Why Queen Elizabeth won’t attend Prince Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle

By @chelean on
Britain's Queen Elizaberth II smiles as Prince Harry pulls a face as they watch Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall leave St. George's Chapel.
Britain's Queen Elizaberth II smiles as Prince Harry pulls a face as they watch Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall leave St. George's Chapel. Reuters/Alastair Grant/AP

It’s still too early to tell in their relationship, but should Prince Harry and Meghan Markle decide to get married, there’s one VIP who wouldn’t attend their wedding. Queen Elizabeth II would be expected to skip her grandson’s big day because of the American actress.

Harry is allegedly ready to take his relationship with Meghan to the next level. The couple have been dating since last year.

He has apparently already asked his grandmother for permission to marry the “Suits” actress. And Queen Elizabeth has reportedly given her consent to the marriage, as required by the Royal Marriages Act 1772, which states that the first six people in line of succession must obtain the consent of the reigning monarch. Harry is the fifth in line to the throne, following his father, Prince Charles; his brother, Prince William; and his nephew and niece, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

But while the Queen has reportedly consented to his planned marriage, she wouldn’t attend their wedding. It’s nothing personal, though.

As the recent online reports explain, the Queen as the head of the Church of England, should not technically support her grandson’s marriage to a divorcee. Meghan, 35, was previously married to film producer Trevor Engelson from 2011 to 2013.

It’s the same for when Charles married Camilla Parker Bowles in 2005. Both Charles and Camilla were married before, Charles to the late Princess Diana, and Camilla to Andrew Parker Bowles. The Queen sanctioned their marriage but did not attend their wedding ceremony. However, she and husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, attended the couple’s televised blessing after the civil ceremony. She might do the same with her grandson’s wedding, or at least attend the reception that would follow.

Why Meghan won’t be princess after marrying Harry

Like William’s wife, Kate Middleton, Meghan would not be called a princess even after she married Harry. Meghan was born a commoner and is not a princess in her own right. The right to use the title of a princess only applies to those born into the royal family. That is why she wouldn’t be called a princess even if she married Prince Harry.

If they got married, it is assumed that Queen Elizabeth would grant them the Dukedom of Sussex, which has been opened since 1843. And if that is the case, then Meghan could be called Royal Highness Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.

This is the exact thing that happened to Kate. Although a princess by marriage, Kate is officially styled as Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge instead of Princess Catherine. Kate was also born a commoner. When she married Prince William in 2011, the Queen granted them the dukedom of Cambridge, and thus she earned the title of a duchess.

Kate is still a princess, though; she isn’t just called as such. As Forbes explained earlier this year, Kate, as a princess by marriage, has the title of HRH Princess William. When Prince Charles becomes king, William will inherit the title of Prince of Wales, and then Kate will be called Catherine, Princess of Wales. And when her husband becomes king, she will become The Queen Consort.

But why was Diana called a princess?

Diana Spencer, as a daughter of a viscount and later an earl, was born into family British nobility but not into the royal family. Her official style was Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales when she married Prince Charles.

Charles is twice a prince, Forbes explains, one by virtue of being born into the royal family, and the other by his investiture as Prince of Wales in 1969. His first wife would not be called The Princess of Wales had he not obtain his second prince title. Following their divorce, she was styled as Diana, Princess of Wales, until her death in 1997. She never held the title of Princess Diana, even though she was often called as such in the media.