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How Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Are Paying Tribute to Princess Diana on Their Wedding Day
The happy couple plans to remember the groom's late mother, in the details of their big day.
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From the carriage ride around Windsor to the lemon and elderflower cake, the forthcoming royal wedding will be a blend of the suitably formal and the touchingly personal. Here's how the couple plans to remember the groom's mother, the late Princess Diana, in the details of their big day.

THE FLOWERS


Prince William and Prince Harry visit Princess Diana's Memorial Garden at Kensington Palace on August 30, 2017.

When it was revealed that Harry and Meghan’s wedding flowers were going to be designed by Philippa Craddock, a telling detail was also included. Among the seasonal branches of beech, birch and hornbeam – along with plenty of Meghan’s favorite peonies – it was also revealed that the florist would be incorporating white garden roses into the floral displays, which were Diana’s favorite flower.

Not only were white roses used lavishly in the wedding of Harry’s parents Charles and Diana, but they were also planted all over Diana’s final resting place of Althorp, and were used extensively in her memorial garden at Kensington Palace which opened last year. At the time gardener Sean Harkin spoke of his choice of roses for the White Garden, revealing “I think lots of people would refer to Princess Diana as the classic English rose. It felt like it was a must to include them.”

THE SPENCER FAMILY


Princess Diana with her two sisters

In the years after Diana’s brother Earl Spencer gave a eulogy at her funeral that was openly critical of the Royal Family, it was unclear what kind of relationship William and Harry had with their maternal relations.

However the royal brothers have increasingly shown that they value their mother’s side of the family, and they are very much a part of their lives. Not only was the entire Spencer clan invited to William and Kate’s wedding, but William and Harry have also attended their maternal cousins’ weddings over the years, and Diana’s niece Laura Fellowes is one of Princess Charlotte’s godmothers.

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So although Harry and Meghan’s guest list is less than a third the size of William and Kate’s, it will still be packed with Diana’s relatives including her sisters Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes, their partners and their children, plus Diana’s brother Earl Spencer, his wife and his older children.

A statement from Kensington Palace revealed, “In addition to having the support of The Queen, his father The Prince of Wales, and his brother Prince William as Best Man, Prince Harry is also keen to involve his mother’s family in his wedding ... Lady Jane Fellowes will give the reading.”

CHARITY AFFILIATIONS


Princess Diana visits patients suffering from AIDS in 1991.

Diana was patron of dozens of charities throughout her life, but there are a few key causes that were especially close to her heart. It seems that she was very much in Harry and Meghan’s thoughts when they were deciding which seven charities would benefit from their wedding gift fund.

Following in the footsteps of William and Kate at their own wedding, Harry and Meghan have stated that instead of gifts, they would like people to donate to the seven charities they have chosen. These include The Children’s HIV Association, which supports children growing up with HIV across the U.K. and Ireland. Diana’s affiliation with HIV/AIDS charities was so significant that she was given a posthumous award by Attitude magazine in 2017, which was picked up by Prince Harry.

Another of Harry and Meghan’s charity choices was Crisis – the UK’s national charity for homeless people, and homelessness was another of Diana’s most significant charity affiliations. The princess used to take her young sons on her visits to shelters so that they would understand first hand and from a young age, that not everyone had as privileged an existence as theirs.

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THE GEMS


Meghan Markles gorgeous engagement ring.

Meghan is already in possession of a very special piece of jewelry with a significant connection to her late mother-in-law Diana: her engagement ring. While the central diamond is from Botswana – which is where Harry and Meghan spent time at the beginning of their relationship, and returned for Meghan’s 36th birthday in 2017 – the two stones either side are from Diana’s personal collection.

During their engagement interview Harry explained it was, “To make sure she’s with us on this crazy journey together.” While Meghan added, “Not being able to meet his mum, it’s so important to me, to know that she is a part of this with us.”

Additionally, Meghan is likely to be given another piece of Diana’s jewelry by Harry on their wedding day, and we may never know anything about it. It is customary for royal grooms to give their bride jewelry on their wedding day. Prince Philip gave the queen a diamond bracelet which was made from stones from his mother’s tiara, and it’s thought that William gave Kate a pair of Diana’s sapphire and diamond earrings that were remodeled specially for Kate.

Diana’s jewelry was passed down to William and Harry for them to gift to their future wives, so it is highly likely that Harry will present Meghan with something from his mother’s collection.

THE PEOPLE


Princess Diana meets a few members of the public in Bath in 1985.

Diana was famously known as the 'People’s Princess,' for her ability to make connections with those who she had only just met, and instilled in her sons the importance of reaching out to members of the public. So it is the ultimate tribute to his late mother that Harry has requested that 2,640 everyday folk be invited into the grounds of Windsor Castle to share in his big day.

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The crowd will be made up of 1,200 members of the public – from every part of the UK and a mix of backgrounds and ages, focusing on young people who have shown strong leadership and those who have served their communities – as well as 200 people from the couple’s favorite charities, 100 pupils from local schools, 610 Windsor Castle community members, and 530 members of the royal households and Crown Estate.

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

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