Queen Elizabeth II has literally given her seal of approval to the upcoming royal wedding by signing the official Instrument of Consent. Kensington Palace released photos of the formal handwritten document this weekend, showing that she granted permission for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to marry.
"NOW KNOW YE that We have consented and do by these Presents signify Our Consent to the contracting of Matrimony between Our Most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales, K.C.V.O., and Rachel Meghan Markle," the declaration reads.
In case you're wondering, (just like her Suits character!) although it's unknown why she goes by Meghan. : Henry. The designation K.C.V.O. refers to Prince Harry's knighthood by the Queen and stands for Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order. Since he's sixth in line to the throne, he still had to obtain formal permission from the Queen to marry under the Succession to the Crown Act.
Besides the elaborate calligraphy, the notice also includes representative of the bride and groom. For Prince Harry and the royal family, the Crown Office's artists chose the red dragon, the heraldic symbol of Wales, seen on the left-hand side. The rose, thistle, and shamrock represent England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland respectively. The three tiny red escallops (another term for scallop) come from Prince Harry's label and pay homage to the .
The design also honors Meghan Markle and her native country on the right-hand side with a rose, the national flower of the United States, and golden poppies, the state flower of her birthplace, California. (Underneath the rose is a Welsh leek with Harry's label.) The olive branches at the bottom of the emblem also came from the Great Seal of the United States.
The Queen signed the document herself. Her signature — Elizabeth R. — stands for Elizabeth Regina, meaning queen. The Instrument is also sealed with the Great Seal of the Realm, attached to the bottom of the document by woven cords.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will receive this historic notice after their wedding as a gift. They're also rumored to receive a joint coat of arms after their May 19th nuptials, according to royal correspondent .
Some fans of the royal family couldn't help but compare the document to Prince William and Kate Middleton's Instrument of Consent, especially since the Queen called the bride "trusty and well-beloved" but neglected to say the same for Markle.
While it may seem like a snub, royal reporter Emily Nash clarified that there's a specific reason behind the omission. "For anyone wondering why Meghan is not described as 'most trusty and well-beloved' like Kate was, it's because that term is only used for citizens of Britain or the Queen's overseas Realms," . "Meghan is not yet a British citizen." Fair enough!
The royal wedding will take place this Saturday, May 19th at Windsor Castle near London. American viewers can tune in for the ceremony at 7 a.m. ET on most major channels or stream the festivities online. here.
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