Heritage

30 Strict Marriage Traditions the Royal Family Must Follow

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, take notes.
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In case you have spent the last few days on the dark side of the moon, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are now officially engaged. Kensington Palace confirmed the wedding will take place May 2018, and we can hardly contain our excitement. Even though Prince Harry and Markle's romance has broken many age-old traditions, there's still strict engagement and wedding rules we can expect them to abide by. Ahead, 30 marriage traditions that have existed throughout royal history.

The bride must wear white on her wedding day.

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The well-known tradition actually started with Queen Victoria in 1840.

There's always an engagement announcement.

Could Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's get any more adorable? Probably not.

They must take an official wedding portrait...

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...like this one from Prince William and Catherine's wedding. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding is going to take place in May, and Duchess Kate is expected to give birth to her third child sometime this spring. Perhaps the new addition will make the portrait!

There's always an interview following the royal engagement announcement.

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There's actually a big difference between Prince William and Prince Harry's interviews, from the atmosphere to the body language to the outfits. See for yourself here.

Queen Elizabeth sends out the wedding invitations.

The Queen sent out 1,900 invitations for Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding.

The reception includes two cakes...

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Would you look at the details on William and Kate's wedding cake!

...and the traditional flavor is fruitcake.

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On the left is the royal wedding cake of Prince Charles and Princess Diana in 1981, and on the right, Prince William and Catherine's in 2011.

The bride leaves her bouquet at the grave of the "Unknown Warrior..."

...which is a spot in Westminister Abbey that all brides since Queen Elizabeth I have left their bouquets following the wedding.

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Speaking of bouquets, the bride always carries a sprig of myrtle.

The flowers have been used in royal tradition dating back to Queen Victoria. It is known as the “herb of love.”

The most traditional site for a royal ceremony is the Chapel Royal at St. James Palace.

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It housed the weddings of Queen Anne (1683), George III (1761), George IV (1795), Queen Victoria (1840), and George V (1893). Kensington Palace announced Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's wedding will take place at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle—straying from tradition. Duchess Kate and Prince William's wedding took place in Westminister Abbey.

The bride always wears a tiara.

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Queen Elizabeth gave the Cambridge Lover's Knot Tiara to Princess Diana as a wedding gift and it's often seen on Kate Middleton.

The royal family typically travels in a Glass Coach to and from the wedding venue.

However, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge traveled by car while Princess Diana and Prince Charles took a carriage.

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They have designated "page boys" for the wedding.

The page boys and bridesmaids of Prince William's wedding are pictured above. Prince George was a page boy at Pippa Middleton's wedding.

If the bridegroom is a member of the royal family, he has "supporters" instead of a best man.

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However, Prince William broke this tradition when he named his brother best man. According to The Guardian, "Bridegrooms in royal weddings traditionally chose a 'supporter' instead of a best man. The Prince of Wales chose his brother Prince Andrew to be his supporter when he married Diana at St Paul's Cathedral in 1981."

All royal wedding bands contain Welsh gold.

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This began with the wedding of the Queen's late mother in 1923. It's three times more valuable than gold from Australia or South Africa.

The royal family pays for the wedding...

...even though American tradition calls for the bride's family to pay for the wedding.

The royal family sits on the right-side of the church during the wedding.

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The only exception is if the groom is not royal, in which case they sit on the left.

The 1701 Act of Settlement prohibits royals from marrying Catholics.

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The royals are the head of the Church of England, which is a Protestant Anglican church. The goal of the Act is to keep the Protestant heritage alive and well. Markle will be baptized into the Church of England before the wedding.

Hats are required for female guests.

They're known to make an appearance at royal events, and weddings are no exception, especially in the spring. 

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There's typically *two* wedding receptions.

Most British weddings are held at noon and are followed by a seated luncheon called a "wedding breakfast." There's also a gathering in the evening.

Royals must get the Queen’s permission to marry...

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True story. Meghan Markle met the queen multiple times, and spent quite a bit of time with her before Harry proposed. The Royal Marriages Act of 1772 also requires it.

...especially if they're marrying a commoner.

Lookin' at you, Meghan Markle (and Kate Middleton and Princess Diana and pretty much every royal we've known in our lifetime).

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Women who marry royal male successors assume their husbands' titles.

The honor of having the princess title precede your first name is reserved for ladies born into the royal family.

So even if a woman is marrying a Prince, it doesn’t mean she’s automatically a Princess.

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There's a big difference between a Princess and a Duchess, and people are still debating whether Kate Middleton is both. Meghan Markle won't be considered a princess because she doesn't have royal blood. So technically Princess Diana shouldn't even be called Princess Diana—she's Diana, Princess of Wales.

Instead of a bachelor party, the male has a "stag party"...

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...and instead of a bachelorette party the woman has a hen party." (FYI Diddy and Kanye were NOT at Prince William's stag party.)

Newlyweds and members of the royal family always make an appearance at Buckingham Palace after the wedding...

...and kiss for the crowd!

The groom wears military regalia to the wedding...

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...since it's tradition for royal males to serve in the military.

The wedding dress is typically made out of lace.

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Kate Middleton's dress was designed by Sarah Burton and Princess Diana's dress was designed by Elizabeth Emanuel. We're taking picks on who will design Markle's gown.

Once you’re married to a royal, you can’t be active in politics...

...because royals have to maintain a public role.

A piece of the wedding cake is mailed out as a 'thank you'? to guests.

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No, we're not kidding. Pictured above is a slice from William and Kate's 2011 wedding. Guess you can really have your cake and eat it too!

From: Marie Claire US

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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