Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have revealed details about their forthcoming wedding.
Kensington Palace released an update on the wedding at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, which takes place on May 19, the same day as the FA Cup final.
After some speculation that the service could clash with the match, the palace said the wedding will begin at midday, meaning this scenario is unlikely, as recent finals have kicked off at 5.30pm.
The couple are “hugely grateful for the many good wishes they have received since announcing their engagement,” the palace said.
“They are very much looking forward to the day and to being able to share their celebrations with the public.”
Information released included the ceremony time and confirmation that Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, will marry the couple.
The Right Rev David Conner, the dean of Windsor, will conduct the service in the Castle’s 15th-century chapel.
The service will last an hour, beginning at 12pm and finishing by 1pm, Kensington Palace confirmed.
At 1pm, the newlyweds will embark on a carriage procession along a route including Castle Hill, High Street, Sheet Street, Kings Road, Albert Road, Long Walk and Windsor Castle.
“They hope this short journey will provide an opportunity for more people to come together around Windsor and to enjoy the atmosphere of this special day,” the palace said.
After the service, there will be a reception at St George’s Hall for the couple and guests from the congregation. Harry and Markle will join their guests when they return from the carriage procession.
St George's Hall, which is next to St George's Chapel, is often used for glittering state banquets. Previous guests have included former French president Nicolas Sarkozy and Irish President Michael D Higgins. The spectacular hall, which measures 180ft long, can seat 160 people at dinner. Laying the 175ft table - which dates back to 1846 - can take staff two days, with a 4,000-piece 'grand service' traditionally used.
Later that evening, the Prince of Wales will give a private evening reception for the couple and their close friends and family.
The evening is being broken into two parts: An 'informal' dinner for around 350, where more speeches will be heard, followed by what is likely to be a boozy reception with a whisky bar for 550-600 in the evening, a royal source has said.
The dinner will be for the couple's wider circle of friends – including, potentially, many of Meghan's fellow cast members from US legal drama Suits – as well as those who could not attend the official ceremony earlier during the day.
It is understood that only Miss Markle's closest family will attend – meaning that her half brother and sister, Thomas and Samantha Markle, who have repeatedly criticised her, are unlikely to be among the guests.
As the president of the Football Association, the Duke of Cambridge usually attends the FA Cup final and presents the trophy.
But this year, William, who is tipped to be Harry’s best man, looks likely to be otherwise engaged with wedding duties.
Windsor Castle is about 20 miles (32km) from Wembley Stadium and about an hour’s drive, meaning William would be away from the celebrations for a minimum of two hours if he dashed off to present the silverware.
Last month, the second-in-line to the throne joked about whether or not he would be best man, saying: “He hasn’t asked me yet, it could be a sensitive issue.”
He said he was “still working” on the date clash between the wedding and the FA Cup final.
Harry and Markle have gone against tradition by choosing a Saturday, as royal weddings usually take place on a weekday.
William and Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, married on a Friday and their service began at 11am.
Meghan Markle is planning to break with tradition by making a speech at her reception after the wedding ceremony, upturning normal practice which sees speeches given by the bride's father, the groom and the best man.
Meghan plans to deliver an ‘affectionate’ tribute to her new husband, Prince Harry, as well as thanking the Queen along with her friends and family, revealed the Sunday Times.
The royal family are paying for the wedding, including the church service, music, flowers and reception. But security costs for the event are falling on taxpayers.
The Queen and the rest of the royal family will be there, along with Markle’s parents Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland.
Prince George and Princess Charlotte are likely to take on the roles of pageboy and bridesmaid.
The palace said further details about the wedding day will be revealed in the weeks and months ahead.