We’ve spent months preparing for the royal wedding 2.0 (it’s been an emotional roller coaster, okay?) and we can hardly contain our excitement now that we’re mere days away from the big event. But what happens after May 19? What’s next for our fave newlyweds, Harry and Meghan?
You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers—via Carolyn Harris, historian, all-around royal expert and author of Raising Royalty: 1,000 Years of Royal Parenting. Here’s the lowdown on what comes after the royal “I do.”
What’s the first thing Meghan and Harry will do as a married couple?
Traditionally, the newlyweds would embark on a honeymoon (location TBD), but we know this won’t be the case for this particular happy couple. In a pre-wedding briefing, Kensington Palace spokesperson Jason Knauf revealed that Harry and Meghan will be postponing their honeymoon and instead take part in their first official engagement as a married couple in the days that follow. It’s recently been reported that said engagement is quite special: a garden party celebrating Prince Charles’s various patronages.
But the royal couple will definitely be going on a honeymoon eventually. Harris says that Africa seems likely, as not only does Prince Harry have charitable efforts on the continent, but he and Meghan also went on a camping trip in Botswana early in their relationship. Namibia is the current frontrunner.
Where will Meghan and Harry live?
Currently, the duo calls the two-bedroom Nottingham Cottage on Kensington Palace grounds home, which is where Harry has lived for years. In fact, they just got new neighbours: Harry’s cousin Princess Eugenie recently moved into the cottage next door with her fiancé, Jack Brooksbank.
But according to new reports, Meghan and Harry will be switching up the scenery after their wedding. Their new digs? A very cozy and casual 21-room “apartment” in Kensington Palace, right next door to Wills and Kate. Perhaps babysitting will be in their future?
What will their new titles be?
While we can’t be certain until the palace officially announces Harry and Meghan’s new titles, the favourites are the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. This is because there are now multiple adult generations of the royal family, so older titles that haven’t been around since the time of King George III (literally centuries ago) are popping up again. If we follow the logic of Will and Kate’s official titles (the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge), derived from the dukedom of one of King George III’s sons, then Sussex (a title belonging to another of the late king’s sons) makes sense.
But why do they even get new titles?
Once upon a time, receiving a dukedom had political significance, but now, they’re mostly given out of honour and tradition. Harris points out, however, that Meghan and Harry will likely form a special connection with the area of the U.K. from which they receive their new titles.
Could Meghan ever be a princess?
Technically, yes—but there’s a very small chance of it ever happening. When women marry into the royal family, according to Harris, they take on the title of their husband. So if Prince Harry doesn’t receive a dukedom on his wedding day, Meghan would be called Princess Harry of Wales. But Harry will almost definitely be getting a dukedom, so it’ll be Duchess Meghan from now on.
What will their official duties be?
All of the engagements they’ve been performing in the months prior to their wedding, pretty much: Commonwealth tours, attending events and meetings, and taking on more charitable patronages—both together and independently. Expect to see the couple at the next Invictus Games, which were spearheaded by Harry, in Sydney later this year.
One thing is certain: Meghan and Harry will be busy. As a whole, the royal family carries out 2,000 official engagements in an entire year, both overseas and at home in the U.K. Last year, according to the Times, Harry had 209 events under his belt.
Tonight Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle attended a reception to celebrate female empowerment, which is being hosted by the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson. This event marks the launch of ‘Platform for Girls Education’, a campaign designed to encourage all Commonwealth countries to commit to providing 12 years of quality education for all girls. Prince Harry and Ms. Markle met guests from organisations who are supporting the aim to provide quality education to girls across the Commonwealth. #CHOGM2018 ?PA
How will Harry and Meghan’s duties be different from Will and Kate’s?
There certainly will be a lot of similarities for the two royal couples, and we’ll probably see them at some of the same events. But because Prince William is directly in line to the throne, Harris explains, we’ll see him and Kate at more state dinners, greeting foreign leaders. But that doesn’t mean we’ll never see Meghan and Harry at diplomatic events, so there’s still hope for a Harry/Obama reunion.
If Meghan and Harry have kids, where will they fall in the line of succession?
This, of course, will depend on how many children Will and Kate ultimately end up having, but let’s operate on the assumption they’re stopping with Prince Louis. As it stands, Prince Charles is next in line to the throne, followed by William, George, Charlotte and Louis at number five. That means Prince Harry is currently sixth in the line of succession, and any children he has with Meghan will come immediately after him.
Something interesting for royal watchers to keep an eye out for: because any future kids Meghan and Harry have will be relatively far removed from the throne, Harris says the couple has a little more freedom when picking names. They won’t have to stick with some of the more traditional royal names and can get a little creative. But, who knows? Maybe Meghan and Harry are the traditional type.
How will Meghan’s life change?
Well, we already know that Meghan has had to give up her acting career. Harris adds that life will quite likely be more scheduled than it ever has been, given that she’ll now be spending a lot of time at public engagements. And although she is a well-known and passionate advocate for women’s rights, Harris cautions that, as a representative of the monarch, Meghan will have to be careful not to get too political, especially during any speeches she’s asked to make.
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