Crucially, this is entirely Meghan’s idea, a complete break with tradition, and the plan was in place even when her father, Thomas, was scheduled to attend the wedding.
Cue rapturous applause. If you’ve ever been a bride and endured the church wedding palaver, as I have, it’s the “giving away” that really jars. You’re one man’s possession being handed to another. Humbug to that. It’s 2018 people, and now Meghan Markle, who’s marrying into one of the world’s most traditional families, is setting the tone in her own thoroughly modern way in front of billions of people. It’s a fearless, global statement, and as Meghan herself recently said: “Right now, there’s no better time to continue to shine a light on women feeling empowered and people supporting them.”
With the ceremony just hours away, we’ll no doubt see countless other wedding rule-breakers from these royal rebels, but let’s list a few that we know about already.
1. Meghan’s the first divorcee to marry a royal in church
Until recently, members of the royal family weren’t allowed to wed divorcees. Princess Margaret was forbidden to marry Peter Townsend and Edward VIII abdicated from the throne to wed socialite Wallis Simpson. Of course, that all changed when Prince Charles married Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in 2005. But that was in a civil ceremony, meaning Prince Harry will become the first royal to marry a divorcee in church.
2. Meghan will make a wedding speech
OK, these days this seems like a no-brainer, but in royal circles wedding speeches by – gasp! - women simply don’t happen. At Kate and Will’s wedding, for example, the groom, best man and father-of-the-bride gave lengthy toasts. Megs is having none of that and, according to multiple sources, she’ll pay an “affectionate” tribute to Prince Harry and say thanks to grannie-in-law.
3. They’ve shunned the royal wedding fruitcake!
This is a big deal. No, seriously. Since Queen Victoria’s wedding in 1840, every royal has favoured fruitcake and it’s been the choice for aristocratic British families for centuries. Because of its exxy ingredients such as spices, alcohol and dried fruit, fruitcake is a symbol of wealth and prosperity. The regal duo has instead chosen a lemon, buttercream-covered elderflower cake from California-born chef Claire Ptak because, as her bakery stated on their Instagram page, the couple “share so many of the same values regarding food provenance, sustainability, seasonality and flavour.” I’ll have me a piece of that!
4. Meghan won't say the word 'obey' in her vowels
Something we expected from a feminist since age 11, Meghan will follow in Princess Diana and Kate Middleton's footsteps and omit the traditional promise to “obey” her husband from her vowels.
5. Expect more than just “the wedding kiss”
These two PDA-friendly lovebirds can’t keep their hands off each other. They hold hands, rub each other’s thighs and share smooches. Public displays of affection aren’t de rigeur among royal couples, but I’ll bet my house that Harry and Meghan sneak in more than just one very publicly staged kiss. Three cheers to many more history-making surprises from these royal renegades.