Royal wedding 2018: Here is what you need to know

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Meghan Markle will walk down the aisle and marry her prince on Saturday.

FOX8 will air the royal wedding on TV and stream it online beginning at 6:30 a.m. Saturday. Click here to watch it.

As the wedding is a private event — rather than a state occasion — paid for by the British royal family, only a few details have been revealed so far. Here’s what we know and what’s still under wraps.

The venue

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will wed on Saturday, May 19, in St. George’s Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) west of central London.

Windsor is the oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world and an official residence of Queen Elizabeth II, who spends most of her weekends there.

The chapel has a capacity of around 800.

London florist Philippa Craddock has been tasked with decorating the chapel. Her team plans to use white garden roses, peonies and foxgloves, as well as branches of beech, birch and hornbeam for the floral displays, which will be distributed to local charities after the wedding.

Many of the plants will be sourced from the gardens and parkland of the royally owned Crown Estate and Windsor Great Park, according to Kensington Palace.

The schedule

The couple will exchange vows at noon (7 a.m. EDT) in a ceremony expect to last an hour.

The first guests to arrive for the celebrations will be the 1,200 members of the public who will share in the festivities from the grounds of Windsor Castle. They are expected to arrive from 9 a.m. (4 a.m. ET).

The main wedding guests are due between 9.30 a.m. and 11 a.m. (4.30 a.m. to 6 a.m. ET) and will be driven to the Round Tower by coach before walking to the South Door of St. George’s Chapel.

Lastly, the royal family will head for the chapel via the Galilee Porch at 11.20 a.m. (6.20 a.m. ET). Some are expected to arrive by foot, while others will travel by car.

Kensington Palace say that Harry and William will go to the chapel together on foot and will enter the West Steps, where they will greet 200 charity representatives.

After the ceremony has ended at 1 p.m. (8 a.m. ET), the newlyweds will greet the 200 representatives of Prince Harry’s charities outside the chapel.

They will then leave Windsor Castle in a carriage for a roughly two-mile procession, traveling along the High Street through the town of Windsor, before returning to the castle by the Long Walk, according to the Palace. The procession is expected to take around 25 minutes.

They will travel in an Ascot Landau carriage pulled by Windsor Grey horses. The royal family owns five Ascot Landaus and uses them regularly for official events. Prince Harry traveled in one during the carriage procession at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011.

Windsor Grey horses also have a long royal pedigree — they have been pulling the carriages of British monarchs and members of the royal family since the 1900s.

After the procession, the couple and guests will then attend a reception hosted by Queen Elizabeth II at St. George’s Hall in the castle grounds, bringing the public aspects of the day to a close.

The final moment the public will get to share in will be when the bride and groom leave the castle grounds for a smaller evening reception for around 200 friends and family hosted by Prince Charles, Harry’s father, at Frogmore House, a country house south of Windsor Castle.

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The ceremony

The Dean of Windsor, the Rt. Rev. David Conner, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, the leader of the Church of England, will officiate the ceremony. Markle is now a fully fledged member of the Church of England after she was reportedly baptized and confirmed by Welby in a secret ceremony in March.

Meghan will spend her final night as a single woman at the five-star Cliveden House Hotel. On the morning of May 19, a car will take the bride and her mother to Windsor Castle.

Harry will be staying at the Coworth Park Hotel.

As expected, Harry's older brother Prince William will step into the role of best man. Harry has also expressed his desire for his mother's side of the family to be involved in the service. The three siblings of the late Princess Diana, who died two decades ago in a car accident, have been invited. Her older sister, Lady Jane Fellowes, will give a reading.

The palace will publish a full Order of Service on its website on the morning of the wedding so members of the public can follow the ceremony at home.

The couple have taken a very hands-on approach in planning their big day, right down to their selection of music for the service, which will include several popular hymns and choral works. The chapel's director of music, James Vivian, will conduct the Choir of St. George's Chapel -- which was founded in 1348 and includes music from all ages in its repertoire.

State Trumpeters and an orchestra encompassing musicians from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the English Chamber Orchestra and the Philharmonia Orchestra will also provide music at the service.

The royal pair have also chosen to inject several more modern musicians and soloists into their ceremony. Karen Gibson and the Kingdom Choir -- considered one of the top ensembles in the country -- have been tapped to perform as has 19-year-old cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who was the first black musician to win the BBC Young Musician of the Year award in 2016.

"I was bowled over when Ms. Markle called me to ask if I would play during the ceremony, and of course I immediately said yes," Kanneh-Mason said on Twitter. "What a privilege to be able to play the cello at such a wonderful event. I can't wait!"

More than 250 members of the British Armed Forces will also be involved on the day, an acknowledgment of Harry's time in the army. Personnel from a number of units including the Royal Marines and the Windsor Castle Guard will line the local streets, with music provided by the Band of the Irish Guards.

The guest list

An invitation to the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle has to be one of the most coveted of the year. But so far, little has been revealed about who their 600 guests in Windsor will be.

The May 19 wedding is a private, not state occasion, paid for by the royal family. This means political leaders don't have to be invited, so Harry and Meghan can pack St. George's Chapel with close friends and family.

Many of the faces will be familiar -- including the UK royals, celebrities and actors. But others will be less well known, including Markle's family and people who've become friends with the couple through their charitable work.

Prince Harry's likely guests

The royal family will be among the most closely watched guests on the day. Harry's grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, will be accompanied by Prince Philip, who has recently undergone a hip operation.

Also there will be Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. The occasion may bring back some memories -- a wedding blessing was held for them at St. George's Chapel following their civil marriage ceremony in 2005.

Prince William will act as best man, a role Harry fulfilled for his brother at his wedding in 2011. William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, welcomed a new addition to the family on April 23. But will little Prince Louisbe the youngest guest at the wedding?

The couple's older children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, may well play a part as a cute page boy and flower girl, as they did last year for their aunt, Pippa Middleton.

Harry's uncle, Prince Andrew, is sure to be there, but a question mark hangs over his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, known as Fergie, who was not invited to Prince William's wedding. Their daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie -- who will herself marry fiance Jack Brooksbank in St. George's Chapel on October 12 -- are expected to attend.

Relatives from his late mother Diana's side of the family will also be present. They include his uncle, Earl Charles Spencer, and Diana's two sisters, Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes, the latter of whom will give the reading at the service.

Harry is not expected to invite European royals as William did in 2011, when he and Kate packed Westminster Abbey with some 1,900 guests.

But one member of royalty who will almost certainly be there is Lesotho's Prince Seeiso. He and Harry founded the Sentebale charity together more than a decade ago to help some of the most vulnerable children in Lesotho and Botswana.

Other friends of Harry's will also make up a chunk of the guest list.

Among his and Prince William's closest companions are James Meade, Thomas van Straubenzee, Tom Inskip and Guy Pelly, a nightclub owner. Over the years they have been pictured carousing together in party spots in London and around the world.

Harry may also invite comrades from his days in the military, including at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and in Afghanistan. One of those is singer James Blunt, with whom Harry served in the British Army.

British soul singer Joss Stone is a longtime friend and likely invitee. She is an ambassador for Harry's Sentebale charity and has taken part in benefit performances for it in the past, including a 2016 concert at Kensington Palace.

Adding to the celebrity count, Harry could invite British model and actress Cara Delevingne, who has reportedly been a good friend for years.

Another Sentebale ambassador who may well have received an invitation is Argentine polo player Ignacio "Nacho" Figueras. Figueras, who is also an author and the global face of Polo Ralph Lauren, has played in several Sentebale charity matches with Prince Harry around the world.

Prince Harry may well invite two of his exes: Chelsy Davy, his on-off girlfriend of several years from 2004, and aristocratic actress and model Cressida Bonas, his girlfriend from 2012 to 2014.

Singer Ellie Goulding -- whom Harry was also at one time rumored to be dating -- has been named in the media as another possible invitee. Goulding performed at William and Kate's evening reception at Buckingham Palace, including the song for their first dance, she told Vanity Fair.

It's possible that singer Sir Elton John will also make an appearance. He was a friend of Diana and famously performed a rewritten version of his song "Candle in the Wind" at her funeral in 1997. He was invited to William and Kate's wedding 14 years later.

Celebrity couple David and Victoria Beckham were also at William and Kate's wedding and could score an invitation to Harry and Meghan's big day too. Asked by James Corden on "The Late Late Show" if she was going, Victoria stumbled over an answer before saying, "I don't know."

Meghan Markle's likely guests

Markle's family is less accustomed to the spotlight than her fiance's. Her mother, Doria Ragland, to whom Meghan has said she is very close, will play a role in the wedding.

On the morning of May 19, a car will take Meghan and her mother together to Windsor Castle.

Her parents split when Meghan was young, but she told Vanity Fair last year that they remained on good terms as she grew up and even took vacations together as a family. Markle and Ragland had met at a Hollywood studio in the late 1970s where he was working as a lighting director and she was a temp.

Meghan included her mother in a list of 10 women who had changed her life for Glamour magazine last year, when she described Ragland as both a free spirit and a nurturer. "We can just have so much fun together, and yet, I'll still find so much solace in her support. That duality coexists the same way it would in a best friend," she wrote.

Various news reports have raised questions about whether or not Markle's father, Thomas Markle, will make it to the wedding.

Meghan Markle's half-sister has said their father "suffered a heart attack" in an interview with a British television station a day after reports emerged that Thomas Markle may not attend the royal wedding on Saturday.

Samantha Markle -- who has reportedly not spoken to her sister for several years -- did not specify the timing of her father's heart attack, but told the Good Morning Britain program that her father was "quite depressed over the unbelievable series of events involving the media."

She reiterated in the interview that she was very concerned for his health, but said she did not want their father to miss out on the big day.

"I wanted to see him go. I didn't want him deprive of that. But clearly the propriety should be whether or not it is safe for him to do that," Markle added.

Samantha Markle previously revealed she was "culprit" who urged their father to stage the photos in an ill-fated bid to improve his image. She said her father had "suffered at the hands of the media" and had decided "enough is enough."

On Tuesday, TMZ reported that Thomas Markle will undergo heart surgery Wednesday and will not be able to attend the wedding.

The bride-to-be has a number of close friends who are very likely to have received one of the precious gilded invitations. However, Meghan has opted not to have a maid of honor, according to Kensington Palace. "She has a very close-knit group of friends and did not want to choose one over the other," said Jason Knauf, Prince Harry's communications secretary.

One of those is Canadian stylist Jessica Mulroney, a longtime friend who, according to Vanity Fair, is helping her to plan the big event.

Markle's friend from her days studying at Northwestern University, Lindsay Roth, is another likely invitee, especially since Markle was her maid of honor, according to People magazine. Roth told the magazine last year: "We're the kind of friends who can be 3,000 miles away and still be talking about or thinking the same thing, and even texting each other the same thing at the same time miles away."

Indian actress and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Priyanka Chopra hasn't known Markle for as long, but Instagram posts show the pair having fun together. Us Weekly magazine says Chopra has confirmed she will attend the wedding.

Another friend, Bahrain-born, London-raised fashion designer Misha Nonoo, is rumored by UK and US media to have been the matchmaker who brought Harry and Meghan together on their first date. She and Markle have reportedly holidayed together in the past and Meghan wore a shirt from her collection on her first public appearance with Harry at the Invictus Games last year.

Other media rumors point to Markus Anderson, a consultant for the Soho House Group, which has private members' clubs around the world, as having made the all-important introduction between his good friend Meghan and Harry.

Tennis superstar Serena Williams has been firm friends with Meghan for several years. "Her personality just shines," Williams told Vanity Fair for a cover story on Markle last year, adding that the actress had asked her for advice on dealing with aspects of life in the spotlight.

Of course, long before she met her prince, Meghan gained fame as an actress, playing ambitious paralegal Rachel Zane in the hit TV series "Suits" -- and she has good friends from the long-running show who may well be at the wedding.

Among them is Patrick J. Adams, who plays her love interest Mike Ross on the show. After the engagement was announced last November, Adams posted a touching message on Instagram.

Other friends and former co-stars who may share the big day include Abigail Spencer, Sarah Rafferty, Gina Torres, Amanda Schull and Gabriel Macht. Asked why Harry was attracted to Markle, Spencer told Vanity Fair: "She's got warm elegance, though her style is hard to pin down. It's classy and timeless. When you're talking to her, you feel like you're the only person on the planet. And it's just wonderful to see her so in love."

Another likely invitee is actress Janina Gavankar, perhaps best known for her roles in "True Blood" or "The Vampire Diaries." According to a post by Markle last year on her now-deleted Instagram account, they have been friends for over 15 years.

UK media reports say British heiress and former "Made in Chelsea" star Millie Mackintosh has also become a good friend of Markle's while she's been based in London.

Markle also previously posted pictures on Instagram of her hanging out with French fashion designer Roland Mouret. There's been speculation that he might be involved in designing her wedding dress, something that would surely earn him an invitation to the do.

Of course, we now know some of those who won't be coming -- including US President Donald Trump, Barack and Michelle Obama and UK Prime Minister Theresa May. But there are sure to be some surprises in store when the guests arrive on the day.

The visitors

Visitors to Windsor on the big day are being encouraged to gather on the Long Walk -- the final stretch of the procession route -- where big screens and food stalls will be available.

Crowds will also gather along the rest of the procession route through the town, which will be decorated with bunting and ceremonial banners, according to a statement from the borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. Local groups will provide live entertainment throughout the town center.

Rail operators will put on extra train services to and from Windsor, and for those traveling by road, 6,000 car parking spaces will be available close to the Long Walk, according to the borough.

The security operation

Thames Valley Police, the force that operates in the borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, has overall command of the policing for the wedding and is supported by partner agencies including the Metropolitan Police and the British Transport Police, according to a spokesman for Thames Valley Police. The operation is one of the largest ever undertaken by the force.

According to a police statement, security in the area has already been stepped up, with armed and unarmed officers as well as search dogs and mounted police patrolling the streets of Windsor in the weeks leading up to May 19.

Police have warned that people traveling to the area by car on the day may be stopped by police, while British Transport Police will be patrolling train stations and carriages. Anyone arriving in Windsor by train will be screened and searched.

There are no details yet on the cost of security for the wedding or the number of officers involved.

The photographer

Renowned fashion and portrait photographer Alexi Lubomirski will take the official photographs of the newlyweds at Windsor Castle after the ceremony.

The two are already familiar with Lubomirski, who photographed Harry and Meghan at Frogmore House in the weeks after they announced their engagement.

The dress

We're unlikely to know anything about Markle's wedding dress until the bride steps out on May 19. But that hasn't stopped the rumor mill.

Designers tipped to be among the likely candidates include the Canadian-born Erdem Moralioglu, French designer Roland Mouret and the Ralph & Russo duo, who designed the gown Markle wore in her engagement photographs.

The gifts

The couple have asked for anyone wishing to send them a wedding gift to consider donating to one of several selected charities instead.

The seven organizations chosen by Prince Harry and Markle all work on issues the couple are passionate about, including women's empowerment, HIV, homelessness and the environment, according to a Palace statement.

The menu

Guests will enjoy a non-traditional wedding cake made by pastry chef Claire Ptak. The lemon elderflower cake will feature buttercream and fresh flowers as decoration.

Ptak, who was raised in California and now owns London-based bakery Violet Cakes, was previously acquainted with Markle, who had featured the chef on her former lifestyle blog.

Kensington Palace says Ptak and the chefs who have been working in the Palace kitchens to make the final preparations will provide an update closer to the big day.

The evening entertainment

Despite rumors that the Spice Girls, Elton John, Ed Sheeran or Sam Smith could be performing at the second, evening reception, nothing has yet been confirmed by Kensington Palace.

The honeymoon

While the wedding itself will be a public affair, the choice of honeymoon destination is a closely guarded secret.

Meghan and Harry will not depart for their honeymoon immediately after the wedding. Instead, they will undertake a public engagement in the week after the ceremony, according to Kensington Palace.

There's already a long list of locations being suggested as possible destinations, including Botswana (where the pair vacationed early in their relationship) and the Seychelles (where William and Catherine spent their first days as a newly married couple).

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