Windsor: Royal bride Meghan Markle will make a striking feminist statement in her wedding to Prince Harry on Saturday, choosing not to be chaperoned for much of the procession down the aisle of St. George’s Chapel in London, CNN has learned.
In an unprecedented step for a royal bride in the UK, Markle will walk unescorted down the aisle of the chapel nave, after being met at the West Door by a member of the clergy.
She will be accompanied in this first part of the wedding procession only by her bridesmaids and page boys, with the senior church figure walking ahead, CNN said.
Prince Charles will join her when she reaches the Quire, where the main royal guests will be seated. The Prince — Harry’s father — will walk Markle down the Quire aisle to the foot of the altar.
But Charles will not give her away to her husband-to-be in the traditional sense — instead, he will stand back as Markle approaches Prince Harry.
CNN said that Markle came up with the plan herself. It was always the intention that her father Thomas would meet her at the Quire and she would walk the first part alone. Ill health has since prevented him from coming, the CNN report added. Both Charles and Harry are delighted with the plan, CNN said.
No other royal bride in the UK has walked unescorted down the aisle at their wedding ceremony. Markle’s decision indicates that she wishes to assert herself as a strong, independent woman who is prepared to challenge royal norms, analysts told CNN.
“Meghan Markle has asked His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to accompany her down the aisle of the Quire of St George’s Chapel on her Wedding Day,” Kensington Palace said in a statement. “The Prince of Wales is pleased to be able to welcome Ms Markle to The Royal Family in this way.”
In 2016, Charles walked Alexandra Knatchbull — a goddaughter of the late Princess Diana — down the aisle when she married Thomas Hooper, as her estranged father watched from the pews.
As preparations continued on Friday, Buckingham Palace announced that Prince Harry’s grandfather Prince Philip, 96, will attend the wedding on Saturday, less than two months after he had hip surgery.