Sure, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their royal engagement way back in November, but according to a new royal decree, Harry’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, didn’t actually give her blessing until Wednesday.
That’s right, months after the pair made their debut together on the steps of Kensington, the Queen finally provided her official blessing for the union. In a declaration her Majesty wrote:
I Declare my Consent to the 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.”
Not only is this royal declaration adorable, especially when she calls Harry her “most dearly beloved grandson,” but it’s also an excellent reminder of an important fact: Harry’s real name is Henry and Meghan’s real first name is Rachel.
This declaration is similar to the one the Queen signed for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton back in 2011. Though then, she wrote, ''Our Most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales, K.G. and Our Trusty and Well-beloved Catherine Elizabeth Middleton.” Maybe she’s just not there yet with Rachel, we mean Meghan, so she doesn’t want to declare her “Trusty and Well-beloved” just yet.
And though the declaration may seem silly to commoners, it’s actually against the law for a British royal to marry without it. According to The Telegraph, “Under the Royal Marriages Act 1772, all descendants of George II must obtain the sovereign's agreement before they wed, otherwise the marriage is invalid.”
Prince Harry and Meghan are set to walk down this aisle on May 19 in a relatively small ceremony (by royal standards) at St George’s Chapel, an intimate church nestled inside the walls of Windsor castle. There, in front of a few hundred friends (and with a few thousand adoring fans waiting outside) they will say “I do.” But will Harry and Meghan take their vows, or Henry and Rachel? Only time will tell.