Ti­tles! Tra­di­tions! Hats!

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Per­haps you hadn’t heard, but there’s a wed­ding tak­ing place in Eng­land on Satur­day. (Some­thing about a prince mar­ry­ing an Amer­i­can.) Even if you’ve been un­able to ig­nore this ex­haus­tively dis­cussed news, you might be feel­ing a lit- tle con­fused about what ex­actly it en­tails, since you most likely have never had a royal wed­ding your­self. So much pro­to­col and tra­di­tion! So many hats! So much room for mis­un­der­stand­ing! We’ve got you. We aren’t mar­ried to a royal, ei­ther, but we did look into many is­sues that

can arise in such a sit­u­a­tion.

So, who did you say is get­ting mar­ried?

Rachel Meghan Markle, a.k.a. Meghan Markle, an Amer­i­can ac­tress best known for play­ing Rachel Zane in the long-

But why? No­bil­ity nup­tials can be so con­fus­ing for the rest of us.

run­ning le­gal-in­trigue drama Suits, is mar­ry­ing Prince Henry Charles Al­bert David of Wales, a.k.a. Prince Harry, a Bri­tish aris­to­crat best known for be­ing a son of Prince Charles.

When, ex­actly?

Satur­day. The cer­e­mony is sched­uled for noon lo­cal time (7 a.m. East­ern time) and will last about an hour, where­upon the cou­ple will take a car­riage ride through town.

And where is it?

St. Ge­orge’s Chapel in Wind­sor Cas­tle.

Is that near Buck­ing­ham Palace?

Nope. Buck­ing­ham Palace is in Lon­don. Wind­sor Cas­tle is in Wind­sor, a pic­turesque old town some 20 miles west of Lon­don.

Why should I care about this wed­ding?

Be­cause Harry, be­ing un­con- strained by the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties that bur­den Wil­liam, the fu­ture king, has re­cov­ered from some ear­lier lapses in judg­ment to bring a joy­ously im­pro­vi­sa­tional ap­proach to his royal life. And be­cause Meghan is so dif­fer­ent from most royal brides-tobe: She is Amer­i­can, bira­cial (her mother is African-Amer­i­can, and her fa­ther is white), di­vorced and 36, which makes her three years older than her Harry.

How sig­nif­i­cant is the fact that Meghan is bira­cial?

Peo­ple of color are un­der­rep­re­sented in Bri­tish pol­i­tics and not rep­re­sented at all in the royal fam­ily.

Who plans a royal wed­ding?

The cou­ple have made it clear that they are re­spon­si­ble for much of the over­all tone of the day. That said, the Lord Cham­ber­lain’s Of­fice, the depart­ment of Buck­ing­ham Palace re­spon­si­ble for all pub­lic events, state vis­its, palace gar­den par­ties and the like, will over­see all the nec­es­sary lo­gis­ti­cal and cer­e­mo­nial de­tails.

Does Queen El­iz­a­beth ap­prove?

Any­one who is sixth or un­der in line to the throne needs the queen’s per­mis­sion to get mar­ried, and Harry is sixth af­ter Charles, Wil­liam and Wil­liam’s kids, Ge­orge, Char­lotte and now Louis. In March, she for­mally ap­proved the mar­riage of “My Most Dearly Beloved Grand­son Prince Henry Charles Al­bert David of Wales and Rachel Meghan Markle.”

Okay, so tell me about Meghan’s en­gage­ment ring.

The ring was de­signed by Harry him­self and is com­posed of a large cen­tral di­a­mond from Botswana and some smaller di­a­monds that be­longed to his late mother, Diana, princess of Wales.

Who will de­sign Meghan’s wed­ding dress?

That’s the mil­lion-pound ques­tion. The cur­rent fa­vorite, at least ac­cord­ing to the gos­sipy fash­ion in­dus­try, is the brand Ralph & Russo. Meghan chose a dress made by the Lon­don cou­ture house for her of­fi­cial en­gage­ment por­traits, and the brand is known for its over-the-top wed­ding dresses.

Will there be cake?

But of course. Bri­tish wed­dings usu­ally fea­ture fruit­cakes. How­ever, throw­ing aside this strange and per­verse cus­tom, the cou­ple have de­cided to serve or­ganic lemon el­der­flower cake that will be cov­ered in but­ter­cream ic­ing and fresh flow­ers.

Who is Harry’s best man?

Wil­liam. And Harry was Wil­liam’s best man.

Will Meghan have a maid of honor?

No. But there will be page boys and “brides­maids,” which in this case refers to young girls, not grown women. Royal wed­dings rarely fea­ture adult brides­maids, and when Pippa Mid­dle­ton ful­filled the role of maid of honor at Kate and Wil­liam’s wed­ding, it was more of an ex­cep­tion than a rule.

Who is pay­ing for all of this, any­way?

The royal fam­ily is pay­ing for the wed­ding it­self — the ser­vice, the flow­ers, the mu­sic and the re­cep­tion. Meghan will pay for her dress. The Bri­tish pub­lic will pay for se­cu­rity. Wil­liam and Kate’s wed­ding re­port­edly cost $34 mil­lion, of which $32 mil­lion went to se­cu­rity. Is Meghan giv­ing up her career as an ac­tress?

Yes. “I don’t see it as giv­ing any­thing up,” she said. “I just see it as a change. It’s a new chap­ter.”

Do Harry and Meghan want kids?

Sounds like it. In their post-en­gage­ment in­ter­view with the BBC, Harry said, “Of course, one step at a time and hope­fully we’ll start a fam­ily in the near fu­ture.”

Would those kids be in line for the throne?

Yes. Any chil­dren born to Harry will bump his un­cle Andrew — Charles’ brother, cur­rently sev­enth in line for the throne, af­ter Harry — fur­ther down the or­der of suc­ces­sion.

Will the cer­e­mony in­clude any trib­utes to Princess Diana?

Yes. Diana’s sis­ter Lady Jane Fel­lowes will per­form a read­ing as part of the cer­e­mony.

Will Meghan’s fam­ily at­tend?

Meghan said Thurs­day that her fa­ther will not be able to at­tend due to health prob­lems. Thomas Markle had been sched­uled to walk his daugh­ter down the aisle. No re­place­ment for him as been of­fi­cially named but it’s pos­si­ble that Do­ria Ragland, the bride’s mother, could fill that role in­stead.

As­so­ci­ated Press

Roy­alty fans wait Thurs­day to watch a re­hearsal of the royal wed­ding in Wind­sor, Eng­land.

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