The Royal Wedding: What we know so far

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By The Associated Press
Images via Getty

Britain's Prince Harry is set to marry American actress Meghan Markle on May 19, and anticipation is building across the Atlantic. Here's what we know about the nuptials so far.

THE MENU:

The menu for the reception after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding will feature a bonanza of British produce. Royal chef Mark Flanagan said Monday many of the dishes will be made from seasonal produce, including many from estates belonging to Queen Elizabeth II.

Harry and Markle have personally tasted all the menu items ahead of Saturday's wedding, though details have not been announced. The food will be produced at the royal kitchens at Windsor Castle in the coming days.

Some 600 guests are expected at the reception immediately following the ceremony.

MORE: How well do you know the Royal Family? | Harry & Meghan's Engagement Photos

THE WEATHER:

Neither too hot nor too cold.

That's the weather forecast Britain's Met Office has offered for Saturday in Windsor, England, where Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle are having their wedding.

Forecasters are predicting highs of around 18 degrees Celsius (64 F) for the royal wedding. It is also supposed to be sunny for much of the day in Windsor.


THE SETTING:

Few towns are as quintessentially English as Windsor, the bucolic riverside locale where Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle will get married on May 19.

And few towns are as pleasing when a warm spring sun bakes off the morning mist. Even the plump white swans on the Thames River seem relieved that the winter is over.

Most of the swans belong to Queen Elizabeth II and must be counted each year by Her Majesty's Swan Marker, a ritual that reflects the dominant role the Windsors play in the town whose name the royal family adopted as a surname a century ago.

All roads seem to lead to Windsor Castle, a magnificent fortress perched high on a hill topped by the royal standard when the queen is in residence. It is here - a favored royal playground since William the Conqueror built the first structure in 1070 - that the royal wedding will take place.

Harry, one of the least traditional young royals, has chosen the most traditional of venues.

Fevered preparations are underway: Many roads have been repaved, street signs are being repainted, storefronts are decked out with life-size cutouts of Harry and Markle and shoppers are being lured by souvenirs of all kinds.

Windsor is getting a bit of a makeover, just like the monarchy, which is rebranding itself with attention focused on the new, younger generation of princes as the 92-year-old queen slowly reduces her public duties.


THE CEREMONY:

Kensington Palace says the head of the Episcopal Church, the Most Rev. Michael Bruce Curry, will speak at the wedding of Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle.

Curry, from Chicago, will give the address - a sermon - at the May 19 event in Windsor. He will join the dean of Windsor, the Rt. Rev. David Conner, and the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who will officiate at the service.

Welby has baptized Markle ahead of her marriage to Harry, the grandson of Queen Elizabeth II, who is the supreme governor of the Church of England.

Curry is the first African-American to have served as presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, an offshoot of the Church of England in the United States. It is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion.


THE BRIDESMAIDS AND PAGE BOYS:

Prince George and Princess Charlotte will have prominent roles in Saturday's royal wedding.

Kensington Palace said Wednesday that 4-year-old George will be a page boy and 3-year-old Charlotte will be a bridesmaid at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

They are the two oldest children of Prince William, Harry's brother, and his wife Kate. The couple's third child, Prince Louis, was born last month and will not be attending.

The palace says there will be six bridesmaids ranging from 2 to 7 years old and four page boys, ranging from four to seven.

William will be Harry's best man. Markle has chosen not to have a maid of honor for the ceremony in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.


GIVING THE BRIDE AWAY:

Prince Charles will walk Meghan Markle down the aisle when she marries his son Prince Harry - a gesture of welcome to the American actress as she joins the royal family.

Kensington Palace said Friday that Markle asked the heir to the British throne to offer a supporting elbow Saturday at the wedding in St. George's Chapel in Windsor once Markle's father was unable to attend after falling ill.

Charles "is pleased to be able to welcome Ms. Markle to the Royal Family in this way," the palace said.

Buckingham Palace also announced that the Duke of Edinburgh, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, will attend the royal wedding, just a few weeks after undergoing a hip replacement operation. The 96-year-old has largely retired from public duties and it had not been clear whether he would be feeling well enough to attend.

The last-minute announcements came after days of speculation. Markle's mother, Doria Ragland, was the bookies' favorite to escort the bride, but Prince Charles has a lifetime of experience in appearing at large-scale public events amid intense scrutiny.

It's not the first time a royal bride hasn't been walked down the aisle by her father. The monarch's sister, the late Princess Margaret, was walked down the aisle by Prince Philip. Queen Victoria walked two daughters down the aisle.

THE QUEEN'S CONSENT:

Buckingham Palace has released an image of the handwritten document in which Queen Elizabeth II gives her consent for Prince Harry to marry Meghan Markle.

The Instrument of Consent image was released Saturday - a week before Harry is to marry the American actress at St. George's Chapel in Windsor.

The document, illuminated on vellum, features a design to the left of the text that incorporates a red dragon, the symbol of Wales. The design to the right features a rose, the national flower of the United States.

Under British law, the first six people in the line of succession to the throne must obtain the queen's permission to wed.

Harry was fifth in line when he and Markle got engaged. He was bumped to sixth with the birth of his brother's son Prince Louis last month.

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  • Royal Engagement: Prince Harry and fiancee Meghan Markle

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    Chanting "Harry, Harry!" and "Meghan, Meghan!" hundreds of people lined the streets of a central English city Friday to welcome Britain's Prince Harry and his American fiancee, actress Meghan Markle.

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    Britain is not the only country with a vast royal family, did you know that there are over two dozen royal families in the world? News 12 compiled a gallery of some of their members.

    Britain is not the only country with a vast royal family, did you know that there are over two dozen royal families in the world? News 12 compiled a gallery of some of their members.

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