Queen Elizabeth II has given her permission for the wedding of Prince Harry of Wales and Meghan Markle to take place at St George’s Chapel in Windsor on 19 May 2018. The wedding ceremony will start at noon and will be conducted by the Dean of Windsor, the Rt Revd. David Conner and the Rt Hon. Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury. Although the chapel has space for about 800 people, it seems only 600 guests were invited.
St George’s Chapel is a chapel with a rich and long history and has been a wedding venue for royal weddings before. Already in the early 13th century King Henry III had the Chapel of St Edward the Confessor constructed within the walls of Windsor Castle. The religious St George’s College was founded by King Edward III in 1348 and was attached to the chapel, that was then rededicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, St Edward the Confessor and St George the Martyr. Under King Edward VI the chapel was enlarged after 1475. By 1484 the choir was completed with a wooden roof. The nave was finished under King Henry VII, but the chapel wasn’t completed until 1528 under King Henry VIII.
The chapel is the spiritual home of the Order of the Garter and usually each year in June a special Garter Service is held in the chapel in attendance of the members of the order. Their heraldic banners hang above the upper stalls in the Quire, around 700 engraved brass stall plates of former Knights are visible in the stalls. At the service the members wear their robes and insignia and new members are installed during the service.
Thus far 15 royalty related weddings have taken place in the chapel. Two more are to follow in 2018.
- 10 March 1863 – Prince Albert Edward, The Prince of Wales – later King Edward VII – and Princess Alexandra of Denmark.
- 5 July 1866 – Prince Christian zu Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg and Princess Helena of the United Kingdom.
- 21 March 1871 – The Marquess of Lorne – later the 9th Duke of Argyll – and Princess Louise of the United Kingdom.
- 13 March 1879 – Prince Arthur, The Duke of Connaught, and Princess Luise Margarete of Prussia.
- 24 April 1880 – Luitbert Baron von Pawel-Rammingen and Princess Frederica of Hannover.
- 27 April 1882 – Prince Leopold, The Duke of Albany, and Princess Helena zu Waldeck und Pyrmont.
- 6 July 1891 – Prince Aribert von Anhalt and Princess Marie Louise zu Schleswig-Holstein.
- 10 February 1904 – Prince Alexander von Teck – later Earl of Athlone – and Princess Alice of Albany.
- 15 June 1905 – Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden – later King Gustaf VI Adolf – and Princess Margaret of Connaught.
- 2 September 1919 – Major John Gibbs and Lady Helena Cambridge (formerly Princess Helena von Teck).
- 14 December 1957 – David Liddell-Grainger and Anne Abel Smith.
- 18 July 1992 – Timothy Taylor and Lady Helen Windsor.
- 19 June 1999 – Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex, and Sophie Rhys-Jones.
- 9 April 2005 – Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles (blessing).
- 17 May 2008 – Peter Phillips and Autumn Kelly.
- 19 May 2018 – Prince Henry of Wales and Meghan Markle.
- 12 October 2018 – Jack Brooksbank and Princess Eugenie of York.
Also several royal christenings took place at Windsor, including the one of Prince Henry (Harry) of Wales in 1984.
St George’s Chapel is also the site of several royal tombs and memorials. In the Quire you’ll find the graves of King Henry VIII, his third wife Jane Seymour, King Charles I and an infant child of Queen Anne. In the North Quire Aisle are the graves of King Edward IV, Queen Elizabeth Woodville and Princess Louise Duchess von Sachsen-Weimar. King Henry VI, King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra can be found in the South Quire Aisle. And there is also the Gloucester vault with Prince William Duke of Gloucester, Princess Maria Duchess of Gloucester, Prince William Duke of Gloucester, Princess Sophia of Gloucester and Princess Mary Duchess of Gloucester.
King George V and Queen Mary found their last resting place in the North Nave Aisle. More recent graves are at King George VI Memorial Chapel where King George VI, his wife Queen Elizabeth and daughter Princess Margaret (ashes) have been buried.
Furthermore there are royals buried in the royal vault: Princess Amelia, Princess Augusta Duchess of Braunschweig, Princess Charlotte and her stillborn son, Queen Charlotte, Prince Edward Duke of Kent, King George III, Prince Alfred, Prince Octavius, Princess Elizabeth, Prince Frederick Duke of York, King George IV, a stillborn daughter of Prince Ernest Augustus, King William IV, Princess Sophia, Queen Adelaide, Prince Friedrich zu Schleswig-Holstein, King George V of Hannover, Victoria von Pawel-Rammingen, Princess Mary Adelaide Duchess of Teck, Prince Francis Duke of Teck, Princess Friederike von Hannover, Prince Adolphus Duke of Cambridge and Princess Augusta Duchess of Cambridge.