Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are determined to have a wedding that suits them, not courtiers or diplomats. They want it to be “a moment of fun and joy” that is “shaped so as to allow members of the public to feel part of the celebrations, too,” according to a royal press release on March 2 that outlined more details of the May 19 event at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.
Because their wedding venue is inside a working royal residence, it was never going to attract the mammoth crowds that lined the streets of London for the grand wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011. There simply isn’t room inside the thick, ancient walls of Windsor Castle.
Still, the couple are determined to have as many people see them on their wedding day as possible, but on their own terms.
So, while around 8,000 members of the public got first-come, first-served free tickets to watch the comings and goings outside the chapel for the 1999 wedding of Prince Edward (Harry’s uncle) and Sophie Rhys-Jones, that process will be radically different for the upcoming nuptials.
HOW TO SEE PRINCE HARRY AND MEGHAN MARKLE ON THEIR WEDDING DAY
The best way is within the castle itself. As the press release explains, a total of 2,640 people will be invited “into the grounds of Windsor Castle to watch the arrivals of the bride and groom, and their wedding guests, at the chapel and to watch the carriage procession as it departs from the castle.”
They will include:
- 1,200 members of the public from every corner of the United Kingdom will be nominated to attend by nine regional Lord Lieutenant offices. The couple has asked that the people chosen are from a broad range of backgrounds and ages, including young people who have shown strong leadership, and those who have served their communities.
- 200 people from a range of charities and organisations which Prince Harry and Ms. Markle have a close association with, including those which Prince Harry serves as patron.
- 100 pupils from two local schools: The Royal School, Great Park, Windsor and St George’s School, Windsor Castle—both of which have a strong affiliation with the Windsor Castle community.
- 610 Windsor Castle community members, including residents of Windsor Castle and members of the St George’s Chapel community.
- 530 Members of the royal households and Crown Estate.
The bad news is that non-British residents are out of luck. No American, Canadian or Botswanan can use their vacation time to fly to London and stake out a perfect spot 48 hours ahead of time to claim the the perfect vantage point spot all the comings and goings inside the castle. That relegates them to options 2 and 3.
OPTIONS 2 AND 3 FOR THE TICKET-LESS
There are two options for those not lucky enough to get tickets to stand within Windsor Castle itself
OPTION NO. 2: Watching the carriage procession: After Prince Harry marries Meghan Markle, the couple will undertake a carriage procession through the town of Windsor, returning to the castle via the photogenic Long Walk. (The route leaves Windsor Castle via Castle Hill, then processes along the High Street and through Windsor, returning to Windsor Castle by driving up the Long Walk.)
The tourist authority of Windsor put out a video showing the route.
The #RoyalWedding carriage procession route has been announced by @KensingtonRoyal! Here’s what the newly married couple will see in Windsor 🏰💒🍾#HarryandMeghan #MondayMotivation pic.twitter.com/FgQ9sMixeo
— Visit Windsor (@visitwindsor) February 12, 2018
OPTION NO. 3: Watch all the day’s events on television. That’s the best option for the vast majority of those wanting to capture all the public events of the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.