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The key detail we all missed in Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s wedding invitations

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Kayleigh Dray
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Kensington Palace recently released the first photograph of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s wedding invitations – and an etiquette expert has now highlighted the subtle detail that apparently indicates the monarchy is “moving with the times”

It’s official: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have finally sent out their wedding invites, Kensington Palace has confirmed.

Sharing a photograph of the stationery on the official Twitter account, the Palace confirmed that the invitations follow “many years of royal tradition” and are the handiwork of Barnard & Westwood, a London-based printing company that has held a royal warrant ‘for printing and bookbinding by appointment to Her Majesty the Queen” since 1985. 

The opulent invites are the work of Lottie Small, who recently completed her apprentice with the printers.

Using a machine from the 1930s (which she has affectionately dubbed ‘Maude’), Small employed a process known as ‘die stamping’ to craft the invites.

Using American ink on English card, as a clear nod to Markle and Harry’s heritage, Small printed the invites in gold and black, before burnishing them to bring out the shine.

She then gilded them around the edges, to give them that little something extra. And, at the top of each card, she included the three-feathered badge of the Prince of Wales (again, printed in gold ink).

Managing Director Austen Kopley said he was “thrilled and honoured” to be making them for the couple.

“The wedding of Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle will be a truly special occasion and we are thrilled to be able to create equally special invitations for their guests,” he later added.

“We are incredibly honoured to continue our longstanding work for The Royal Family, and to be involved in such an important moment for the couple and their family and friends.”

The invitation reads: “His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales KG KT 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.”

And, providing further details of the itinerary for the big day, the Kensington Palace Twitter account added: “Guests have been invited to the service at St George’s Chapel and to the lunchtime reception at St George’s Hall, which is being given by Her Majesty The Queen.

“Later that evening, around 200 guests are being invited to the reception at Frogmore House given by The Prince of Wales.”

Now, the MailOnline’s etiquette expert William Hanson has pointed out the importance of Markle being referred to as a ‘Ms’, insisting that the royal household has ‘never before’ acknowledged the honourific.

He said: “The royal household, in particular the Queen, has never before acknowledged the honourific Ms - regardless of whether it was being used to signify a divorced woman or one who did not feel her marital status was of importance.

“It was first used in connection to Meghan in the November engagement announcement and since then has been used throughout the royal household’s communications, on press releases, invitations and social media.”

Hanson added: “I would imagine Meghan herself has asked to be styled accordingly and that there is no slight intended on Prince Harry’s fiancée. It is another subtle sign that the royal household is moving with the times.”

According to The Telegraph, Frogmore House – which stands about half a mile south of Windsor Castle in Windsor Home Park – has been a Royal Residence since 1792, and is the very same spot where Harry and Markle posed for their official engagement photos.

The home was built in the 1680s, and is over 300 years old – so, naturally, it is steeped in British royal family history.

It is the burial place of Queen Victoria’s mother, Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert – but, perhaps more romantically, it was purchased as a present by George III for his wife, Queen Charlotte, many years ago.

As noted by the Royal Collections, the marriage of George and Charlotte was very successful compared to their contemporaries, particularly due to the esteem that Charlotte held her new king.

Writing on 26 April 1778, nearly 17 years after their marriage, Charlotte’s affection for George is clear; as she concludes her letter to him: “You will have the benefit by Your voyages to put Spirit in every Body, to be more known by the World, and if Possible more beloved by the People in general.

“That must be the case, but not equal to the love of her who subscribes herself.

“Your very affectionate Friend and Wife Charlotte.”

Image: Rex Features

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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