Royal couple may run ballot to invite public to wedding
THOUSANDS of members of the public could be invited into the grounds of Windsor Castle for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, as the couple promise to explore ways to make British people feel “part of the celebrations”.
The Prince and Ms Markle, who will marry at St George’s Chapel in May, said they would like their big day to include members of the public, and were “working through ideas for how this might be achieved”.
One option, which would see them follow in the footsteps of the Earl and Countess of Wessex, could see a ballot system to invite people inside the walls of the castle or to a carriage ride through the town.
Both ideas were adopted by Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-jones for their wedding in 1999, when organisers ran a ballot allowing 8,000 people to come closer to the action.
At the time, the idea of the ticketed system was praised as a “unique twist” on the grand wedding ceremonies enjoyed by Prince Edward’s three siblings, leading it to be called the “People’s Wedding”.
Prince Harry and Ms Markle are to plan their own wedding, eschewing formal help, to choose every element of their day.
Jason Knauf, the Prince’s communications secretary, said it had been important to the couple to signal that they “will be keeping the public in mind as they put plans for the wedding in place”.
“Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are extremely grateful for the warm public response,” he said. “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.”
The Earl and Countess of Wessex had around 560 guests, with around 30,000 members of the public turning out on to the streets of Windsor and millions more watched on television.
Prince Edward had a ticket ballot system for his wedding to Sophie Rhys-jones, also at St George’s Chapel, in 1999