The transition from mere commoner—or American actress—to the newest member of the royal family is bound to come with some sacrifices, and Meghan Markle is already getting a taste, even before her I do’s. Markle and Prince Harry are all set to marry at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on May 19, but this was not their first-choice wedding venue.
The royally engaged couple’s dream venue was actually Frogmore House, the location of their engagement photo shoot, but reportedly it was vetoed by royal aides.
“They would have loved Frogmore for the party, particularly Meghan, who has called it 'dreamy,' but they have been told St. George’s Hall is far more practical,” a source told The Daily Mail, according to the U.K.’s Express.
Windsor might be practical, but you can’t blame the former Suits actress for falling for Frogmore. The home, originally purchased as a romantic present by George III for his wife, Queen Charlotte, is over 300 years old and sits by a beautiful lake and garden.
Not only is there a great aesthetic appeal, with its stately white facade and floral decor and art throughout, but there is sentimental value to the property as well. In 2008, it was the site of another royal wedding—between Princess Anne’s son (the grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II!) and his love, Autumn Kelly—and it’s also the burial place of Queen Victoria’s mother, Queen Victoria herself, and her husband, Prince Albert.
Even though their first location got the boot, Harry and Meghan have a lot to look forward to at Windsor Castle. It’s seen its fair share of royal weddings, including Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla’s in 2005, and already holds special meaning to this royal couple.
“Windsor is a very special place for Prince Harry, and he and Ms. Markle have regularly spent time there during the last year,” Kensington Palace spokesman Jason Knauf previously stated, according to People. “They are delighted that the beautiful grounds of Windsor Castle will be where they begin their lives as a married couple.”
It will ultimately be the better venue for the size of the wedding as well. St. George’s Chapel is a more intimate venue—with a capacity of 800—than Westminster Abbey, where Prince William and Kate Middleton wed in 2011, which can hold up to 2,000 guests.
So, all in all, this isn’t the worst sacrifice ever made when wedding planning!
While the royal wedding details are being ironed out behind the scenes, U.K. residents will be able to watch the final product unfold from their favorite bar in real time. According to The Morning Advertiser, pub hours will be extended to help everyone—who can’t make it to Windsor Castle, that is—make the most of this historic occasion.