The royal wedding is officially on!
Queen Elizabeth II gave her official written consent for grandson Prince Harry to wed fiancée Meghan Markle on Thursday, an act required by law.
"Whereas Her Majesty in Council was this day pleased, in pursuance of the provisions of an Act entitled to the Crown Act 2013, to declare Her Consent to a Contract of Matrimony between Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales, K.C.V.O. and Rachel Meghan Markle, which Consent Her Majesty has caused to be signified under the Great Seal," the statement read.
The Queen gives formal consent to the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. pic.twitter.com/kGEfdrJAp7
— Richard Palmer (@RoyalReporter) March 15, 2018
In other words, Harry is free to marry Meghan on their scheduled wedding date of May 19, 2018.
See photos of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle together:
Some fans of the royal family noticed a stark contrast in the statement that the queen released on Thursday and the written consent she gave to Will and Kate when they got married in 2011.
In her 2011 statement, Queen Elizabeth described the couple as, "Our Most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales, K.G. and Our Trusty and Well-beloved Catherine Elizabeth Middleton."
Markle received no such description, with her future grandmother-in-law simply stating her given name.
Receiving written consent from the ruling monarch has been required before ever marriage in the British royal family since the Royal Marriage Act of 1772. The Crown Act of 2013 amended the law to state that the law only applies to the first six people in line for the British throne, which includes Harry -- fifth in line behind father Charles, brother William and his two children, George and Charlotte. Of course, Harry will become sixth in line when Kate Middleton gives birth to her third child later this year.
The queen had reportedly already given her verbal approval of the nuptials ahead of Harry's fall proposal.
On Monday, Meghan Markle attended her first official royal engagement with the queen, as sat one row apart at the Commonwealth Day church service at Westminster Abbey. By contrast, Kate Middleton didn't attend any official events with Queen Elizabeth ahead of her 2011 marriage to Prince William.
See photos from the Commonwealth Day outing:
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding date is May 20, 2018 instead of May 19, 2018.
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