10 Ways Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Wedding Could Break Royal Tradition

10 Ways Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Wedding Could Break Royal Tradition
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Photo: Allison Kahler/STYLECASTER/Getty Images

Since announcing her engagement to Prince Harry in November, Meghan Markle has a carved a name for herself as one of the most untraditional royal women yet. While her soon-to-be sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, is keeping her coat on as she brunches, the 36-year-old former “Suits” star is wearing her hair in messy buns, toting cross-body bags, and breaking a dozen other royal traditions sure to make royal purists cringe.

MORE: 10 Royal Beauty and Fashion Traditions Meghan Markle Has Already Broken

As expected, her wedding won’t be any different. Though very little has been confirmed about Meghan and Harry’s nuptials, rumors are circulating that the event will be a royal wedding to remember. Ahead, we’re rounding up every way Meghan and Harry’s wedding might break royal protocol and go against age-old etiquette. Brush up on these soon-to-be broken royal rules, from bridesmaids to flowers.

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Kate Middleton
Meghan's Bouquet Might Have Colorful Peonies

Who knew flowers would be such a big deal? According to the Sunday Express, Meghan is planning on carrying colorful peonies (her favorite flower, as seen many times on her now-deleted Instagram) in her wedding bouquet. Though Meghan's bouquet will also reportedly include myrtle, a royal tradition, colorful peonies will be a new sight.

According to florist and royal etiquette expert Anna-Liisa Evans, royal brides typically carry bouquets with all-white flowers to symbolize purity—as seen with Kate Middleton, Queen Elizabeth II, and Princess Diana. So Meghan's colorful bunch will definitely be something new.


Photo: Getty Images
Royal Wedding Cake
Their Wedding Cake Is Banana-Flavored

Rumor has it that Meghan and Harry will serve banana cake as their wedding cake. “This will be the first royal wedding cake made from bananas,” a source close to the couple told The Telegraph.

Along with breaking major flavor laws (banana, really?), the cake will also go against a long-standing royal tradition. Traditionally, British royal weddings serve fruitcakes made with dried fruits and nuts. According to The Telegraph, the tradition was created so that fruitcakes, which are known to last for a long time (sometimes, up to a year), can still be served at the christening of the married couple's first child.

However, Meghan and Harry won't be the first to incorporate a non-fruitcake at a royal wedding. (Though, technically, a banana is a fruit.) Harry's brother William and his wife, Kate Middleton, served a cake made with chocolate biscuits, along with the traditional fruitcake for their wedding in 2011.

Photo: Getty Images
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Their Wedding Is in May

Though May might the ideal month for tying the knot for most couples, it's a huge no-no in the British royal family. According to Victoria Williams's Celebrating Life Customs Around the World, a book that dives into various cultural rituals, a British royal wedding in May is considered bad luck. The tradition dates back to Queen Victoria in the 1800s, who banned May weddings for her children, believing in the superstitious rhyme, "Marry in May and rue the day." Since then, no royal couple has married in May. (Though William and Kate Middleton were close on April 29, 2011.) So Harry and Meghan's May 19, 2018, date will be a huge change.

Photo: Getty Images

Girls just wanna have fun.. @meghanmarkle @mubinarattonsey #LAlife

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Girls just wanna have fun.. @meghanmarkle @mubinarattonsey #LAlife

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Meghan Might Have Adult Bridesmaids

Fans are dying to know if Meghan's A-list friends, including Priyanka Chopra, Serena Williams, and Sarah Rafferty, will make it in her wedding party. (Chopra is a front-runner for maid of honor.) But if Meghan does have her friends as bridesmaids, that will be a huge tradition-breaker. According to Marlene Koenig, royal etiquette expert, royal brides typically don't have adult bridesmaids. "It would be unusual for a royal bride to have a woman in her late 30s as a maid or matron of honor," Koenig told Town & Country.

But have no fear. Kate Middleton's sister, Pippa, served as an adult bridesmaid to her, so don't rule out Serena Williams and Priyanka Chopra in Meghan's bridal party just yet.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Their Wedding Is on a Weekend

Though it's common for American weddings to take place on the weekend, royal weddings are traditionally held during the week. William and Kate Middleton married on a Friday, Queen Elizabeth II wed on a Thursday, while Prince Charles and Princess Diana tied the knot on a Wednesday. Meghan and Harry's wedding will be on a Saturday.

The weekend rule exists because royal weddings typically warrant bank holidays, when banks are closed for a major event. Because Harry and Meghan's wedding is already on a Saturday, there's no reason for the holiday.

Photo: Getty Images
Meghan Markle and Trevor Engelson
Meghan Was Married Before

For tens of decades, there was a tradition that prevented royal family members from marrying divorcées. As famously seen on "The Crown" (and in, you know, history books), Princess Margaret had to break up her relationship with Peter Townsend because he was divorced. Similarly, Edward VIII left the royal family to marry divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson, according to Fashion.

ICYMI: Markle was married to producer Trevor Engelson from 2011 to 2013, years before she met Harry. Lucky for Harry, the tradition has died down in recent years, with Prince Charles marrying fellow divorcée Camilla. Though Harry will be the first blood-bound royal family member to marry someone divorced, it's likely NBD at this point.

Photo: Getty Images
Meghan Markle
Meghan Will Give a Speech

Meghan's decision to give a speech at her wedding might be the most talked-about broken tradition yet. In January, the Sunday Times reported that Meghan will give an "affectionate" toast to her new husband, his family, and hers at their wedding. Traditionally, the bride's father gives a speech at his daughter's wedding. But since Meghan has a rocky, somewhat estranged relationship with her dad (it's still unclear whether he will even attend), she's taken on the duty herself.

Photo: Getty Images
Kate Middleton
Meghan's Dad Might Not Walk Her Down the Aisle

It's still up in the air whether Meghan's dad, Tom Markle, will attend her wedding—let alone give her away. According to The Sun, Tom, along with his son, Thomas Jr. (Meghan's half-brother), have yet to receive their invitations for the wedding and are not on the guest list, so it's highly unlikely that Meghan will have her father walk her down the aisle. (The Sun reports that the Markle men were uninvited due to their estranged relationship with Meghan and habit of speaking negatively about her in the press.)

As of now, there are a few different options for who might walk Meghan down the aisle. In January, Us Weekly reported that Meghan wanted her mom, Doria Ragland, to take her dad's place and give her away. Similarly, in March, The Sun reported that Harry's brother, Prince William, might be the one to walk his future sister-in-law down the aisle. “Some of the royals aren’t happy about the idea [of her mother escorting her down the aisle], so they suggested that William do it," a source told The Sun.

Photo: Getty Images
Meghan Markle's Engagement Ring
Meghan's Engagement Ring Is All-Diamond

Meghan's all-diamond engagement ring might make us drool with envy, but it's actually a tradition-breaker. For the past few generations, royal women have favored gemstone engagement rings over pure diamonds.

Princess Diana, Kate Middleton (who has Diana's ring), the Queen Mother, and Princess Anne boasted engagement rings with sapphires, while Princess Margaret's featured a ruby.

As for wedding rings, the royal family has used gold from the Clogau St. David's Mine in Wales since the 1900s, so we'll keep an eye out to see if they stay traditional on this front.

Photo: Getty Images
Prince William and Prince Harry
Prince William Is a Best Man

Though there hasn't been an official announcement, it's basically confirmed that Prince William will be Prince Harry's best man, like Harry was for William for his wedding in 2011. However, best man might not be the right term to describe Williams's role. According to Marlene Koenig, royal etiquette expert, the royals have "supporters" instead of groomsmen or best men.

"The best man or best men are officially called supporters," Koenig told Town & Country. "William will probably be Harry's supporter."

That might explain why, as of January, William joked that Harry still hasn't asked him to be his number-one at his wedding. “He hasn’t asked me yet, just to clear that up. It could be a sensitive subject," William joked in an interview.

Photo: Getty Images

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  • Kate Middleton
  • Royal Wedding Cake
  • Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
  • Meghan Might Have Adult Bridesmaids
  • Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
  • Meghan Markle and Trevor Engelson
  • Meghan Markle
  • Kate Middleton
  • Meghan Markle's Engagement Ring
  • Prince William and Prince Harry

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