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Did Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Just Commit a Major Wedding Etiquette Faux Pas?

Apparently, plus ones aren't a guarantee at the Royal Wedding.
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Now that invitations to the royal wedding have officially gone out, we're starting to get a better picture of what the guest list might look like. And according to according ITV's royal editor Chris Ship, not everyone is getting a plus one to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's big day, including some guests who are married.

Ship has reportedly seen four royal wedding invitations with his own two eyes, and of those, two are extended to only one half of a couple. He has detailed these invitations, which are to the ceremony and afternoon reception, but not the smaller evening reception, on Twitter, saying "Unlike most other weddings, Harry and Meghan are inviting only one half of couples. Seen an invite for a husband but not his wife. Sounds a bit tight, but I’m sure they’d claim space in limited in St George’s Chapel... #RoyalWedding "

He also describes an invitation as "for a Mrs. without her Mr." In the small sampling, Ship saw also saw two cards that do invite both members of a couple, one to a Mr. and Mrs. and another to a Lord and Lady.

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According to the Emily Post Institute, "Brides and grooms should be aware that spouses, fiancé(e)s and live-in romantic partners (no matter the sex) must be invited with your guests; boyfriends and girlfriends who don’t reside together don’t need to be."

Surely Markle and Prince Harry are well versed in wedding etiquette. So what's going on here?

According to Myka Meier, an expert in both European and American etiquette, if Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have chosen not to invite someone's spouse, it's likely because the guest has a professional relationship with the bride or groom.

"If the invitation was made on a professional basis, they are much less likely to get a plus one. For instance, at the last royal wedding they invited 80 workers from some of the charities the couple supported. These would be considered professional and not necessarily given a plus one," Meier says.

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Like Will and Kate before them, Prince Harry and Markle will likely invite representatives from the various charities with which they are affiliated, along with their friends and family.

"For social relationships, it's much more likely to get a plus one for a spouse," says Meier, who added that there are only 800 seats in St. George's chapel, so the couple will have to make some difficult choices. "It is traditional, even in the UK, to invite spouses to a wedding, however as it is a royal wedding with both professional and social invitations, along with the space restrictions, it was likely a combination of why it was done."

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

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Caroline Hallemann
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