After weeks of speculation as to how events will actually play out on May 19th, it’s as if Kensington Palace have answered our prayers: the royal press team has released a briefing breaking down exactly what will happen on the day of the royal wedding, and it’s about as in-depth as we could have ever hoped. Ticking off all of our lingering questions – will Meghan’s father walk her down the aisle? Yes! Will she have a maid of honour? No, she has too many friends and simply couldn’t choose! – and providing an itinerary so thorough it even tells us which entrances and exits Harry and co will be using, it’s almost unprecedented in its detail. Is it overkill? To a cynic, maybe, but it’s certainly satisfies our inherent nosiness when it comes to all things relating to royal pomp and circumstance…
From the first arrivals to our last glimpse of the newlyweds, here’s what you can expect on May 19th. Adjust your viewing schedules accordingly...
What time is the royal wedding?
The ceremony itself - which will be conducted by Reverend Michael Bruce Curry, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church and the Reverend David Conner, the Dean of Windsor, with the vows read by Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury - will start at 12pm, and will last for around an hour. Immediately afterwards, the happy couple will embark on a carriage ride around Windsor, which will take 25 minutes.
Plan your viewing schedule with our royal wedding timeline...
what will happen at the royal wedding - Grazia
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.'
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.
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.