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Royal wedding 2018: All you need to know

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With the clock ticking until Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tie the knot, here’s what you need to know about the wedding of the year.

When and where is it?

A general view shows St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle,Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionMeghan will walk down the aisle of St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle

The couple will wed at noon on Saturday at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, where the prince was christened and Ms Markle was baptised.

Here’s how their big day is expected to unfold:

08:00 BST Invited members of the public start to gather on a lawn outside the chapel from where they’ll watch the royals come and go

09:30 Chapel guests begin to arrive and must be seated by 11:15

12:00 The service in St George’s Chapel gets under way in front of the 600-or-so guests

13:00 The newlyweds travel in an open carriage as part of a 25-minute procession from St George’s Chapel through Windsor town.

Afternoon: There will be a reception at St George’s Hall for the couple and their guests.

Evening: Prince Charles will give a private reception at Frogmore House for the couple and 200 close friends and family

How to follow it

  • Warm up with BBC One’s They’re Getting Married in the Morning, an hour-long live preview from 19:00 BST on Friday
  • Watch the big day unfold on BBC One with Kirsty Young, Huw Edwards and Dermot O’Leary from 09:00-14:00 on Saturday
  • Chris Evans will be live from Windsor for BBC Radio 2
  • There will be special editions of Radio 4’s Today programme and BBC Radio 5 live Breakfast
  • If you miss any of it, BBC Two will be showing the highlights of the day from 18:30-20:00

All the main UK broadcasters are devoting much of Saturday to the occasion.

The coverage will be streamed live on the BBC News website or on BBC iPlayer.

The BBC has waived the TV licence fee for public screenings, meaning street parties and other special events can screen the wedding live without buying a licence.

How to join the celebrations

As many as 100,000 people are expected to descend on Windsor for the day, but be warned – rail bosses say it will be “extremely busy”.

Queuing systems will be introduced at several stations – most likely London Waterloo, Slough, Staines and the two stations in Windsor – to avoid overcrowding on platforms.

Services between Windsor and Slough will run every 20 minutes, with trains increased from two carriages to four – the maximum that can operate on the local line.

South Western Railway will double its direct Windsor services from London Waterloo to four per hour and use 10-carriage trains.

Make sure you get there early, though – Thames Valley Police may order trains not to stop at Windsor if visitor numbers become a safety issue, and the wedding route could be closed off to latecomers.

Passengers are also being asked to keep baggage to a minimum as security checks on excess luggage could delay journeys.

People planning to travel by car are being warned by the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead to book parking in advance, as spaces are limited.

Motorists should also be aware of road closures along the procession route, starting at 22:00 BST on Friday.

In Windsor, viewing areas will be created along the procession route. There will be live entertainment in the town centre, which will be decorated with bunting and banners.

Big screens showing live footage of the wedding will be shown on the Long Walk and in Alexandra Gardens in Windsor.

Who’s going?

royal wedding inviteImage copyrightEPA
Image captionInvitations die-stamped in gold have been sent out

Invitations have been sent to 600 guests, with a further 200 invited to the couple’s evening reception – including the Spice Girls.

Ms Markle’s father, Thomas Markle, will not attend the wedding, following recent reports that he had to undergo heart surgery.

It was announced on Friday, the day before the wedding, that Prince Charles will walk Ms Markle down the aisle in her father’s absence.

The Prince of Wales was “pleased to be able to welcome Ms Markle to the Royal Family in this way”, said a statement from the palace on Friday.

Meghan Markle's family tree

Ms Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, arrived in the UK on Wednesday, and met the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh on Friday.

From Prince Harry’s side of the family, Kensington Palace confirmed the Queen’s husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, will attend – despite recently recovering from a hip replacement.

But Prince Harry’s newest nephew, Prince Louis, who will be three weeks old at the time, will not be there.

Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn are not on the guest list after it was decided there would not be an “official list of political leaders”.

Kensington Palace said that decision, which means US President Donald Trump will not attend, was taken in consultation with the government and reflects the fact Prince Harry is only sixth in line to the throne.

It has also been confirmed that Barack and Michelle Obama, who are friends of the prince, have not received an invitation.

More than 1,000 members of the public have been invited to the grounds of Windsor Castle and will be able to watch the arrival and departure of the bride and groom.

Twelve-year-old Amelia Thompson, who was injured in the Manchester Arena attack, is among them.

bbc.com

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