Palace releases royal letter approving Harry's marriage

Lewis Collier
May 14, 2018

Just a week before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding, Buckingham Palace has released Queen Elizabeth II's official consent for the couple to Wednesday. It's been the emblem since 1903 and it's included in this historic document around another red rose, which has been the national flower of the United States since 1986.

The Instrument of Consent was drafted by the Crown Office and is sealed with the Great Seal of the Realm, and the Queen's signature, "Elizabeth R", is featured at the top right of the document. According to the handwritten letter, the Queen formally gave Prince Harry and Meghan her consent almost two months ago, on March 14.

On the other side, the illustration that celebrates the bride is dominated by striking golden poppies, the state flower of California where Meghan was born.

The illustrations on an Instrument of Consent are always linked to the people involved in it and when the same document was produced in April 2011 for the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Commonwealth flag wasn't incorporated.

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The 92-year-old queen gave her blessing for the marriage in accordance with the 2013 Succession to the Crown Act, and the elaborately illuminated document incorporates references to the couple who met in 2016.

Once Harry and Meghan's wedding draws closer, it is expected Her Majesty will pen a more heartfelt letter for her new granddaughter-in-law. "I declare my consent to a contract of matrimony between my most dearly beloved grandson Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales and Rachel Meghan Markle, which I consent I am causing to be signified under the Great Seal and to be entered in the books of the Privy Council", the Queen said in a statement at the time.

Markle and the prince plan to marry next Saturday in St. George's Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle, about 20 miles (32 km) west of central London.

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