from Cara Delevingne to Ed Sheeran. Among the more certain famous invitees are the Spice Girls; soon after the 1990s girl band’s announcement of a reunion, Mel B hinted on US television that they had been invited to the royal wedding as performing guests.
Appearing on American television chat show The Real, Mel B was asked whether she knew any fellow Britons who had been invited to the wedding.
Nodding, she confessed: “Yeah, I’m going… I don’t know if I should’ve said that!” Pressed further by co-hosts, she continued: “Well us five Spice Girls… why am I so honest?”
Throwing her cue cards in the air, her co-hosts screamed, ran around the studio and exclaimed: “Yes they are performing! Yes!”
“I need to go,” said Mel B. “I’m going to be fired.”
Prince Harry, aged 13, with Mel B, Emma Bunton and Victoria Beckham Credit: John Stillwell
Asked for details on what the wedding invitation looked like, she added: “It’s getting too personal to describe it. It was proper. I’m not saying any more.”
The Spice Girls first made an impression on Prince Harry at the age of 13, when he accompanied his father, the Prince of Wales, on a trip to South Africa. The prince reportedly described the meeting as the best day of his life, while Ms Markle is also known to be a fan of the band.
Victoria Beckham and her husband David attended the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding in 2011. The Beckhams became friendly with Prince William during David’s campaigning for England’s failed 2018 World Cup bid.
Sir Elton John, another world-famous British artist is also rumoured to be on the guest list. He has reportedly cancelled two dates of his global farewell tour on May 18 and 19, with some saying it is to attend the wedding in Windsor.
Serena Williams in action against Venus Williams, during the women’s singles final on day 13 of the 2018 Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne Credit: Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images
American tennis star Serena Williams is the biggest sports person rumoured to attend the wedding. She became friendly with Meghan in 2014 during DirectTv’s Celebrity Beach Bowl, and the bride-to-be has since been spotted at Williams’ Wimbledon and US Open matches and the launch of her New York Fashion Week collection.
A blog post by Ms Markle, now deleted, is reported to have described Serena Williams as a close confidante and a favourite for lunchtime catch-ups in Toronto, where Markle has previously lived.
Members of the public
Some members of the public have received an invitation to wait in the grounds outside the chapel to watch the bride and groom and their wedding guests arrive and leave.
Invitees will be made up of 100 pupils from two local schools, The Royal School and St George’s School, as well as representatives from Prince Harry’s key charities and members of the public from all over the UK who have served their communities. They include:
Philip Gillespie Credit: Michael Cooper/PA
Philip, 30, from Ballymena lost his right leg in an IED incident in Afghanistan and now raises funds and awareness for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity. He has just taken part in Invictus Games UK Team Trials for rowing, swimming and archery.
Rosie Ginday Credit: Richard Battye/PA
Rosie, 34, from Birmingham is the founder of Miss Macaroon, a social enterprise that provides culinary training and employment opportunities for disadvantaged young people.
Pamela Anomneze Credit: Isabel Infantes/PA
Pamela, 52, from Haringey is the manager of Studio 306 Collective CIC, a social enterprise that helps those recovering from mental health issues through the creative arts.
Amelia Thompson Credit: Peter Byrne/PA
Amelia, 12, from Dronfield Woodhouse was caught up in the Manchester Arena attack in May 2017. Amelia, who was given a pair of tickets, asked her mother to forfeit her chance to attend and instead let the second ticket go to Sharon Goodman. Mrs Goodman’s 15-year-old granddaughter, Olivia Campbell-Hardy, was killed in the terror attack last year.
The couple will also invite 530 members of staff from the Royal Household and Crown Estate and more than 600 people from the Windsor Castle community.
Who won’t be going?
It has been confirmed that American president Donald Trump has not been invited to the wedding. When the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge married in 2011, Commonwealth and European political figures were present but the then-President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle were not invited. However, as Meghan is the first American to marry into the Royal family since 1937, many wondered if Trump would be invited.
Yet on April 10, a Kensington Palace spokesperson said: "It has been decided that an official list of political leaders – both UK and international – is not required for Prince Harry and Ms. Markle’s wedding. Her Majesty’s Government was consulted on this decision, which was taken by The Royal Household.”
In the past Trump has made unfavourable remarks about Harry’s mother, Diana, telling Howard Stern in 2000 he would have “slept with Princess Diana without hesitation" before adding "She was crazy but you know these are minor details”.
He also publicly commented that the Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry’s sister-in-law, was "stupid” after she was photographed topless in France in 2012.
Theresa May will also not be attending the wedding, despite her predecessor David Cameron attending the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding in 2011.
Because of Prince Harry and Barack Obama’s burgeoning friendship – the royal interviewing the former president for Radio 4’s Today programme at the end of 2017 – there were suggestions that Obama would be on the royal guest list.
Prince Harry and President Obama meet at the White House in 2015 Credit: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP
However Kensington Palace confirmed on April 10 that Barack Obama would not be attending the wedding, saying: “President and Mrs Obama are not coming to the wedding, but the couples look forward to seeing each other soon.”
Justin Trudeau has also confirmed he is not attending the wedding, in spite of the fact that Meghan has lived in Toronto for years and Prince Harry’s Invictus Games were held in Canada last year.
When asked at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting on April 19 he said: “I, of course, wish them the very best. But I have important responsibilities elsewhere.”
What a load of bullshit