As required by the Succession to the Crown Act, the first six royals in succession for the throne are required to ask the queen for her permission to marry. So, because Prince Harry is fifth in line, the law applied to him.
Thankfully, he got his grandmother’s approval, and according to an aide close to the royals, the queen gave her approval for the two to wed “without hesitation.” According to the handwritten letter, the queen formally gave Prince Harry and Meghan her consent nearly two months ago, on March 14. Out of tradition, though, she typically waits until the week before the wedding to make public the letter — or at least that’s what she did before Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding in 2011.
Once the couple officially marries on May 19 at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in England, they will receive the physical letter, which was drafted by the Crown Office and is illuminated on vellum. Surrounding the text are a number of symbolic illustrations, including a red dragon (the symbol of Wales), a red rose (the national flower of the U.S.), and three red escallops from the Spencer family arms (Prince Harry’s Label).
“I declare my consent to a contract of matrimony between my most dearly beloved grandson Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales and Rachel Meghan Markle,” reads the letter, which bears the queen’s signature in the top right corner.
We only have one outstanding question for the queen: What major gift is she giving the couple for their wedding?