Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle will invite more than 2,500 members of the public to take part in their wedding day celebrations in May, Kensington Palace has confirmed.
Harry and US actress Markle are tying the knot at Windsor Castle on 19 May in a ceremony expected to attract a global media coverage as did the marriage of Harry’s elder brother William to Kate Middleton in 2011, watched by an estimated two billion people.
“Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle will invite 2,640 members of the public to Windsor Castle on their wedding day to watch the arrivals of the bride and groom and their guests and the carriage procession as it departs from the castle,” the statement read.
The 2,640 invited guests will be made up of people from charities associated with the couple, local school pupils and members of the local community, and 1,200 people from across the country, chosen from a broad range of backgrounds and ages.
“Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle have said they want their wedding day to be shaped so as to allow members of the public to feel part of the celebrations too,” the statement added.
“This wedding, like all weddings, will be a moment of fun and joy that will reflect the characters and values of the bride and groom.”
Anticipation is gradually building with the spring nuptials just a couple of weeks away, but there are no clues yet about the celebrities and VIPs on the couple’s guest list. Also still shrouded in secrecy is the lucky designer who got the gig to design the bridal gown and the entertainer to serenade the newly-weds and guests.
However, Mel B, also known as ‘Scary Spice’ from defunct nineties girl-band recently let slip the group had been invited to the wedding of the year. She told a US talk show that “us five Spice Girls”, had all received invitations.
Asked on ‘The Real’ talk show if the group would be performing at the reception, Mel B threw a stack of papers in the air before replying: “I need to go, I’m going to get fired.”
Formed in 1994, the group racked up album sales in the tens of millions during their career, and hits including Wannabe and Say You’ll Be There topped charts across the globe.
Geri ‘Ginger Spice’ Halliwell walked out in 1998 and the remaining members went their separate ways after releasing album Forever in 2000.
The group reformed for a tour in 2007-2008 and have been hinting at a further reunion in 2018, with Victoria ‘Posh Spice’ Beckham posting an image of the members together on social media.
In a joint statement released recently after the picture was published, the group said: “The time now feels right to explore some incredible new opportunities together.” Could a royal engagement be one of them?
Markle who once starred in legal drama Suits, has been tipped to put her stamp on the wedding planning with a “proper party”, Luxury Wedding Planner Sarah Haywood told Reuters TV after the engagement was announced last year.
Haywood, who has organised weddings for “princesses to pop stars”, believes after “all the pomp and the ceremony” occurs at the planned nuptials: “I would imagine that she’s going to want to set the precedent that she’s her own woman.”
The wedding planner added that Prince Harry marrying a divorcee is not unusual now for the Royal family. Harry’s father, Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales “is married to a divorcee so it’s really not a problem”.
International matchmaker Sarah Louise Ryan agrees that divorcee – Markle having been married before to film producer Trevor Engelson – make the best matches as they make sure they get it right second time around.
- With additional reports from Reuters