I remember a lot of things about Prince William and then-Kate Middleton’s engagement. I remember how the Queen had, just a few months before, put her foot down about William’s desire to make Kate his live-in girlfriend while he was living on military property in Anglesey. I remember that we didn’t find out their new married titles until the day of the wedding. But I have no memory of the Queen formally consenting to William and Kate’s marriage? She did so very quietly one week before their wedding, according to the Daily Mail. The Queen has to formally consent to her immediate family members’ marriages, and she does so often enough, sometimes grimly. Well, the Queen has formally consented to Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding… two months before the wedding!
The Queen has given her formal consent to the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. In a letter to the Privy Council, the monarch expressed her approval of the upcoming wedding between her ‘most dearly beloved grandson’ and his fiancee, 36. A similar letter was signed by Her Majesty just one week before the 2011 wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
In it, she consented to the union between ‘Our Most Dearly Beloved Grandson’ and ‘Our Trusty and Well-beloved Catherine Elizabeth Middleton’. However such praise was missing for Prince Harry’s fiancee, who was simply referred to by her birthname, Rachel Meghan Markle.
At a Privy Council meeting on Wednesday, the monarch made the declaration and will have signed a Great Seal of the Realm. It read: ‘I declare My Consent to a Contract of Matrimony between My Most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales and Rachel Meghan Markle, which Consent I am causing to be signified under the Great Seal and to be entered in the Books of the Privy Council.’
The first six people in the line of succession must have the Queen’s consent before they can marry on May 19, as set out by the Succession to the Crown Act 2013. Should Prince Harry have married Meghan without the monarch’s approval, he and his descendants would be banned from ever ascending to the throne. The act’s introduction saw sex removed as a determining factor in the line of succession, meaning Prince Harry is fifth-in-line behind Princess Charlotte. A monarch’s permission has been sought for those in the line of succession since the 18th century. Under the Royal Marriages Act 1772, all descendants of George II had to obtain the sovereign’s agreement before they wed, otherwise the marriage was invalid.
Do you think it means anything that the Queen didn’t use any descriptors for Meghan? Why is Meghan not “trusty” and “well-beloved” huh?? That being said, I think it says *something* that the Queen did her consent announcement so early. You could ask why she waited so long to give her consent to Kate! Anyway, Harry is fifth in line to the throne… right at this very moment. But remember, Kate will give birth to the newest fifth-in-line just a few weeks before Harry marries Meghan. So at the wedding, Harry will already be downgraded to sixth in line.
Update: Oh, okay, the Daily Mail was causing problems where none existed. The timeline is the same – the Queen gives two consents, and this is the first consent, and the timeline matches up with Will and Kate’s consent timeline.
Photos courtesy of WENN, Pacific Coast News.