Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Big Day will soon be upon us.
On May 19, the world will tune in as these two walk down the aisle at St. George’s Chapel inside Windsor Castle. And though the day will certainly be filled with merriment and joy for the family, it could also be filled with confusion for commoners.
You see, the royal wedding has a lot of specific lingo we non-royals must get familiar with before Prince Harry and Meghan say “I do.” Here is a list of keywords you need to familiarize yourself with before the big day.
According to Bow-N-Ties, an ascot is a type of neckwear that “looks like a cross between silken scarf and necktie. The ascot, which originated in England during the late 19th century, was first worn at the exclusive horse race known as the Royal Ascot, which is where it got its name. There, men were required to wear an ascot tie with a tailcoat jacket. Though the ascot is much less common to today, odds are you’ll see it worn on several men at Harry and Meghan’s wedding. If you feel like wearing one during your own watch party here is a very handy how-to video on how to tie an ascot.
As Brides described, the bowler hat is the hard felt hat with a rounded crown that British men often wear to formal events. According to Christy’s Hats, it can be “worn in either open crown (bowler) or 'gutter crown' (simple crease) style. The brim has an up-turned 'kettle-curl' and is bound at the edge. A true hat-makers' hat, the Homburg has had many illustrious wearers - offering either a formal (high crown bowler style) or softer look, depending on the occasion or outfit.”
You may think you know this one, but don’t forget, this is England we are talking about. In the royal tradition there are bridesmaids, but not in the way most Americans think of them. Instead of having our best friends stand up alongside side us, British royalty have children carrying their trains and tossing flowers around them. Princess Charlotte, who just turned three, is expected to be one of Meghan’s bridemaids in just a few weeks.
Like the men, women too will be expected to don some type of headwear for the big day. This, of course, means women will be sporting fascinators, which is a decorative headpiece fastened to the head with pins or on a headband. They can be subtle, or completely over-the-top with feathers, glitter or other fabulous accoutrement attached. Want one for yourself? Here’s Southern Living’s guide on how to make your own fascinator.
The lounge suit, according to My Tuxedo Catalog, is simply a fancier name for a basic suit. “If the invitation were written in America, it would have called for ‘Dress Uniform, Cutaway, or Suit,’ so don’t let the word ‘Lounge’ throw you off,” the site explained.
Without question, Meghan’s wedding bouquet will contain a bit of myrtle, a flower that symbolizes good luck in love and has been in every royal bouquet since Queen Victoria. Following the wedding, Meghan will likely leave her bouquet at the tomb of the unknown soldier as a sign of respect, as previous royal brides have done as well.
Again, as My Tuxedo Catalog explained, this is one clothing option for the men attending the wedding. The morning coat is typically worn for daytime events, such as Meghan and Harry’s wedding, and consists of a tailored coat, striped trousers, turndown collar shirt, waistcoat, tie, and accessories like top hats and canes.
Like bridesmaids, men in the United Kingdom tend not to have groomsmen. Though we know that Prince William will indeed be Prince Harry’s best man, there will likely be no other grown men standing up at the altar to support him. Instead, page boys, who are typically between 6 to 9 years old, will be on hand to assist in the wedding. Though, they likely won’t be helping Harry and will instead be there to help Meghan and her little bridesmaids with any of their needs. Prince George is expected to be a page boy as well.
Like most weddings, Prince Harry and Meghan’s will be followed by a procession, but with a few twists. Following the wedding, the couple will hop in a carriage, known as the Ascot Landau carriage for their procession, which is the very same carriage Prince Harry sat in as part of Prince William and Kate Middleton's procession in 2011. This will be the time when Prince Harry and Meghan will wave to their adoring fans for the first time as husband and wife and ride off into their own happily ever after.