If you are not invited to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding reception, worry not...here's how it's likely to go down
If there is one thing we clearly remember about April 2011, it is the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. We were eagerly watching television screens, ogling at the new Duchess of Cambridge and her beautiful Alexander McQueen gown. Just a month away, another similar historical event will be in the making as we witness Meghan Markle walk down the isle while Prince Harry waits at the altar.
However, royal weddings aren't just about the couple, it is for everybody. Some of the most televised events in history has been of royal weddings (and deaths).
It is the time where people stand unified to see the union and experience it upon themselves a conclusion to happy-ever-after at an hour-long ceremony at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
While we see all that happen in the public eye, royal wedding receptions are rather an intimate affair, experienced by only those who get an invitation. The public nuptial is sealed with a kiss and we do not know what happens after, just like fairytale's abrupt but satisfactory endings.
Well, the inevitable question on every ordinary person's mind is what actually happens at the wedding reception. To be fair to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, we actually do not know what to expect since the couple has already broken more than six royal traditions, from choosing a lemon elderflower cake instead of a fruit cake to choosing peonies over a bouquet.
But referring to previous royal weddings, Kate and William's in particular, we are certain Queen Elizabeth will host an afternoon luncheon. Previously, Queen Elizabeth's luncheon for 650 people at Buckingham Palace served canapes and champagne. Prince Charles' speech seemingly stole the show. According to the Daily Mail, he emotionally described Kate Middleton as the daughter he never had and got guests laughing by mentioning Prince William's hairline.
Charles stood up on a platform and remarked, "The thing about growing older is that your children get taller than you so they can see your bald spots. Now in my case, I can see his."
After the luncheon, a group of 300 returned to the palace in the evening for a second celebration. An attendee described the scene for the Telegraph:
"When we had arrived earlier, we were each given a little envelope with our table name on it, and the tables had a personal touch too - they had clearly been named after places that were special to the couple and their friends."
Table names included "Lewa" -- after Lewa Downs, the family home of William's old flame Jecca Craig, at the foot of Mount Kenya, where Prince William spent several months during his gap year and where he returned several times during his courtship of Miss Middleton.
Another table was "Tetbury" after the town in Gloucestershire which is close to Highgrove, Prince Charles's country home, and several Welsh-themed table names in a nod to their current home in Anglesey where the Prince works as a search and rescue helicopter pilot.
There was also, of course, a "St Andrews" table, after the Scottish university where the couple began their romance. We are hoping to see some American place references if this tradition is followed. Botswana, a landlocked country in Southern Africa, will definitely be a mention as the couple first spent quality time there together, camping under the stars.
The menu was a three-course dinner by Swiss chef, Anton Mossiman. The cuisine had ample varieties, including terrine, dressed crab and tiger prawns, Aberdeen Angus beef fillet, Welsh lamb from the Highgrove estate, spring vegetables, grilled and blanched, and a trio of chocolate puddings.
The catering is being handled by the same company that served at William and Kate’s wedding but Harry and Markle will have “a dinner menu that reflects both their tastes,” source told US Magazine, noting: “It won’t be as British as Kate and William had.”
A more American-based cuisine than in past royal weddings is just one way the Los Angeles native is incorporating her culture. “Meghan is keen to include some American traditions in this wedding,” it is reported.
Prince Harry's speech took place at the palace reception, and it is likely the best man's speech even in this wedding will be held here, including Meghan's, who is breaking the tradition by writing her own speech for her wedding day.
Harry is said to have given a humorous speech at the reception.
One party-goer leaving the Buckingham Palace event told The Mail: "Harry said William was the perfect brother. It was exactly how you would expect a best man's speech to be. He cracked loads of jokes about William. He called him a "dude" several times. He kept coming back to it, saying "What a dude"."
Harry described his brother's relationship with Kate as "inspirational" and to much applause added: "William didn't have a romantic bone in his body before he met Kate, so I knew it was serious when William suddenly started cooing down the phone at Kate."
Prince Harry also did an impersonation of Kate calling William "Billy" and of his brother calling Kate "baby", to much laughter from the guests. So maybe, Harry can be expected to do impersonation at his own reception if William doesn't.
After all the love and laughter, the guests are ushered into the Throne Room, which serves as a dance floor, stage, bar with strobe lights and sofas. At Kate and William's reception, the entertainment was provided by English singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding and according to the Daily Mail, Prince William and Kate set their first dance as a married couple to a cover of Elton John's "Your Song." However, according to the Telegraph, it was Goulding's hit "Starry-Eyed." Their last dance of the night was to "She Loves You" by The Beatles.
While it is still not confirmed who will be singing at the May 19 royal reception there are a series of guesses. On February 27, Mel B. a.k.a. Scary Spice gave us hints when she all but confirmed that the Spice Girls would be performing at the royal wedding. But then, Mel C. later said her former bandmate was "joking". It's been reported that Ed Sheeran has been asked to perform "a few songs" at the royal wedding and he had previously expressed his interest in performing, well, so had Sam Smith.
As for Prince William and Kate Middleton, their party ended when they drove away from the palace in an Aston Martin convertible.
We will see on May 19 what Prince Harry and Meghan will do to conclude theirs. But one thing is for sure, there will be fireworks, a lot of it.