Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are planning a fairytale wedding with a ‘white and classic’ theme when they walk down the aisle in May.
But the American bride-to-be – who is said to be ‘very hands-on’ with the wedding plans – also intends to surprise their guests with some ‘quirky’ elements, according to royal sources.
The Duchess of Cambridge installed an ice cream van and burger stalls at Buckingham Palace for her evening reception in 2011.
Her sister, Pippa Middleton, brought in table tennis tables for her nuptials last year, and played a match with tennis star Roger Federer, who then took on Kate, William and Harry.
Now Harry, 33, and divorcee Meghan, 36, want to have some surprises of their own at Windsor Castle on May 19, although it is not known what they will be.
A palace insider said: ‘Miss Markle has described it as reflecting a fairytale wedding, which, of course, is really what it is.
‘Staff have been struck by how unbelievably happy they are together.
‘They are having huge fun planning this. No one has ever seen Prince Harry quite like it.’
When it comes to food, Harry is following in the footsteps of his father, Prince Charles, with a ‘best of British’ theme.
Charles has long championed home-grown, organic, seasonal produce – which helped him to bond with self-confessed foodie Meghan.
The source added: ‘I wouldn’t be surprised if the menu eventually reflects some of Meghan’s Los Angeles heritage.’
Harry and Meghan have been more involved in the planning of their wedding than most royal couples.
They have made it clear to royal staff that while normal protocol will be respected in terms of seating, invitations and the guest list, they want their nuptials to be a ‘toned-down affair’ rather than one of starchy formality.
The couple are said to want their wedding to mirror their own tastes and personalities instead of the institution of the Royal Family.
One insider said: ‘They want it to be fun and reflective of themselves as a couple and of their family and friends that will be there.
‘It will still very much be a royal wedding – just not a traditional one.’
The Lord Chamberlain’s Office, which is responsible for organising any events on the Queen’s programme that involve such ceremonies, would normally be responsible for a royal wedding, in conjunction with The Master of the Household’s Department, which handles official and private entertaining across all the royal residences.
But Harry and Meghan are also bringing in a team of their own wedding planners, as well as the society caterers Table Talk.
One source told how Miss Markle was taking a ‘very hands-on role with the organising process’, adding: ‘In fact, Harry insisted on it.
‘She’s a woman of great style and taste, a real foodie and, of course, used to run a lifestyle blog, The Tig.
‘She has a very clear idea of what she wants.
‘When the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge got married, Kate knew what she wanted when it came to things such as flowers, cakes decoration and the like.
‘But, overall, she would defer to what the palace wanted in terms of the big picture.
‘Meghan and Harry are very different.’