Queen Elizabeth Officially Consents to Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

The royal wedding has the seal of approval from the Queen.

Just days ahead of the royal wedding, Queen Elizabeth has officially given her consent for the royal nuptials set to take place on May 19 between her grandson, Prince Harry, and Meghan Markle, with Buckingham Palace releasing the first images of the Instrument of Consent on Saturday.

Under the Succession to the Crown Act, Prince Harry, now sixth in line to the throne following the birth of his nephew, Prince Louis Arthur Charles, must obtain formal permission from the monarch to marry.

The Instrument of Consent, a handwritten document recording Queen Elizabeth's consent, reads "NOW KNOW YE that We have consented and do by these Presents signify Our Consent to the contracting of Matrimony between Our Most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales, K.C.V.O., and Rachel Meghan Markle."

Hand-written and illuminated on vellum, which is only used for important state documents, the Instrument of Consent also features various symbolic embellishments, including a red dragon and rose, thistle, and shamrocks, symbolizing Wales and the UK's floral emblems. The design also features Prince Harry's label as well as three red escallops from the Spencer family arms, representing his mother, the late Princess Diana.

On the right side of the document, a rose – the national flower of the United States – and golden poppies – the state flower of California – are centered between the Welsh leek, representing Markle and Prince Harry's union.

The document is sealed with the Great Seal of the Realm and features the Queen's signature at the top right of the document, which will be presented to the newlyweds after the wedding ceremony on May 19.

The Queen had given the couple her formal consent at the meeting of the Privy Council on March 14.

"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, 91, said in a statement after a meeting at Buckingham Palace on Wednesday, March 14.

For hundreds of years, the Royal Marriages Act 1772 required descendants of King George II to receive consent from the sovereign before tying the knot. The law was repealed through the Succession to the Crown Act 2013, which was created so that succession to the crown does not depend on gender.


"A person who (when the person marries) is one of the six persons next in line of succession to the crown must obtain the consent of Her Majesty before marrying," the Parliament act reads.

Prince Harry and Markle are set to wed on May 19, with the ceremony, expected to last one hour, beginning at 12 p.m. local time.