You might think you know all there is to know about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s forthcoming nuptials: It’s in Windsor, it’s costing a lot of dough, and 7 o’clock is plenty early on the morning of Saturday, May 19, to be drinking Champagne, as watching Americans (and Brits-in-America) may well be doing.
But, as even the most assiduous royal gumshoe would be forced to admit, there are still plenty of questions unlikely to be answered before the bells of St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle start pealing that Saturday.
THE DRESS: The biggest known unknown, of course, is which designer Meghan Markle has selected to make her dress. There has been a ton of speculation that she has chosen Australian designers Ralph & Russo, and the fact that she wore one of their outfits for her engagement photographs clearly showed she has a strong relationship with the brand.
However, it’s not a foregone conclusion, especially as the dress did not receive a universally positive reaction. One fashion editor told The Daily Beast there had been a perception that the sheer black engagement dress was “a little Dancing with the Stars” and she may have decided to opt for a more classic look. (Others might dissent from that judgment: Meghan looked fabulous in each shot.)
Erdem and Jenny Packham have both been mentioned in this regard, but there’s also been speculation that Roland Mouret, a friend of Markle’s, is making Markle’s dress after he said in a recent interview. “Meghan knows really well what she likes and the main thing with Meghan is to listen to her and work in collaboration with her,” adding, “I’ve already said too much.”
However, there is also the intriguing possibility that Markle may follow in the footsteps of Kate and go with McQueen for her big day, with bookies reporting a flood of money for the designer in recent weeks.
OUR BEST GUESS: Ralph & Russo for the evening’s party, but just maybe something less glitzy for the ceremony.
BRIDESMAIDS AND PAGEBOYS: Again, it still hasn’t been confirmed who will be among the royal pageboys and bridesmaids. It would be fairly staggering if George and Charlotte were not included, but one can also expect a sprinkling of van Cutsems, van Straubenzees and possibly Meghan’s great friend Jessica Mulroney as senior flower girl.
Mulroney, who runs her own bridal-styling business, is said to be helping with some of the wedding planning, although the main organization is being handled by Table Talk, the favored royal party planners who Pippa Middleton used to work for.
Whoever completes the page boy and bridesmaid line up, they’ll be hoping George will behave better than he did at his auntie Pippa’s wedding when he was pictured being given a telling off by his mum outside the church. At least he wasn’t part of the gang that flicked v-signs at photographers.
OUR BEST GUESS: Prince George and Princess Charlotte will kill it.
It is completely acceptable to take tiny infants to weddings in England. But will Kate bring Louis? The presence of the little royal baby might steal Meghan’s thunder. And thanks to her sister Pippa’s showstopping turn as a bridesmaid at her wedding, Kate knows exactly how that feels.
OUR BEST GUESS: Baby Louis stays home with the maternity nurse.
FOOD: We know the cake is going to be a trendy lemon and elderflower number from a fashionable East London bakery, but the rest of the menu is unconfirmed.
OUR BEST GUESS: Plenty of produce—smoked salmon, venison, vegetables, and cheeses—from either the queen or Prince Charles’ estates. Surely something American-themed—grilled cheese, popcorn, sliders, s’mores—for later.
DRINK: It would be pretty far out for a royal wedding to feature wine that wasn’t French, but there is the amazing possibility that the royal couple might consider a Californian vintage in honor of Meghan’s roots.
Pre-dinner drinkies will almost certainly comprise Champagne, but with nine different brands of Champagne holding royal warrants, competition among them to be represented at the wedding is likely to have been elegant but fierce.
Bollinger has held a Royal Warrant continuously since first awarded one by Queen Victoria in 1884, and Bolly was served at the weddings of Prince Charles and his brother Prince Andrew, but not at Kate and William’s nuptials.
OUR BEST GUESS: Unprecedented amounts of green juice for Meghan’s L.A. crowd.
PICTURES: There will be cameras in the church, of course, but there won’t be wedding photos in Hello. And only an idiot would post on social media from the reception.
OUR BEST GUESS: Remember Vegas? Expect phones to be taken into custody on arrival at the evening reception venue, Frogmore House.
FLOWERS: Some floral decorations will be shipped in from the royal estates, but the flowers are almost certain to be masterminded by London florist Simon Lycett, who is celebrated for his ability to dress huge events in showstopping style.
One society wedding planner says that Harry’s pals, Victoria and David Beckham, are big fans. If Lycett hasn’t received the call up, Meghan could go for a trendier, less establishment florist such as Hackney’s Petalon or West London’s Wild At Heart team.
OUR BEST GUESS: Lycett’s probably a shoo-in.
There still is a question mark over which members of Meghan’s family will attend. Criticism is mounting on Meghan over her decision to not invite her half siblings, but she appears unwilling to budge.
The palace won’t confirm whether or not her father Thomas Markle Sr. is in fact coming, as has been widely reported. Harry has never met him—unlike Meghan’s mum who he has spent a considerable amount of time with and is, according to a source, contributing to the cost of the dress.
Harry’s most embarrassing relative, Sarah Ferguson, is definitely coming, because Harry loves her.
OUR BEST GUESS: Meghan’s mum and dad will be there, but not her half siblings.
Meghan likes her sunshine, Harry loves his wildlife, so whilst the royal honeymoon destination is being kept a closely guarded secret, rumors tipping Namibia (specifically a safari trip to Hoanib Valley Camp in the country’s north west) are easy to credit.
If not Namibia, then possibly some of the other African countries where Harry has contacts and has worked; Malawi, Botswana, and Kenya to name a few. There is some speculation the pair could honeymoon in Jamaica, but it’s probably a little too densely populated for Harry’s taste.
OUR BEST GUESS: Somewhere stunning and totally luxurious in Africa.