First royal wedding plans revealed
PRINCE Harry and Meghan Markle will wed at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in May.
Kensington Palace has confirmed the pair will not hold their nuptials at Westminster Abbey, as Prince William and Catherine Middleton did.
Instead, they have opted for the lower-key choice of St George's Chapel at the Windsor Castle royal estate west of London.
Prince Harry was christened there, and his father Prince Charles held a blessing there after his civil wedding to his second wife, Camilla Parker-Bowles, in 2005.
"As with all members of the Royal family, Windsor is a very special place for Prince Harry and he and Ms Markle have regularly spent time there over the last year and a half,'' Prince Harry's communications secretary Jason Knauf said.
"They are grateful to the Queen for granting permission for the use of the chapel.'
The royal family would pay for all the core elements of the wedding including the service, flowers and music.
No final date has been announced, and Kensington Palace is yet to reveal who will conduct the service, although it is likely it will be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.
A Kensington Palace spokesman also confirmed that Ms Markle, a Protestant, would be baptised and confirmed into the Church of England prior to the wedding. The Queen is the head of the Church of England.
While much smaller and less grand that Westminster Abbey or St Paul's Cathedral, which are both in the historic centre of London, St George's Chapel can still seat 800 guests.
However, it is on the Windsor Castle estate, and will be more difficult for members of the public to access.
Mr Knauf said the day would be a "fun and joyful'' occasion for family and friends, and Prince Harry and Ms Markle "want the day to be shaped so as to allow members of the public to feel part of the celebrations too.''
It is not yet know how the public might be able to view either the wedding or the potential arrival of the bridal party at the chapel. The service will be televised.
Ms Markle, 36, and Prince Harry, 33, formally announced their engagement at Kensington Palace, their home, on Monday.
Mr Knauf revealed Ms Markle would begin formal royal duties almost immediately, and would join Prince Harry at a series of public appearances in Nottingham, a midlands city three hours north of London, on Friday.
She will conduct a street walk to meet the public, visit the National Justice Museum, and join a celebration for World AIDS Day.
The spokesman confirmed the American Ms Markle would begin the process of gaining UK citizenship, which was likely to take several years.
It was also confirmed one of Ms Markle's dogs, a beagle called Guy, was now living with the couple in Nottingham Cottage in Kensington Palace in central London, while her second dog, a mixed-breed called
Bogart, had been rehomed with friends at an undisclosed location - presumably in Canada or the United States.
"It is a permanent arrangement,'' the spokesman confirmed, leading the British press to joke about headlines of "Bogart Dumped.''
"Prince Harry and Ms Markle are extremely grateful for the warm public response following yesterday's announcement of their engagement,'' Mr Knauf said.
"In a happy moment in their lives, it means a great deal that so many people throughout the UK, the Commonwealth and around the world are celebrating with them.''
The date of the wedding and details on the service will be released in coming weeks.
A May date will avoid a clash with the arrival of Prince William and Catherine's third child, which is due in April.
Prince Charles will also be in Australia in early April to open the Commonwealth Games.