Queen Elizabeth II has published her official consent to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding – and it’s certainly got people talking…
Queen Elizabeth II has given her approval to the marriage in an Instrument of Consent, which is a hand-written document that will be given to the loved-up couple after they tie the knot.
It reads: “NOW KNOW YE that We have consented and do by these Presents signify Our Consent to the contracting of Matrimony between Our Most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales, K.C.V.O., and Rachel Meghan Markle.”
The Palace said: “The Instrument of Consent is drafted by the Crown Office and is, in the case of Prince Harry’s marriage, hand-written and illuminated on vellum by one of a panel of scrivener artists retained by the Crown Office. Vellum is used only for important State documents.”
In a statement, the Palace also explained some of the other imagery incorporated in the document.
It shared: “The design to the left of the text incorporates a red dragon, the heraldic symbol of Wales, together with the UK’s floral emblems - the rose, thistle and shamrock. It also features Prince Harry’s Label, including three tiny red escallops from the Spencer family Arms.”
What’s more, it was revealed that the “design to the right of the text also includes the rose, as this is also the national flower of the United States. To either side of the rose are two golden poppies - this being the state flower of California, where Ms. Markle was born. Between the flowers is the Welsh leek, together with Prince Harry’s Label. Beneath the Label are olive branches, adopted from the Great Seal of the United States.”
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 to obtain the sovereign’s consent in marriage, otherwise the union is invalid, The Telegraph reports.
However, it has provided the world with yet another chance to compare Markle to Kate Middleton.
Shortly after a draft of the document was published two months ago, 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.
Royal etiquette expert Emily Nash has since confirmed that the term “trusty and well-beloved” is “only used for citizens of Britain or the Queen’s overseas Realms.”
This means that, as Markle is not yet an official British citizen, the term cannot be applied to her.
Contrary to what many would have us believe, Markle has seemingly forged a friendly relationship with Harry’s grandmother.
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.”