Royal watchers on high alert for an impending engagement announcement from Kensington Palace
Since Prince Harry made his public debut with girlfriend Meghan Markle at the Invictus Games last month, royal watchers (ie. us) have been on high alert for an impending engagement announcement from Kensington Palace.
Shortly after the happy news has officially been broken to the world’s media, a date will be set for Harry’s nuptials, and we couldn’t help but wonder, Carrie Bradshaw style, whether us commoners will be able to join in on the celebrations with a national bank holiday.
Cast your minds back to the 2010 announcement of Prince William’s engagement to Kate Middleton: you might remember that a wedding date – and an official bank holiday – was confirmed in the days following the press conference shortly after. The following year, the nation took Friday 29th April off to watch wall-to-wall coverage of the ceremony at Westminster Abbey (the wedding weekend came after the Easter bank holidays and was rounded off with the traditional May Day holiday too, blessing the UK with two four-day weekends in a row…)
‘The wedding of Kate and William will be a happy and momentous occasion,’ then-Prime Minister David Cameron announced at the time. ‘We want to mark the day as one of national celebration. A public holiday will ensure that most people possible will have a chance to celebrate on the day.’
So, will Harry and Meghan get the same treatment? We can certainly speculate by looking back at the older generation of royals. His father Prince Charles’ wedding to Princess Diana was famously marked with a national holiday in 1981; similarly, when Princess Anne tied the knot with Mark Phillips, a special bank holiday was declared for November 1973. While Prince Andrew had a similarly lavish ceremony in Westminster Abbey, though, no bank holiday was declared – and as Prince Edward chose a lower-key ceremony at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, his wedding wasn’t marked with one, either.
Harry is now fifth in line to the throne, and will drop down to sixth once his new niece or nephew is born in April 2018, meaning that the imperative for him to choose a high-profile ceremony is less great than it was for his older brother William. According to a new report in Us WeeklyUs Weekly, it’s possible that he’ll follow in the footsteps of Prince Edward. ‘Pomp and pageantry is the last thing he would want,’ a source told the magazine. ‘I can see him wanting to get married at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. It would stop it turning into a total media circus and give the day a sense of privacy that Harry so badly craves.’
If Harry opts out of a public wedding, then, a bank holiday could be off the cards. Sigh. For the moment, you’ll find us eagerly awaiting any hint of an announcement