British Royal Family

What the Queen’s “consent” for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s marriage REALLY means

Long live the Queen… And her reign not only over us commoners, but over her grandson and his Duchess-to-be.

By Ellie McDonald
With just days away from the highly anticipated Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, it seems the Queen is getting her paperwork in order.
You see, as her royal grandson Harry and his Duchess-in-waiting Meghan's team finalise things like seating placements and wedding guest meal requests, Harry's grandmother is drawing up the official documents that allow him and Meghan to say 'I Do.
And while we're well aware that the British Royal Family are expected to heed many regal rules and regulations, for the first six people in line to the throne, their desire to marry their one true love requires the consent the head of the family: Queen Elizabeth II. And since Prince Louis bumped Harry down to fifth in line, he still falls beneath this rule.
Luckily for Harry and Meghan, on May 12, Buckingham Palace revealed that the Queen does, in fact, give officially permission for the couple to wed (and the proof is in this picture…)
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But what does this "Instrument of Consent" actually mean? And, to be blunt, what good does it do for Harry and Meghan? Allow us to digress…
According to the Royal Family Instagram page, attention needs to be paid to the finer details of the document.
"The Queen's signature, the Instrument of Consent records Her Majesty's consent to the Marriage of Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle."
"The design to the left of the text incorporates a red dragon, the heraldic symbol of Wales, together with the UK's floral emblems – the rose, thistle & shamrock. It also features Prince Harry's Label, including three tiny red escallops from the Spencer family Arms.""To the right of the text is another rose, the national flower of the USA, and golden poppies - the state flower of California, where Ms Markle was born."
"Below the Welsh leek & Prince Harry's Label are olive branches, adopted from the Great Seal of the United States."
"The Instrument of Consent is sealed with the Great Seal of the Realm, which is attached to the foot of the document by woven cords sealed within the Great Seal itself."

Fortunately for this Royal couple, the Queen is all for their marital union.
And just to clarify, back in March, the Queen released a less official nod to her grandson's upcoming nuptials with a declaration of her consent noting Meghan by her full name (Rachel Meghan Markle) but did not preface this with "trusty and well-beloved" as she Duchess Catherine back when she was given consent to marry Prince William.
Fun fact: this was done on purpose, but not for the sinister reason you may believe. As reported by Grazia UK, the title of "trusty and well-beloved" is traditionally used to describe UK and Commonwealth citizens in official Royal documents. As Meghan is not (yet) British, she missed out on these adjectives.
Well, Meghan may be American... But the process to make her a British subject is well on its way.
Now, with the paperwork sorted, let's get ready for this Royal Wedding!