Heritage

This Is What Royal Weddings at Windsor Castle Look Like

Here’s what we can learn about Harry and Meghan’s nuptials at St. George's Chapel.
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Over a dozen royal weddings have taken place at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle where Prince Harry will wed Meghan Markle on May 19, 2018. From the pomp and circumstance of Edward VII's marriage to Princess Alexandra of Denmark in 1863 to the relatively quiet nuptials of his great-great-great-grandson Peter Phillips to Autumn Kelly in 2008, here's what we can learn about the next royal wedding to take place at this historic venue.

PRINCE EDWARD AND SOPHIE RHYS-JONES


Queen Elizabeth's youngest son, Prince Edward, married Sophie Rhys-Jones on June 19, 1999, at St. George's Chapel in a ceremony that was predominately for close family and friends.

PRINCE EDWARD AND SOPHIE RHYS-JONES


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While Queen Elizabeth's other children opted for large, formal weddings at Westminster Abbey and St. Paul's Cathedral in London, Edward and Sophie picked St. George's Chapel for its smaller size—it can only seat 800 people instead of 2,000 or more—a factor that also appears to fit into Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding plan.

PRINCE EDWARD AND SOPHIE RHYS-JONES


Per modern tradition, members of the royal family pose for pictures on the steps after the wedding ceremony. In this picture, you can see a young Prince Harry with his cousin Princess Eugenie, in purple, who is also planning her wedding at St. George's Chapel for later in 2018.

PRINCE CHARLES AND CAMILLA PARKER BOWLES


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Presumably, to avoid controversy over the heir to the throne marrying a divorcée in a religious ceremony, Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles had a civil ceremony at the Guildhall in Windsor and had their marriage blessed at a Service of Prayer and Dedication in the quire of St. George's Chapel on April 9, 2005.

PRINCE CHARLES AND CAMILLA PARKER BOWLES


Unlike his father, Harry will be allowed to wed Markle in a religious ceremony at St. George's Chapel, even though she's been married before, presumably because he is not the heir to the throne. But like Camilla, Markle could opt to wear a non-white dress for her second wedding.

PRINCE CHARLES AND CAMILLA PARKER BOWLES


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Per tradition, the royal family sits on the right side of the quire at St. George's Chapel during wedding ceremonies and blessings.

PRINCE CHARLES AND CAMILLA PARKER BOWLES


Later that day, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh threw a reception for Prince Charles and Camilla at Windsor Castle in St. George's Hall, the Grand Reception Room and Waterloo Chamber, which is reportedly where Harry and Meghan's reception will be held, too.

LADY HELEN WINDSOR AND TIM TAYLOR


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For the next several decades, the royal family favored Westminster Abbey as a wedding venue until Lady Helen Windsor, the daughter of the Duke of Kent, married Timothy Taylor on July 18, 1992, at St. George's Chapel.

LADY HELEN WINDSOR AND TIM TAYLOR


Almost three decades before his own wedding at the same venue, a seven-year-old Prince Harry attended the wedding of his cousin, Lady Helen Windsor, with his mother, Princess Diana.

PETER PHILLIPS AND AUTUMN KELLY


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On May 17, 2008, Queen Elizabeth's eldest grandson, Peter Phillips, married Autumn Kelly at St. George's Chapel. While attendants at most British royal weddings tend to be children, the Canadian bride opted to have her new sister-in-law and two close friends as her bridesmaids, which means that Meghan Markle could also follow her lead.

PETER PHILLIPS AND AUTUMN KELLY


While Autumn Kelly is originally from Canada, she opted to wear a gown by British designer Sassi Holford and a tiara borrowed from her new mother-in-law Princess Anne. Even though Meghan Markle might break from tradition and wear a dress from a non-British designer, she's likely to borrow a tiara from the royal family jewels.

EDWARD VII AND PRINCESS ALEXANDRA OF DENMARK


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Queen Victoria's eldest son, the future King Edward VII, married Princess Alexandra of Denmark on March 10, 1863, in the quire of St. George's Chapel in a ceremony attended by royals from Denmark, Prussia, and even the Maharajah of India. While Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may have a slightly less high-profile guest list, their ceremony will also take place in this part of the chapel.

PRINCESS LOUISE AND THE DUKE OF ARGYLL


St. George's Chapel was also a favorite wedding venue for Queen Victoria's other children, including her fourth daughter, Princess Louise, who married the future Duke of Argyll there on March 21, 1871.

PRINCE ARTHUR, DUKE OF CONNAUGHT, AND PRINCESS LOUISE MARGARET OF PRUSSIA


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The next royal wedding at St. George's Chapel happened eight years later on March 13, 1879, when Queen Victoria's third son, Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, married Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia.

PRINCE LEOPOLD, DUKE OF ALBANY, AND PRINCESS HELENA OF WALDECK


Queen Victoria's youngest son, Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany also had his wedding at St. George's Chapel when he married Princess Helen of Waldeck and Pyrmont on April 27, 1882.

PRINCESS ALICE OF ALBANY AND PRINCE ALEXANDER OF TECK


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Twenty-two years after her parents were married at St. George's Chapel, Princess Alice Mary of Albany married Prince Alexander of Teck at the same venue on February 10, 1904. Because the Duke of Albany died prematurely of hemophilia, Princess Alice's uncle, King Edward VII, walked her down the aisle and hosted a 14-course banquet for her afterward at St George’s Hall at Windsor Castle.

PRINCESS MARGARET OF CONNAUGHT AND PRINCE GUSTAF ADOLF OF SWEDEN


Another granddaughter of Queen Victoria, Princess Margaret of Connaught, married the future King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden at St. George's Chapel on June 15, 1905. The banquet that followed featured two dishes to honor the heir to the Swedish throne, including Zèphires de Crabes á la Suédoise—named after Sweden—and Chaufroix de Cailles à la Bernadotte—named after the Bernadotte house to which the Swedish Royal Family belongs. It's rumored that Harry might also honor his bride's American heritage by skipping the traditionally British fruitcake for a wedding cake made out of bananas.

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ANNE ABEL SMITH AND DAVID LIDDELL-GRAINGER

While a niece of Queen Mary was married at St. George's in 1919, the next royal wedding to happen at Windsor Castle didn't take place until December 14, 1957, when Queen Elizabeth II's cousin, Anne Abel Smith, married David Liddell-Grainger in a televised event. It's expected that Harry and Meghan's wedding will also be televised.

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

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