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The important detail people are missing in the Queen’s wedding announcement

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Kayleigh Dray
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Queen Elizabeth II recently published her official response to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding – and it certainly got people talking…

Earlier this week, HRH Queen Elizabeth II gave her official blessing for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to marry – some two months before they’re due to tie the knot.

The formal declaration read: “I declare My Consent to a Contract of Matrimony between My Most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales and Rachel Meghan Markle, which Consent I am causing to be signified under the Great Seal and to be entered in the Books of the Privy Council.”

The Queen’s written approval was done in observance of the Royal Marriages Act of 1772, which legally requires all direct descendants of King George II obtain the sovereign’s consent in marriage, otherwise the union is invalid, The Telegraph reports.

As ever, though, this provided the world with yet another chance to compare Markle to Kate Middleton.

Mere moments after the document was published, the Mail Online ran it alongside a letter about Prince William and Middleton’s wedding, in which the Queen warmly refers to the Duchess of Cambridge as “our trusty and well-beloved Catherine Middleton”.

It wasn’t long before some suggested that, in referring to her by name (and without adding any descriptors), HRH had subtly used her letter to undermine Markle – or, to use the terminology of Twitter, to “throw shade” at the actress.

Naturally, this is 100% not true.

Firstly, it’s highly unlikely that the Queen would ever “throw shade” at anyone. Secondly, the Mail Online (surprise surprise) made a mistake when drawing up their feverish comparisons.

As reported by the royal correspondents at Hello! magazine, Kate was only described as “trusty and well-beloved” in the Instrument of Consent – otherwise known as the formal notice of the Queen’s approval. This is written in calligraphy, framed, sealed with the Great Seal of the Realm, and signed by the Queen in the right hand corner (see above). 

It is worth noting that the Instrument of Consent is also released much closer to the wedding day, with William and Kate only receiving theirs a week before their nuptials on 29 April 2011. Before this, the Queen gave them a Privy Council declaration which was almost word-for-word the same as Prince Harry and Markle’s, reading: “I declare My Consent to a Contract of Matrimony between My Most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales and Catherine Elizabeth Middleton.”

As such, it is thought that a more personable message will appear in Queen Elizabeth’s Instrument of Consent for Harry and Markle, a week or so before their nuptials on 19 May.

Contrary to what many would have us believe, Markle has seemingly forged a friendly relationship with Harry’s grandmother already.

Speaking in her first joint interview with her betrothed earlier this year, the Suits star said that she had met the Queen “a couple of times” already.

“It’s incredible. I think, you know, to be able to meet her through his lens, not just with his honour and respect for her as the monarch, but the love that he has for her as his grandmother, all of those layers have been so important for me, so that when I met her, I had such a deep understanding and, of course, incredible respect for being able to have that time with her, and we’ve had a really… she’s an incredible woman,” said Markle at the time.

Harry remarked: “And the Corgis took to you straightaway. For the last 33 years being barked at, this one walks in, absolutely nothing. Just wagging tails, and that’s just like – ugh.”

Markle added that Queen’s beloved dogs were “laying on my feet during tea, it was very sweet.”

In other news, Harry and Markle have announced their intention to invite 2,640 members of the public to their wedding.

Kensington Palace said in a statement: “The couple has asked that the people chosen are from a broad range of backgrounds and ages, including young people who have shown strong leadership, and those who have served their communities.

“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. 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.”

Images: Getty