Magazine Scans > People – January 8 2018
Magazine Scans > People – January 8 2018
As 2017 wraps up, the changing of the guard is clear in royal circles as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle toss out the traditional play book. With the release of three stunning new photos on Dec. 21 that look more like Hollywood movie stills than official palace portraits, the engaged couple demonstrated yet again that they are writing their own rules. Harry, a source tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story, is “cock-a-hoop” at the prospect of their life together. (Translation: Deliriously happy.)
As they plan their May 19 wedding, Harry, 33, and Meghan, 36, are “leading the planning process for all aspects,” their spokesman says — with their own unique touch.
The pair are set to wed at St. George’s Chapel on the grounds of Windsor Castle with the blessing of Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. That would have been unthinkable in the past: Elizabeth’s uncle, Edward VIII, abdicated the throne to marry the twice-divorced Wallis Simpson. (Like Simpson, Markle is also American and divorced.)
“We are a very much multi-cultural, multi-colored, multi-faith society these days,” says Penny Junor, Harry’s biographer. “Lots of people in Britain were born in other countries and having a royal family reflect that is very helpful. The fact that she is mixed race, a divorcée, a career woman and not a member of the British aristocracy is all very positive for the future of the monarchy, and for it to be seen to be relevant to society today.”
Palace courtiers who have met Meghan (including at the annual staff party at Windsor Castle) note she has lots of new ideas. “She is smart and well-liked,” one staffer tells PEOPLE.
On Christmas Day, the couple delighted the crowds outside church. (And Meghan even proved a pro with her first curtsy before the Queen!)
Early in the new year, the couple will continue planning for their big day, including Meghan’s baptism into the Church of England. Earlier this month, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said the couple has a “profound sense of commitment” about their life together.
Every year, on the Wednesday before Christmas, the Queen holds a pre-Christmas lunch at the palace, and it’s one of the more entertaining of the traditional royal events because, instead of seeing posed photos from inside the event, we only get a bunch of paparazzi shots of the various royals in their cars making their way into the palace. It’s sort of like the royal version of those photos taken of people as they careen down the track on an amusement park ride.
And this year’s photos are even more notable than they have been other years, as the event was attended by Meghan Markle. Markle, who is set to marry Prince Harry in May, presumably met many of the extended-family royals for the first time today, as more than 50 royals lunched with the Queen.
Markle wore a “high-necked lace dress” from the label Self-Portrait. She accompanied the look with some diamond drop earrings.
Engagements Christmas Lunch At Buckingham Palace – December 20 2017
Christmas with the future in-laws may not seem out of the ordinary, but for the royal family, it’s a total break in tradition.
This holiday season, Meghan Markle will become the first royal fiancée to spend Christmas Day with the royal family — making her the exception to traditional protocol. Prince William and Kate Middleton, for example, spent Christmas apart, despite announcing their engagement in November 2010.
But what Harry asks, the Queen is likely to grant. A family friend has told PEOPLE, “If Harry asks for something, the Queen would say yes as she adores him.”
From hand-holding to private meetings with the Queen, Meghan has blazed her own path since entering Prince Harry’s world last year. While there’s no official rule restricting PDA, royals usually refrain from holding hands while on official engagements. But Meghan and Harry don’t hold back when it comes to showing their affection for one another.