Millions of Australians will watch Prince Harry marry American actor Meghan Markle on Saturday night near London.
More than two billion people are expected to watch around the world live on TV.
Surprises to watch out for include what the wedding dress looks like, who will walk Ms Markle down the chapel aisle and what titles the Queen will give Prince Harry and Ms Markle as her wedding gift.
The royal wedding will take place at the 500-year-old St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, in England at 9pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST)* in front of about 600 guests.
In addition, more than 2600 other people have been invited to the grounds* of Windsor Castle for an outdoor celebration. About 1200 of these guests will be members of the public chosen for their community or charity work. Another 100 are primary school children from local schools.
Almost all Australia’s TV channels will show the wedding live from either 7pm or 7.30pm.
Prince Harry’s niece Princess Charlotte, 3, and nephew, Prince George, 4, have special roles to play as members of the bridal* party.
Straight after the ceremony, the newlyweds* will ride in a historic carriage* pulled by special Royal carriage horses called Windsor Greys through the village of Windsor for 25 minutes, with hundreds of thousands of people expected to line the streets to watch and wish them well. This is a centuries-old* royal wedding tradition, but in this case there could also be around 50,000 Americans in the crowd who have travelled to Windsor especially for the wedding.
As well as the big outdoor celebration in the Windsor grounds, there are two receptions, or parties: one inside Windsor Castle for the 600 ceremony guests, followed by a more casual party for 200 friends at nearby Frogmore House.
Prince Harry, 33, is the Queen’s grandson. Prince Harry’s father is Prince Charles, the Queen’s heir and the likely next King and Australian head of state. Prince Harry is sixth in line to the throne.
Ms Markle, 36, who grew up in Los Angeles, California, in the US, until recently lived in Canada and is best known for playing the character Rachel Zane in the US TV series Suits.
WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR AT THE WEDDING
- What will Ms Markle’s dress look like and who has made it? Some people think it may be made by Australian designers Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo. People are also looking forward to seeing what Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, who is married to Prince William, will wear.
- Who will walk with Ms Markle down the aisle? Traditionally, the bride’s father does this but Ms Markle’s father, Thomas Markle, is unwell and isn’t attending. Some people think it will be Ms Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland or Prince Harry’s older brother, Prince William.
- What will Prince Harry and Ms Markle be called? The Queen decides this as part of her wedding gift. Some titles come with the gift of land. Available titles include the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Clarence, Connaught, Cumberland, Kendal, Ross, Windsor and Albany. Many people think it will be the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The Queen could also give them Earl and Countess titles.
- Will Ms Markle change her surname? Some women change their surname to their husband’s when they marry. Prince Harry’s surname is Mountbatten-Windsor. But members of the Royal family rarely use their surname, so we’ll most likely just hear her Royal title.
- Ms Markle won’t become Princess Meghan. This only happens if you are born in the Royal family. She could be known as Her Royal Highness, Princess Henry of Wales, because Prince Harry is formally called His Royal Highness, Prince Henry of Wales. Prince Harry’s mother was known as Princess Diana, which was a sort of nickname. Her real title before her divorce from Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, was Diana, Princess of Wales.
Is this the Royal family’s biggest fan?
- AEST: the time in eastern Australian states including Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland
- grounds: gardens
- bridal: belonging to the bride, Ms Markle
- newlyweds: people just married
- carriage: a fancy vehicle pulled by horses
- centuries-old: hundreds of years old
LISTEN TO TODAY’S STORY
- How many people will watch the wedding?
- Who has been invited to the grounds of Windsor for the outdoor celebration?
- Who is Prince George?
- Name two likely people to walk Ms Markle down the aisle.
- What is Prince Harry’s surname?
1. Royal invitation
Design and create an invitation for someone to attend the Royal wedding. Use details from the article to outline where and when the wedding will take place, what time they should arrive, what the dress code is, which reception they are invited to and any other details you feel are important.
As this is an official Royal function, ensure you use formal language on your invitation. You may need to look up how wedding invitations are often written. Present your invitation on coloured card.
Time: Allow 30 minutes
Curriculum links: English, The Arts – Visual Arts
2. Extension: Royal photographer!
Family photos are a tradition at most weddings. Pretend you are the official Royal photographer, draw what you imagine the “Royal Family photograph” will look like after Prince Harry and Ms Markle’s wedding. Draw what Ms Markle’s wedding gown will be like, what you imagine other family members will wear. List the names and Royal title (if known) of each person at the bottom of your “photograph”.
As the “photographer” capture another scene you expect to see at the wedding ceremony or directly after it. Use details from the article to give you an idea or what might happen. You will need to predict some details as well. An example could be Prince Harry and Ms Markle in the horse-drawn carriage or the Queen arriving at the chapel.
Time: Allow 20 minutes
Curriculum links: English, The Arts – Visual Arts
Extra Resources: Examples of wedding invitations (if possible), paper, card to create invitation
After reading the article, with a partner, highlight as many pieces of punctuation as you can find in green. Discuss how these are being used, where and how often. What level of the punctuation pyramid is the journalist using in this article?
IN ONE SENTENCE, TELL US WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT THIS STORY
Please do not use one-word answers. Explain what you enjoyed or found interesting about the article. Use lots of adjectives.