Harry and Meghan wedding - latest Palace statement in full
Here is the written statement issued by Prince Harry's communication's secretary:
“Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are extremely grateful for the warm public response following yesterday’s announcement of their engagement. In a happy moment in their lives, it means a great deal to them that so many people throughout the UK, the Commonwealth, and around the world are celebrating with them.
The couple are delighted to be able to announce that their wedding will be held in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle in May next year. As with all members of the royal family, Windsor is a very special place for Prince Harry and he and Ms Markle have regularly spent time there over the last year and a half. They are grateful to the Queen for granting permission for the use of the chapel. The chapel itself has centuries of Royal tradition and hosted the weddings of many members of the royal family. Prince Harry and Ms Markle are delighted that the beautiful grounds of Windsor Castle will be where they begin their lives together as a married couple.
The couple of course want the day to be a special, celebratory moment for their friends and family. They also want the day to be shaped so as to allow members of the public to feel part of the celebrations too and are currently working through ideas for how this might be achieved. This wedding, like all weddings, will be a moment of fun and joy that will reflect the characters of the bride and groom.
Prince Harry and Ms Markle are leading the planning process for all aspects of the wedding. We look forward to sharing these details with you in the months ahead as decisions are made. As was the case with the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the royal family will pay for the core aspects of the wedding, such as the church service, the associated music, flowers, decorations, and the reception afterwards.
I am also very happy to announce that the couple will undertake their first official engagements together this Friday when they visit Nottingham. Prince Harry has spent a significant amount of time in the city both publicly and privately since he first met with young people there in 2013 when he was exploring issues around youth violence. He established the Full Effect programme through The Royal Foundation the next year and is proud of the friendships and partnerships he has built there. His Royal Highness is looking forward to introducing Ms Markle to a community that has become very special to him.
Their day will begin with a civic welcome at the National Justice Museum followed by a walkabout where they will be able to greet members of the public as a couple for the first time. Prince Harry and Ms Markle will then visit the Nottingham Contemporary, an international art centre, where they will join a celebration for World Aids Day hosted by the Terrence Higgins Trust. It will be an upbeat, fun event that will highlight the work to smash stigma that can still exist around HIV in the Midlands.
The couple will then visit Nottingham Academy where Full Effect mentors have been working with young people to provide positive role models and help them through difficult situations, such as the transition to secondary school. During the visit to the school, they will meet with a number of Full Effect partners, including Chantelle Stefanovic who recently travelled with Prince Harry to the Summit of the Obama Foundation in Chicago. They will view a performance of the Hip Hopera created by young people working with Full Effect partners, the Community Recording Studio, and will also have a chance to say hello to many of the students there before departure. Ms Markle cannot wait to meet many of the young people Prince Harry has told her so much about.”