Can Prince Harry and Meghan Markle marry in a church?
As most will know, Meghan Markle has been married before. Her marriage to Trevor Engelson ended in 2013. In 2002, the Anglican Church published new guidelines on how to deal with divorced couples. Couples will not be remarried in the church if their relationship contributed to the original divorce and no priest should bless a second marriage which might cause “hostile public comment or scandal.” Since neither is the case, I see no reason why they should not have a church wedding. They would still have to choose which site to go for but I assume that will be decided with the number of people they wish to invite in mind.
Will The Queen attend the wedding?
Yes, it has already been confirmed that The Queen will attend.
Will Prince Harry have to give up his place in the succession to marry Meghan Markle, who is (possibly?) a Catholic?
The Succession to the Crown Act 2013, which came into force in 2015, ended the historical disqualification of a person who married a Roman Catholic from the line of succession. Only if Prince Harry himself became a Catholic would he be removed from the line of succession. It also ended the rule that everyone in the line of succession has to seek the Sovereign’s approval to marry. This is now limited to the first six persons in line. Prince Harry is currently 5th and he will be moved down to the sixth place when the Duchess of Cambridge gives birth to her third child.
What will Meghan Markle’s title be when they are married?
If Prince Harry is not granted a Dukedom, she will be known as Her Royal Highness Princess Henry of Wales. It is likely, however, that he is granted a Dukedom. She will then be known as Her Royal Highness the Duchess of (…). This still means that she is a Princess, but as she is not a Princess by birth, she will not be known as Princess Meghan. The Royal Dukedom simply takes precedence over the Princess title. The Duchess of Cambridge is in the same situation, as was Diana, Princess of Wales, who is often mistakingly called “Princess Diana.” During the marriage, Diana was “Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales.” After the divorce, she was simply “Diana, Princess of Wales.” She was never Princess Diana.
What Dukedom, if any, will Prince Harry be granted?
There are a few royal dukedoms that have gone extinct and could thus be used again. Those are Duke of Albemarle (there is currently an Earl of Albemarle), Duke of Clarence, Duke of Clarence and Avondale, Duke of Clarence and St. Andrews (there is currently an Earl of St Andrews), Duke of Connaught and Strathearn (The Duke of Cambridge carries Earl of Strathearn as a subsidiary title), Duke of Cumberland, Duke of Cumberland and Strathearn, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh (Both are currently extant as separate titles), Duke of Hereford (there is currently a Viscount of Hereford), Duke of Kent and Strathearn (There is currently a Duke of Kent), Duke of Kintyre and Lorne, Duke of Ross, Duke of Sussex, Duke of Windsor and Duke of York and Albany (There is currently a Duke of Kent).
Of those available, I’d say the most likely choice would be Duke of Sussex, Duke of Clarence, Duke of Connaught or Duke of Cumberland.
Why can Prince Harry marry Meghan Markle but why could King Edward VIII not marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson?
The King (or Queen Regnant) is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, which until recently (as seen above) did not allow remarriage. Prince Harry is unlikely to become King and Supreme Governor of the Church of England at this stage. Also, at the time only adultery was considered legitimate grounds for divorce and Wallis’ first marriage ended on the grounds of “mutual incompatibility.” It was possible that her second marriage and her prospective marriage to the King could be considered bigamous.
In addition, it has been over 80 years since the abdication crisis. Times have changed.
Is Meghan Markle the first American to marry into the British royal family?
The only other American who married into the British royal family was Wallis Simpson, and she married King Edward VIII who had by then abdicated and was known as the Duke of Windsor. Wallis became known as the Duchess of Windsor after their marriage, but the “Her Royal Highness” style was withheld from her.
In addition, there are several Americans who married into European royal families.
Is Meghan Markle the first person of African (-American) descent to marry into the British royal family?
As for as I know, yes. There was some talk a few years back about the ancestry of Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, a German Princess who married King George III but the general distance between her and her possible African ancestors is so great, that the theory is quite ridiculous.
Princess Angela of Liechtenstein is the first person of known African origin to marry into a reigning European dynasty.
Will Meghan have to undergo “Princess training”?
I assume there will be some sort of etiquette training and we know that The Duchess of Cambridge has taken voice lessons to help her prepare for speeches. I know I would want to know where to stand, who to curtsey to etc. before being thrown in the deep!