When the Duchess of Cambridge arrives at her brother-in-law Prince Harry's wedding on May 19, her hair will be impeccable. She'll be wearing in a demure dress, chosen specifically so as to not steal attention from the bride, and yet she'll likely still appear more glamorous than you on your best day. Duchess Kate will look every inch a princess because she is one.
And yet, she'll be fewer than four weeks postpartum, a time when most women would prefer to be at home with their newborn rather on the international news in heels. Yes, Kate is the future Queen of England, but she's also a woman who just gave birth to a rather large baby. Why exactly does Meghan and Harry's wedding have to fall so close to the royal birth?
Some will say this is precisely what Kate signed up for in marrying Prince William and joining "the firm," as the royal family is sometimes referred. The argument is that she has an obligation to put duty before self, and part of the arrangement is letting the public in at times in order to protect the royal family's privacy at others.
But seriously, couldn't they have given her a bit more time? Prince Harry and Meghan Markle got engaged after Kate announced her pregnancy; they own the venue, after all. Were June and July really out of the question?
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle shortly after they announced their engagement.
Of course, when it comes to the royal family, nothing is as simple as checking the calendars. The first consideration that went into choosing May 19th was concern over Prince Philip's health.
"One of the reasons that Prince Harry has wanted this wedding to happen quite quickly—this is really whirlwind by royal standards—is because his 96-year-old grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, is retired now and Prince Harry really wants him to be at his wedding," royals expert and author of the biography Harry: Life, Loss, and Love Katie Nicholl told ET late last year.
Nicholl also revealed that Harry is "incredibly close to his grandfather" and that he "thought it was it was a great thing to [have] the wedding sooner rather than later, so his grandfather could be there, fit and healthy."
The second consideration was probably Harry and Meghan's eagerness. They have become the white hot center of royal attention and pushing the date any longer would only prolong the public's hunger for the spectacle of a royal wedding.
I don’t think either of them saw the point in waiting around to get married.
Plus, says Harry's biographer, they're in love. "When Harry met Meghan it really was love at first sight. He knew very quickly that she was the one, and I was told by one of his good friends a year after they started dating that he wanted to marry her," Nicholl tells Town & Country via email. "I don’t think either of them saw the point in waiting around to get married. Meghan is 36 and Harry has made no secret of wanting to settle down and have a wife and family of his own."
"It was a case of them deciding to get married and then finding a suitable date. Royal weddings usually happen in the spring and May was the month that obviously worked for everyone’s diaries," she continues.
Finally, June is tricky because of the Queen's official birthday celebration, which is an elaborate state occasion. Later in the summer, she traditionally departs for Balmoral. Some things are sacrosanct.
"It is the case that Harry wanted to marry sooner than later so that his grandfather could be in good health, and he wouldn’t want to overshadow the Queen’s official birthday celebrations in June or interrupt her long summer holiday in Scotland," says Nicholl.
Finally, experts point out that Harry and William and their spouses are a team. They would surely have talked this one out before settling on a date. "It is close to the Duchess having had her third baby but Harry has made sure there is no pressure on Kate to do anything at the wedding other than show up," says Nicholl.
Duchess Kate corralling the bridesmaids and page boys at her sister Pippa's wedding.
"Frankly, Harry and Meghan are just happy that Kate will be there given she will only just have given birth," a source told Vanity Fair. "They just want Kate to be able to enjoy the day and not worry about anything."
It's a kind gesture, but with two children participating in the ceremony and a baby off in the wings, I think a bit of worry on the part of the Duchess of Cambridge is all but guaranteed.
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.