It’s no secret that Prince Harry has always been a bit of a rule breaker. He actually went to rehab when he was 17 after it was found that he illegally smoked marijuana and drank alcohol underage. Then, at the age of 27, he was caught playing strip billiards in a Las Vegas hotel room.
Now it seems that he’s truly met his match! Former actress Meghan Markle may not be quite the overt rule breaker that Harry is, but she’s certainly ruffled a few traditional Royal feathers with her rule-breaking fashion choices and public displays of affection.
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Together, their wedding was unlike that of any Royal couple before and represented a welcome break away from the traditions which had stifled the monarchy in the past. In fact, many of the things that they and their guests did on their big day would have been unthinkable a generation ago.
Here’s a full the list of all the rules they broke throughout the Royal Wedding…
1. They spent the night before in hotels
Traditionally, Royal couples spent the night before their big day at Royal residences. Prince Charles and Prince Andrew both stayed at Buckingham Palance, with their brides in Clarence House. While Kate did stay in The Goring Hotel before her wedding in 2011, William still stayed at Clarence House. Meghan and Harry, however, both stayed in hotels, staying in the Coworth Park andhotels respectively.
2. They both wore wedding rings
Royal men traditionally don’t wear wedding bands after they marry and Phillip, Charles, and William have all followed this rule. However, Meghan and Harry broke this rule when Meghan slipped a ring on his finger during their vows. It’s modern and shows equality between them.
3. Meghan began her bridal procession alone
Despite there being a bit of gossip about who was going to walk Meghan down the aisle, apparently, she had always planned to walk the first part of the procession alone. It’s a feminist statement and shows she’s really here to shake up outdated traditions.
She is the first woman in a Royal wedding to do this without a father figure on her arm to give her away. However, she did meet the tradition halfway and when she reached the Quire, allowed Prince Charles to escort her to the altar.
4. They didn’t have a fruitcake
Harry and Meghan chose to have a lemon elderflower cake at their wedding, which is not what their closest relatives had. Traditionally, fruitcake is served since it is a symbol of wealth and prosperity. Alison McGill, editor in chief of Weddingbells, explains:
“Queen Victoria and Prince Albert served the traditional British wedding cake, as have countless royals through the years including Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip, as well as Prince William and Kate Middleton, whose elaborate eight-layer cake was filled with fruitcake!”
5. There were celebrities at the wedding
While there are usually more than a few well-known faces at Royal weddings, Harry and Meghan’s really was a who’s who of Hollywood Royalty, and it’s no wonder, Meghan herself did hit the big time as an actress. Guests included celebrities from both sides of the Atlantic, including George and Amal Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, Idris Elba, Tom Hardy, Serena Williams, Marcus Mumford, and the cast of Suits.
6. The bridesmaids and pageboys weren’t all connected to the Royals
When it comes to Royal weddings, all of the bridesmaids and pageboys are usually connected to the Royal Family in some way. That wasn’t the case for Harry and Meghan, however, and they both selected an equal number of people from both of their sides for the jobs.
7. Meghan gave her own wedding speech
Traditionally, only the important men at a Royal wedding give the speeches. That means we can expect to hear from the groom, the best man, and the father of the bride. However, Meghan refused to give up her power as a woman and wanted to make her own speech.
Harry gave her his full support, of course.
8. A multicultural ceremony
It’s no secret that Meghan is biracial, and this was beautifully reflected in the multicultural aspects of the ceremony. The presiding bishop of the American Episcopal Church, Bishop Michael Curry, gave a powerful speech at the wedding, opening with the words of Martin Luther King Jr:
“We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we do that, we will be able to make of this old world a new world. Love is the only way.”
9. Handholding at the wedding
Meghan and Harry are clearly in love. You can see it in the way they touch one another and hold hands, but did you ever notice you never see Harry’s brother, William, holding hands with his love, Kate?
While not an official rule, it is an unspoken one with Royals generally refusing to show any form of affection for one another at an official event due to the fact that they are technically working representatives of the British monarchy.
10. Harry and Meghan married in May
As it turns out, Queen Victoria would never have approved of a royal relative of hers marrying during the month of May. The late monarch believed it was bad luck and believed in the popular superstition of the time, “Marry in May and rue the day.”
11. This was Meghan’s second marriage
Meghan was previously married to producer Trevor Engelson. This shouldn’t be a big deal, but just one generation ago, Royals were not allowed to marry divorcees. However, the rules have been loosened these days, especially after Prince Charles married Camila Parker-Bowles.
That being said, Harry is the very first Royal to marry a divorcee in a church wedding.
12. Meghan isn’t Anglican
Did you know that it was only in 2015 that an amendment was made to the Act of Settlement of 1701 allowing British royals to have an interfaith marriage? While Meghan has never publically discussed her faith, it is understood she attended a Catholic girls school.
For centuries, it was forbidden for a Royal to marry someone of the Catholic faith. However, before wedding Harry, Meghan did agree to be baptized and confirmed into the Church of England, so maybe, in the end, she actually adhered to tradition here.
13. David Beckham breaks church etiquette
Another celebrity present at the wedding was soccer player David Beckham OBE. But eagle-eyed viewers noticed Beckham breaking church etiquette as he sat in the pews chewing gum! You’re not sitting in the dugout now David!
14. There wasn’t a kiss on Buckingham Palace’s balcony
Ever since Queen Victoria’s children tied the knot, Royal couples have shared a kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace and acknowledged the crowds below. However, because Harry and Meghan did not marry in London, this didn’t happen. But that didn’t stop them from sharing a kiss outside St George’s Chapel.
So, at the end of the day, these two newlyweds are certainly balking at tradition and breaking all the rules, but it can certainly be said that they are doing it in the name of love. More power to them!