In the run-up to their wedding, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have requested that any well-wishers make a donation to one of seven charities they have specially selected, rather than send a congratulatory gift.
However, a new report by the Sunday Times has revealed that Harry and Meghan haven’t actually done away altogether with the traditional gift list: instead, they have a private list with member’s club Soho House, which has only been shared with their closest friends and family.
The couple’s decision to place their wedding list at Soho House is hardly a surprising one. Meghan is, after all, close friends with Markus Anderson, the brand’s global membership director; her first date with Harry was reportedly at Dean Street Townhouse, one of Soho House’s London outposts, and her hen party apparently took place at Soho Farmhouse in the Cotswolds (it’s even been reported that the couple are house-hunting in the vicinity of the latter).
When the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge tied the knot in 2011, they opted for a similar tactic, inviting well-wishers to donate to charities while also opening up a ‘secret’ wedding list for friends and family.
According to the Times, items on the Soho House wedding list include a ‘cinema armchair’ in green mohair for a mere £2,495, a ‘cosy emperor bed’ for £2,095 and a vintage-style ‘brass oval bar cart’ for £1,300.
At the cheaper end of the spectrum are Soho House’s Cowshed branded bath and shower gel (£18) or perhaps some LED lightbulbs at £13.
‘When Prince Charles and Diana got married they received more than 6,000 gifts from the public. Kate and William set up the charity list so the good will of the public could be put to good use,’ a source told the Times back in 2011. ‘But they’re also furnishing two homes. So certain guests will be told about the existence of the list.’
According to that source, the Cambridges’ list featured ‘nothing particularly extravagant […] just regular things to help them fill the sparsely decorated cottage in Anglesey,’ where they lived before moving on to Anmer Hall and Kensington Palace.
Here's exactly what will happen on the day of the royal wedding, from guest arrivals to the carriage procession...
9:30am: Wedding guests begin to arrive
Wedding guests will begin to arrive – by coach, no less – from 9.30am until 11am, and will walk over to the South Door of St George's Chapel. Prepare to spot assorted Suits stars, Priyanka Chopra, Jessica Mulroney and the Beckhams.
11:20am: The royal family arrive in Windsor
Keep your eyes peeled from 11.20am as members of the Royal Family start to arrive at the Chapel, some on foot, others by car.
11:45am: Harry and William will arrive together
Prince Harry will arrive at St George's Chapel by foot, accompanied by his best man the Duke of Cambridge, and will enter via the West Steps. Here, they'll take the time to greet the members of the public gathered in the Castle precinct, including the charity representatives positioned at the Horseshoe Cloister (just outside the Chapel).
11:50am: Meghan will travel to Windsor Castle with her mother
At around the same time, Meghan and her mother, Doria, will leave their overnight location and travel to the Castle by car, passing through the Long Walk where members of the public are expected to gather. They'll briefly stop at the Castle, allowing Doria to travel on to the Chapel while Meghan is joined by bridesmaids and page boys ahead of her big entrance to the Chapel.
12pm: Meghan walks down the aisle
After Thomas Markle confirmed that he would no longer be walking his daughter down the aisle, having suffered a heart attack last week, it's assumed that Doria will accompany her daughter.
12pm: The wedding service begins
The wedding service itself will take about an hour, with a full order of service set to be unveiled to the public on Saturday morning. We already know that Lady Jane Fellowes, Harry's aunt and the elder sister of the late Princess of Wales will give the reading. All three of Diana's siblings will attend the ceremony, and Harry and Meghan have expressed happiness that they'll be able to celebrate her memory on the day.
1pm: The couple will greet charity representatives
Once they've officially tied the knot, the first thing that Harry and Meghan will do is to greet the 200 representatives from Prince Harry's chosen charities, who'll be gathered in the Horseshoe Cloister. In doing so, the couple are acknowledging how important these organisations will be in their future work; according to the Palace, they are 'delighted that these people who will be such an important part of their official work in the years to come will be the first people they see after the wedding.'
1:05pm: The carriage procession
Then, close family members will gather on the Chapel's steps to wave the couple off, as it's time for Harry and Meghan to step into their carriage (that's the same Ascot Landau that Pippa Middleton rode in at Will and Kate's wedding, in case you needed a refresher) and embark on a 25-minute procession around the castle and town. Hopefully neither of them have previous history with RSI, because all that royal waving could get very tiring. Meghan and Harry's guests will then file out of the church to catch the start of the carriage procession, before heading on to St George's Hall for the reception.
7pm: The couple head to Frogmore House
For all the national excitement, the wedding is a private event, and after the carriage procession, there won't be much left for us to see. The last thing that we'll be able to catch will be the moment that the bride and groom leave the Castle for Frogmore House, where the evening reception will take place.