Unless you've been under a rock for the past few weeks, you've heard the news: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are engaged! And guess what? It's going to be a short engagement. The couple has officially announced that their wedding will take place on May 19, 2018.
People (and by people I mean media outlets) are acting like a lot of my friends did when I announced that Taylor and I were planning our wedding in just 4.5 months—surprised. Royal Expert (seriously, what a cool job title?) Kate Nicholls was recently quoted by ET as saying the following about Harry + Meghan's 6-month engagement: "...this is really a whirlwind by royal standards."
Now I'm no Royal Expert, but I still have to ask...is it really a whirlwind? Because according to my Googling, short engagements are actually kind of a par-for-the-course thing when it comes to the royal family. Let's take a look, shall we?
Prince Harry + Meghan Markle
Engaged: November 27, 2017
Wedding Date: May 19, 2018
Total Engagement Length: 6 months
Several reasons were given for Prince Harry's short engagement, but this one really stood out to me: "One of the reasons that Prince Harry has wanted this wedding to happen quite quickly...is because his 96-year-old grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, is retired now and Prince Harry really wants him to be at his wedding,” says Nicholl. “He's incredibly close to his grandfather and, being 96, Harry thought it was a great thing to [have] the wedding sooner rather than later, so his grandfather could be there, fit and healthy.” So sweet and considerate, and also right in line with what we talked about in this blog post!
Prince William + Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge
Engaged: November 2010
Wedding Date: April 29, 2011
Total Engagement Length: 5 months
As heir to the throne, Prince William's wedding to Kate Middleton was perfect, lavish, and in all likelihood much larger in scale than Prince Harry's wedding will be. And yet somehow these two + their presumably massive team of event planning experts managed to pull the whole thing off following an even shorter engagement timeline than Prince Harry's. Something to think about.
Charles, Prince of Wales + Princess Diana
Engaged: February 1981
Wedding Date: July 29, 1981
Total Engagement Length: 4.5 months
Both Prince Harry and Prince William followed in the footsteps of their parents, Prince Charles and the forever-remembered Princess Diana, who exchanged vows after just a 5-month engagement. Both princes have also chosen to incorporate their mother's memory into their marriages in touching, deeply personal ways—Prince William proposed with his mother's sapphire engagement ring, while Prince Harry designed Meghan Markle's ring using stones from Diana's collection.
Queen Elizabeth II + Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Engaged: July 9, 1947
Wedding Date: November 20, 1947
Total Engagement Length: Less than 5 months
Um, hello. We are talking about the reigning and beloved Queen of England, and guess what? History and her Wikipedia page both tell us that she said "I do" to Prince Philip faster than any of her esteemed descendants—just 4.5 months after accepting his proposal!
I'll stop tracing the royal family's wedding tree there, because I think you get the point I'm trying to make. Prince Harry will have a short engagement, just like his royal brother, father, and grandmother did before him. And if a royal wedding—one that requires pomp, circumstance, and the most formal-of-the-formal invitations, traditions, and regulations—can be perfectly executed in 6 months or less, yours can too. No whirlwind required!
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I enjoyed this historical look at royal weddings. The Crown series has me hooked.