Queen gives permission for Prince Harry to marry Meghan Markle
Well, that’s a relief – Queen Elizabeth has given her formal consent to the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
The British monarch has issued a declaration consenting “to a Contract of Matrimony between My Most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales and Rachel Meghan Markle.”
The prince, fifth in line to the British throne, and the American actress are to marry on May 19 at Windsor Castle.
Rachel is the name listed on Markle’s legal documents, such as her American passport, so that was the name the queen had to use in her formal consent declaration.
The same goes for the prince, whose given name is Henry - a traditional royal name - but has been called “Harry” since his birth 33 years ago.
Markle has always been called Meghan, even before she started working as an actress, so that is the name she will be known as once she marries Harry at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
The queen is expected, as per tradition, to grant Harry a new title the day of the wedding; most royal observers believe it will be Duke of Sussex, so his wife will be HRH Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.
Alongside the declaration, which was made public Thursday, the queen signed an Instrument of Consent, a formal notice of approval, transcribed in calligraphy and issued under the Great Seal of the Realm.
The queen had already given her private consent to the marriage months ago; the couple would not have announced their engagement in November without it.
But this formal proclamation, officially signed by the monarch under “The Great Seal of the Realm,” is required by British law on the royal succession, most of which is about 300 years old but was updated in 2013.
Harry is among a handful of senior royals who must seek the monarch’s permission to marry or have their descendants disqualified from succession to the crown.