The wedding is nearly here!
With less than a week to go, final details are all falling into place for the Windsor Castle nuptials of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.
On Friday, it was announced that black American reverend Michael Bruce Curry, the 27th Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church, would give the address.
Presiding Bishop Curry, of Chicago, Ill., will travel to Windsor to take part in the service, where he will join the Dean of Windsor, Rt. Rev. David Conner, who will conduct the service.
Curry and Rt. Hon. Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, will officiate as the couple exchanges their marriage vows.
"The love that has brought and will bind Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle together has its source and origin in God, and is the key to life and happiness. And so we celebrate and pray for them today," Curry said in a statement.
Also on Friday, Queen Elizabeth II gave Harry and Meghan her official blessing by issuing the Instrument of Consent.
The Instrument of Consent is drafted by the Crown Office and is, in the case of Prince Harry's marriage, handwritten and illuminated on vellum by a member of a panel of scrivener artists retained by the Crown Office.
Vellum, a type of paper made from calf skin, is used only for important state documents.
The form features two lovingly rendered designs, one representing Harry and the other Meghan.
Harry's features a red dragon, the heraldic symbol of Wales, together with the U.K.'s floral emblems — the rose, thistle and shamrock.
It also features Prince Harry’s Label, including three tiny red escallops from the Spencer family arms.
Meghan's symbol also includes the rose, the national flower of the United States. To either side of the rose are two golden poppies — this being the state flower of California, where Markle was born.
Between the flowers is the Welsh leek, together with Prince Harry’s Label. Beneath the Label are olive branches, adopted from the Great Seal of the United States.
Meanwhile, the staff of the royal kitchens at Windsor Castle are preparing for one of their biggest events in years.
On May 19, staff will be working in the kitchens at Windsor Castle producing food for the wedding reception, which will take place in the castle grounds after the ceremony.
"All the staff are delighted to be involved on the day," Mark Flanagan, head chef of the royal household, said in a statement. "We've even had old staff contacting us if we need some extra support."
Harry and Meghan attended several tasting trials held in the Windsor Castle kitchen in March, sampling each of the dishes made from scratch in the castle's kitchen.
Flanagan said much of the produce used in the dishes, which will serve the up to 600 guests attending the reception, will be delivered from farms across counties like Kent, which is known as the 'garden' of England and Norfolk.
Though the royal chefs are used to the pressure of delivering such delicately crafted food to many guests at once — with just under a week until the wedding, anticipation for the big day is building in the royal kitchens.
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