QUESTION: Who is getting married?
ANSWER: Rachel Meghan Markle, aka Meghan Markle, a 36-year-old American actress best known for playing Rachel Zane in the long-running, legal-intrigue drama “Suits,” is marrying 33-year-old Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales, aka Prince Harry.
Q: When and where, exactly?
A: Saturday, May 19. The ceremony is scheduled for noon local time (1 a.m. Hawaii time) at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, in Windsor, a town some 20 miles west of London.
Q: Can I go to the wedding?
A: Sorry, but no, unless you’re one of 1,200 personal guests who get to sit in the chapel, or among the 2,640 additional people (including members of the royal household and “regular” people who work for charities, community organizations and the like) who have been invited to stand on the grounds of Windsor Castle to watch the wedding party enter and leave.
Q: How can I watch from home?
A: The wedding will be televised on NBC’s “Today,” PBS and CBS. It will also be live-streamed on NYTimes.com.
Q: Do we know who any of the guests will be?
A: While the guest list is a secret, there are a number of predictable attendees: Harry’s grandparents, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip; his father and stepmother, Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall; various cousins, like Zara and Peter Phillips and Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice; and of course his brother and sister-in-law, William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Then, of course, there are members of royal families from countries like Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Greece. They’re all on a big royal- family-wedding circuit, traveling around to one another’s ceremonies.
Q: Is Donald Trump invited to the royal wedding?
A: Nope! “It has been decided that an official list of political leaders — both U.K. and international — is not required for Prince Harry and Ms. Markle’s wedding,” Kensington Palace said in a statement. “Her Majesty’s Government was consulted on this decision, which was taken by The Royal Household.”
Q: What about Harry’s pal Barack Obama?
A: No, not even him (or Michelle). See above.
Q: How did Harry and Meghan meet?
A: They met in London in July 2016, on a blind date organized by a mutual friend. A few weeks later, he whisked her off to Botswana, where they “camped out with each other under the stars,” Harry said afterward.
Q: When did their relationship become public?
A: That November, Harry’s office issued a statement identifying Meghan as his girlfriend and denouncing the racist and sexist undertones of some newspaper coverage and social media commentary.
Q: Tell us about Markle’s engagement ring.
A: The ring was designed by Harry himself and comprises a large central diamond from Botswana and some smaller diamonds that belonged to his late mother, Diana, the Princess of Wales.
Q: When does the real party start?
A: Per Kensington Palace: “Later that evening, around 200 guests are being invited to the reception at Frogmore House given by The Prince of Wales.” The Prince of Wales, of course, is Harry’s dad, Prince Charles.
Q: Will they have a band or a DJ?
A: According to a statement from Kensington Palace on Tuesday: “Prince Harry and Ms. Markle have taken a great deal of interest and care in choosing the music” for their wedding ceremony.
Those present will hear well-known hymns and choral works performed by the St. George’s Chapel choir and an orchestra, plus performances by the opera soprano Elin Manahan Thomas, trumpeter David Blackadder and rising- star cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, 19, who is the first black winner of the prestigious BBC Young Musician of the Year award.
Meanwhile the reception and dance floor entertainment remain top secret. The rumor mill went into overdrive when Elton John — a friend of Princess Diana — canceled two scheduled concerts in Las Vegas for the weekend of the royal wedding due to a “scheduling conflict.” The Spice Girls — who have hinted at reuniting for a tour this year — may also provide dance floor entertainment.
Q: Who is paying for all of this, anyway?
A: The Royal Family is paying for the wedding itself — the service, the flowers, the music and the reception. Meghan will pay for her dress. The British public will pay for security.
Q: How much did William and Kate’s wedding cost?
A: It reportedly cost $34 million, of which $32 million went to security — and was paid for by the British taxpayers.