Royals fans hoping to stake out a great vantage point at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding can now start planning.
Kensington Palace has released new details on the May 19 royal nuptials at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.
The best news for the public is that after the hour-long ceremony, Harry and Meghan will head out into the streets in a horse-drawn carriage.
The newlyweds will leave Windsor Castle and travel along the town of Windsor’s High Street before returning to the castle by the Long Walk, a 4.2-kilometre, tree-lined avenue which runs south of the castle.
“They hope this short journey will provide an opportunity for more people to come together around Windsor and to enjoy the atmosphere of this special day,” said the February 11 statement from Kensington Palace.
Harry, 33, and Meghan, 36, went against tradition by picking a Saturday for the wedding. Royals usually marry on a weekday.
They also usually wed in the morning, so Harry and Meghan’s chosen hour is also unusual: Noon UK time, or 9 pm for television viewers in Australia.
Inside the last 100 days before they are married, the pair is “hugely grateful for the many good wishes they have received since announcing their engagement”, the palace said.
“They are very much looking forward to the day and to being able to share their celebrations with the public.”
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will officiate as the couple says their vows, but the full ceremony will be conducted in the 15th-century chapel by the Dean of Windsor, David Conner.
The palace has not said whether invitations to the wedding have already been sent, nor how many people will be invited. St George’s holds about 800 people.
After the service, guests will head into St George’s Hall, one of the castle’s historic staterooms, for a reception while the newlyweds enjoy the carriage procession.
Harry and Meghan will join in when they return from greeting the masses, then will take a break from celebrating in the late afternoon.
In the evening, father of the groom Prince Charles will give a private reception. Kensington Palace did not confirm if that party would be held inside the state apartments.
Historic Frogmore House in the Windsor grounds, where the couple’s Vogue-esque high fashion engagement photos were taken, is a possible venue.
Early speculation the wedding could clash with the FA Cup final was allayed with the wedding’s kickoff time but it’s still unlikely that Prince William, the president of the Football Association, will do double duty and present the winner’s cup.
William is likely to be his brother’s best man, but last month joked about the role, saying: “He hasn’t asked me yet, it could be a sensitive issue.”
The royal family will pay for the church service, music, flowers and reception, but taxpayers will foot the bill for security.
Prince George and Princess Charlotte are hot tips to be among the phalanx of small pageboys and bridesmaids.
Details of who will perform at the wedding and reception haven’t been released, but Harry counts stars, including Ed Sheeran and Coldplay’s Chris Martin as mates.
Last week, Elton John rescheduled two performances of The Million Dollar Piano in Las Vegas that were originally set for May 18 and 19.
A statement on the singer’s website said it was because of a “scheduling conflict”.
John was friends with Harry’s late mother Princess Diana and has said it’s wonderful to see Harry “totally in love”.