Five royal wedding traditions you didn’t know about

16 Jan 2018

Get yourself ready for the upcoming royal wedding with these facts about royal wedding traditions

With Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s wedding just around the corner, wedding fever has hit the country. But did you know about these five wedding traditions that every member of the Royal family must adhere to?

1. The wedding ring is made from Welsh gold

Since 1923, the Royal family has been using pure Welsh gold to create their wedding rings. The original Welsh gold ring, that of Elizabeth Bowes Lyon and the future King George VI, was formed from a gift of Clogau gold; enough was left over to create the rings for the weddings of The Queen, the late Princess Margaret, the Princess Royal and Prince Charles and Diana. Although the stock of the Clogau gold is believed to run dry, Kate Middleton received a Welsh gold ring from Prince William at their 2011 wedding.

2. Every royal bride’s bouquet contains myrtle from Queen Victoria’s shrub at Osborne House

For more than 170 years, royal brides have carried bouquets that contain a sprig of myrtle. The plant is said to bring good luck in marriage, and the tradition began when Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were married. The myrtle that has been used in recent years comes from the same plant Queen Victoria was gifted in 1841, which is still flourishing to this day.

3. Royals require the Queen’s permission to marry – usually in writing

As per the Royal Marriages Act of 1772, all Royal descendents must seek the sovereign's approval for marriage. As such, Prince Harry introduced Ms Markle to the Queen prior to his proposal, in October. She and the Duke of Edinburgh have announced that they are “delighted for the couple and wish them every happiness.”

4. A piece of the wedding cake is posted out to guests as a wedding favour

Traditionally, a small slice of the royal wedding cake is mailed out to every guest after the event as a gift. The cake arrives in a commemorative tin that features that couple’s monogram on it, along with a thank you card. The royal wedding cake is usually a fruit cake, which can last for up to a year. Even though it has been rumoured that Ms Markle and Prince Harry will have a banana cake, it is likely that they will follow in Prince William and Kate Middleton’s footsteps by having two cakes; one traditional, and one more modern.

5. The Royal family always sits on the right-hand side of the church

When it comes to the seating plan for the ceremony, Ms Markle and Prince Harry will have it easier than most couples. The Royal family always sits on the right-hand side of the church, and this tradition is expected to continue for the royal wedding in May. The only exception to this rule is if the bridegroom is not a royal, in which case the Royal family sits on the left-hand side.  

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