The Queen has formally consented to Prince Harry & Meghan Markle’s wedding

Commonwealth Day 2018 at Westminster Abbey

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.

[From The Daily Mail]

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.

2018 Commonwealth Day service

Photos courtesy of WENN, Pacific Coast News.

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54 Responses to “The Queen has formally consented to Prince Harry & Meghan Markle’s wedding”

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  1. Maria F. says:

    It makes sense to me. At the end of the day the Queen hardly knows Meghan, so why should she use adjectives that would belie their short acquaintance. I would find that stranger.

    • FLORC says:

      Queen hardly knew Kate. MM has already had tea with Meghan and been allowed in several family events. The article was to stir the pit, but there’s some logic there. If only to suggest Meghan has impressed enough to be so accepted this early on. And I mean early as in relation to Kate.
      There’s the protocol. And there’s human nature or rather how it’s done privately. They get how actions are perceived.

  2. whatever says:

    The Privy Council consent for William and Kate’s marriage was done in February 2011 – 2 months before the wedding (just like this one). There must be different 2 types of consent as this one didn’t have “‘Our Trusty and Well-beloved” for Kate. The other one did.

    • nic919 says:

      The wording for the privy council letters are the same for both couples. The charter wording is different and it is likely that they use the same when it is issued for Harry and Meghan. The Daily Mail has it wrong again.

    • hope says:

      Will and Kate’s consent was much more elaborate. I guess fitting, seeing as William is the heir.

      • Jennifer says:

        Nic is correct. Both privy councils letters have same. wording. W&K issued Feb 2011, H&M March 2018.
        The more elaborate Charter was issued a week prior to W&Ks wedding & that’s where Kate is so described. Expect same for H&M a week prior to their wedding

        Unfair on both Meghan & The Queen, As absolutely no difference in how HM has described Kate & Meghan thus far.

  3. Domino says:

    Trusty and well-beloved reminds me of Benedict Cumberbatch describing his wife Sophie! I guess highest praise from Brits is to be like a dog, which actually seems sweeter coming from the Queen than Benedict.

    • Skylark says:

      ‘Trusty and well-beloved’ is funny, isn’t it! It sounds more like something fitting for the retirement of an old and loyal retainer with long years of service eg. a butler or a gardener or a footman, rather than the young woman Kate was at the time.

  4. Lexa says:

    https://privycouncil.independent.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/website-list-9-feb-2011.pdf

    She gave her original consent for William and Kate in the February 2011 meeting and that didn’t have “trusty and beloved.” I think that bit came with the more formal declaration…? https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/royal-wedding/8465846/Queen-reveals-formal-consent-to-beloved-grandson-William-and-trusty-Catherine.html

  5. Millenial says:

    I feel like there’s some shade there? She didn’t have to use the same adjectives, but she should have used something – charming, steadfast, etc… just SOMETHING.

    I really hope the Queen isn’t a racist old meany like her husband.

    • Loopy says:

      Like someone said up top..maybe because she knew Kate for ten years so that’s is quite a significant difference.

      • Drea says:

        The documents for the consent wording are the same. The more formal document won’t be released into a week before wedding, that is when Kate was referred to as beloved and trustworthy. Until then No Shade

      • notasugarhere says:

        As said many times on here, two different documents. There will be a second one closer to the wedding which *might* include descriptors.

        HM didn’t know Kate Middleton for 10 years. W&K admitted in their engagement interview that KM met the Queen (on her own) at Peter and Autumn Phillips’ wedding in 2008. William had ditched KM to handle this on her own, because he was at Jecca’s brother’s wedding instead of this family one.

      • FLORC says:

        Nota
        But Kate didn’t actually meet the queen. She was in close physical proximity, but in how there’s a meet, greet, polite conversation… That did not happen. Not like being invited to tea.

        I think there’s more shade there than anywhere. MM got tea. Kate after a near decade of dating got proximity. Not a shot at her. This is in reference to how the queen acted. She knows what she’s doing.

        P.s. how many titles you think MM Will get after a year of marriage? Not the ones given just because, but the ones earned.

      • notasugarhere says:

        They did meet and “chat”, it was admitted in the W&K engagement interview. William left her to face that alone. No where near what Harry did for Meghan, taking her to tea with his grandmother to introduce them himself.

        Not sure I understand the title question? She cannot earn any herself, she will only have a title in association with whatever titles Harry has. She’ll be Princess Henry of Wales if no other title is given to Harry at the time of the wedding.

        When/if she earns HM’s Royal Order or is given a Royal Victorian Order? We’ll have to see. I don’t expect her to be given a Royal Order right away. Diana was at 18 months and she was the hard-working wife of the heir not the 6th in line. Camilla at two years of marriage. Sophie at 5 years of marriage, but only two official years as working royal.

        I think HM handed out her personal orders quickly early on, in gratitude that her cousins and cousin’s wives were helping her out so much early in her reign. Princess Alexandra (1952), Duchess of Kent (1961, around the time of their marriage), Duchess of Gloucester (1973, a year after their marriage and after Richard’s older brother died suddenly then his father. Their lives were turned upside down).

        HM won’t award her personal order to Meghan before she gives one to Kate Middleton, even if she felt it was deserved. She isn’t unaware of what it signifies and she’d not going to allow that kind of gossip to be kicked around. She might end up awarding one to Meghan sooner in their marriage than she does for KM, but Meghan wouldn’t be wearing that yellow ribbon before Kate has one.

    • hope says:

      Yess! HM is soo racist for not using any adjectives to describe Meghan!

      Sarcasm, obviously. But very telling that it’s the first thing you thought of..

    • whitepolkadot says:

      There is no shade, the DM just compared two different documents.
      The wording for the privy council letters are the same for both couples and only in the more elaborate charter Kate was described as “trusty and beloved”. Since that charter isn’t released for H&M yet, we don’t know what adjectives the Queen chose for Meghan (but I bet it was also something like trusty and beloved).

  6. Loopy says:

    Has the Queen ever refused to give her consent..now that be embarassing.

    • Hazel says:

      Yes, to her sister, Princess Margaret, when she wanted to marry Group Captain Peter Townsend.

    • LAK says:

      Margaret and Townsend. And we know where that led……..

    • Tan says:

      I doubt anyone goea ahead with wedding planning in that family without her unofficial thumbs up. There is a lot of money at stake to risk it.

      Beside, who wouldn’t want their grandparents to know and like their significant other and happily agree to the match

      • ladida says:

        I wonder what kind of prenups they sign, anyone know?

      • LAK says:

        Ladida: prenups aren’t legally binding in the UK, but also they are a relatively new thing in terms of how they are used here.

        Thst said, there are non-negotiables like the monarch being the legal guardian of any royal children in the line of succession until they are of legal age. A loophole exists because their children are in the great-grandchildren generation, but it is closed the minute Charles becomes King and everyone moves up a step.

        Using the Diana / Fergie Anne divorces as precedents, the incoming spouse is not entitled to anything except the personal wealth / salary of the royal in question. The royal family trusts and duchies are off limits. Ditto any taxpayer annuity. Great for Diana because Charles had several Millions (and borrowed from mummy) in the bank, but not so great for Fergie and Mark.

        Mark received a generous settlement by default because he was able to live on Anne’s estate, but i suspect she had a stake in the business he was running out of the yard.

        Fergie’s settlement was based on Andrew’s naval salary.

        I suspect William and Harry’s Diana money is considered personal which means Kate and MM can negotiate on the basis of those trusts, but they won’t touch their royal family trusts.

        Ditto Eugenie’s fiance Jack.

      • ladida says:

        Thank you LAK! I assume it’s pretty iron clad. A) the royals have a lot of experience with divorce and b) Are keen to protect the family at all cost.

      • LAK says:

        Ladida: The non-negotiables are ironclad. Most are in line with peerage law which isn’t always the same as regular law. Most divorced spouses rely on the goodwill of the peer rather than the law because it is designed to protect the peer more than the exiting person.

        You may enjoy the luxurious lifestyle and bottomless pit of money during marriage, but come the divorce, you are out on your nelly and whatever a good lawyer can squeeze out of your hubby which isn’t much considering most of it is off limits to begin with.

      • Princessk says:

        @LAK…”bottomless pit of money during marriage”…hardly, that is really an exaggeration. Most of the royals are very frugal in their day to day life, and choose quality over quantity. Charles and William often complain about the cost of things. Many of the tedious palace meetings are constantly about discussing cost cutting and tightening ones belt. Of course there have been members of the RF who were recklessly extravagant and had to be bailed out, and we know who they were. But Harry does not seem the type to flash the cash or enjoy wallowing in luxury, and Meghan doesn’t really seem that type, even though she may like nice things, and she knows the value of money. Bottomless pit? I can hear the royals roaring with laughter, if only.

      • notasugarhere says:

        I think LAK was referencing aristocratic marriages and divorces in general, not royal-specific.

        4 million a year to support W&K plus her million in wardrobe over the last 7 years. William whined for years to get discounts and freebie vacations – even part of why he repurposed Diana’s ring IMO.

        William is a known skinflint when it comes to spending his own personal money, but he has no qualms about how much of taxpayer money he wastes.

      • LAK says:

        PrincessK: What nota said.

        Also, surely “bottomless pit of money” is obviously hyperbole because there is no such thing. Not even for billionaires.

  7. ladida says:

    I remember the “trusty” Catherine thing…I always found it a bit odd. I think she meant she didn’t crack in spite of William’s shenanigans and break-ups over the years. She could easily have sold her story to multiple outlets, especially if she thought it was REALLY over at any point. I must say, Kate was more mature and composed during the waity years than I would have been.

  8. Sequinedheart says:

    The Daily Fail are perpetuating a narrative that the Queen like Kate better.
    She likes her grandsons. the end!

  9. Lainey says:

    There are two consents given. This one and and the charter which is the colourful one which included the “Our Trusty and Well-beloved Catherine Elizabeth Middleton” comment. The wording for these documents is identical for everybody excpet the names. When the charter is released for Harry and Meghan beofre their wedding Meghan will be described the same as Kate.

  10. Upstatediva says:

    Thanks, Lexa, for the real news, sans DF shenanigans! We can see if Meghan gets the “trusted” imprint in May!

  11. Talie says:

    I think LaineyGossip was right in saying that adjectives are probably more about distinguishing Kate as a future Queen.

  12. LAK says:

    The timing of the consents depends on the timing of the engagements relative to the biannual meetings of the privy council.

    The two meetings take place in November and in February assuming Britain has no urgent business requiring urgent privy council authorisation.

    Often it appears that consent is rushed out because the official engagement takes place ahead of each meeting and can be given almost immediately.

    As for the wording, there is a second more elaborately written certificate that describes the brides in effusive terms. That will come later. The DM is comparing the later effusive certificate with the initial boringly written charter consent.

  13. Rumi says:

    This is insane. These rules are silly. But I guess this is the way the Family Firm works, you got to take it warts and all.

    • Keepitreal says:

      Ms. Markle could always walk away if she agrees with your assessment. Figure she’s just fine with the “insanity”.

  14. SlightlyAnonny says:

    So, I should probably google this but could it have something to do with Meghan not being a subject of the Queen where Kate was? I think you’d have to compare this consent to Autumn Phillips…but wait she’s Canadian and her hubby is not in line for the throne. I read it as Kate was a trusty and well-beloved subject because all of Madge’s subjects are trusty and well beloved. Shrug. Who knows?

    • LAK says:

      Peter Philips is currently no 13 in the line of succession. In 2008 when he married Autumn, he would have been at no 11 in the line of succession. However, as he isn’t considered a senior royal, now or then, his seeking and getting consent for his marriage wouldn’t have been made public.

      The royal marriages act was revised in 2013 such that consent is required for only the top 6 royals.

  15. Erika says:

    I have so many questions about titles in this situation, I hope someone here might be willing to help me. I read above that if Harry does not receive (or accept?) another title, Megan would be Princess Henry of Wales. Is this because Harry’s father is the Prince of Wales? Or is this normal for a non-heir son? For example, if Andrew didn’t receive a title, would Fergie have been Prince Andrew of Wales? I’m guessing no…because of the Prince of Wales thing, but I’m not sure. If Andrew didn’t get a title, what would Fergie have been known as? Also, if Megan is Prince Henry of Wales would that change when (if) Charles becomes king and William becomes Prince of Wales? Or does it stay the same? Sorry, this is a lot of questions! I’m really curious, hopefully someone here is nice enough to explain :)

    • So Cal says:

      I’ll try my best:

      If Harry declined a dukedom or earldom, Meghan would indeed be called “Princess Henry of Wales. ” Prior to marriage and getting the dukedom of Cambridge, Prince William was called “Prince William of Wales” and Kate could’ve been “Princess William of Wales” had he declined a dukedom. Prince William’s son, George, is titled “Prince George of Cambridge. ”

      If Prince Andrew did not receive the dukedom of York, Fergie would not have been called “Princess Andrew of Wales” because Andrew is not the son of Prince Charles who is the current Prince of Wales, only William and Harry are. Fergie would’ve been called, “Princess Andrew” or the “Princess Andrew of Edinburgh” because his mother, the Queen, was given the title “Duchess of Edinburgh” by her father King George VI when she married Prince Philip. But since Andrew does have a dukedom, Fergie was titled “Duchess of York” and their daughters are Princess Beatrice of York and Princess Eugenie of York.

      When Charles is king and if Meghan is titled “Princess Henry of Wales,” her title would stay the same.

      However, for Prince William, he would get the duchy of Cornwall from his father and be called, the “Duke of Cambridge and Cornwall. ” And now I’m confused as to what Prince George would be titled, lol.

      • So Cal says:

        I was still trying to edit my last paragraph, lol.

        When Charles is king, William will be Prince of Wales but not be called that, maybe. He would be inheriting the duchy of Cornwall from Charles and be called the “Duke of Cambridge and Cornwall.” And if Prince George is not married when Charles becomes king, he would be “Prince George of Cambridge and Cornwall.”

        This same situation happened with King George V. He had four titles during his lifetime: Before marriage “Prince George of Wales” as the son of the Prince of Wales, Edward (Queen Victoria’s first son). After marriage “Duke of York.” When father, Edward, became king, “Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall and York. And when he became king himself “King George V.”

      • A says:

        @SoCal, iirc, George V wasn’t officially invested with the title Prince of Wales for up to a year after his father came to the throne. George and Mary went on tour and everything, but only as Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York. He was Prince of Wales, but just not officially given the title just yet.

  16. Elise says:

    The form “trusty and well-beloved” is used by The Queen in reference to a peer of a particular rank.

    The Lords Temporal are ranked as Duke, Marquess, Earl, Viscount, and Baron. This is how the Queen refers to each one in the Letters Patent that create them:

    Duke: “right trusty and right entirely beloved cousin”
    Marquess: “right trusty and entirely beloved cousin”
    Earl: “right trusty and entirely beloved cousin”
    Viscount: “right trusty and well-beloved cousin”
    Baron: “trusty and well-beloved cousin”

    Wikipedia has some useful information at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letters_patent#Form_of_British_letters_patent_creating_peers on this, with, thank heavens, references (always a good idea, as Wikipedia is not always reliable). The “cousin” thing dates back to the Middle Ages and before, when all the nobility was related anyway, so they might as well be called Cousin by the monarch.

    So in the Consent for William and Catherine, Catherine was referred to in the same way as the lowest order of nobility, a Baron(ess).

    • Princessk says:

      @Elise….I love history and tradition, very interesting and quite fascinating, there is always something new to learn about royals and the aristocracy.

  17. TrixieDustin1990 says:

    Kappa Kappa Gamma… Visa Visa Mastercard. ;)

  18. huckle says:

    This American loves it!

  19. Deedee says:

    We’re getting closer to the wedding!

  20. minx says:

    It has been such a chilly, dreary late winter where I am, bad news all the time. I’m ready for a beautiful happy spring wedding.

  21. Princessk says:

    Yaay!!