Royal cou­ple may run bal­lot to in­vite pub­lic to wed­ding

The Daily Telegraph - - News - By Han­nah Fur­ness

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

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