On Monday, the British royal family officially announced Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's engagement, noting when but not where the ceremony will take place. The official word came from Clarence House, Charles the Prince of Wales and his wife Camilla Duchess of Cornwall's official residence. It noted that "the wedding will take place in Spring 2018." "Further details about the wedding day will be announced in due course," it continued.
The location and specific date will be the talk of London until the details are officially announced. The two met through mutual friends in the British capital and plan to live in Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace. Therefore, it seems likely that London will be where the wedding is held. Markle is originally from Los Angeles.
Also, both Harry's parents, Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, and his brother and sister-in-law, Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, were married in London. Charles and Diana were married at St. Paul's Cathedral, while William and Kate were married at Westminster Abbey.
Because William was not the heir apparent to the throne (his dad is first-in-line), his and Kate's wedding was not a state ceremony. This allowed them to choose most of the details of the ceremony, and Harry and Markle should be afforded the same flexibility.
More details could come out later on Monday. The couple is scheduled for a photo call at Kensington Palace on Monday afternoon, and they will be interviewed for a TV broadcast set to air Monday evening UK time. It's likely that they'll be asked about their wedding plans, although whether they'll choose to share them is another matter.
Already, Harry has taken issue with the press's treatment of their relationship, and Markle in particular. The coverage reached a such a bad place that Prince Harry's communications secretary released a statement in 2016 about the "harassment currently being experienced by Meghan Markle and her family."
Harry, through the secretary, asked that the press "pause and reflect" before doing any more damage. The statement accused the press and social media commentators of sexism and racism. It was also his first public acknowledgement of their relationship. The statement continued:
It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm. He knows commentators will say this is ‘the price she has to pay’ and that ‘this is all part of the game’. He strongly disagrees. This is not a game - it is her life and his.
That difficult past with the media life in the public eye could play into their decisions regarding their wedding plans. As many as 2 billion worldwide were thought to have watched William and Kate's ceremony. Nearly 2,000 guests were invited. Harry and Markle could well opt for a more private affair.
Their open engagement will be the couple's first taste of public life as royals. Before this, they'd only appeared publicly together once, at a sporting match in Toronto this September.
Once they tie the not, she will become known as Her Royal Highness, Princess Henry of Wales (but not Princess Meghan — you have to be born into the royal family for that honor). If Harry is given another title, such as Duke of Sussex, as some expect, she may also be referred to as the Duchess of Sussex, for example, or the Duchess of whatever title it is that Harry is given by the Queen (and accepts).
Markle has opened up at least once about their relationship, and she made clear that what the press have said doesn't matter to her. "The only thing that changed was people’s perception. Nothing about me changed. I’m still the same person that I am, and I’ve never defined myself by my relationship," she told Vanity Fair in September about the tabloids. So perhaps she's open to a public wedding.
Whatever the plan, one thing is sure to be reflected in the ceremony and celebration. "We’re two people who are really happy and in love," she told the magazine.