Meghan Markle, Prince Harry's girlfriend, may have flown across the Atlantic Ocean to attend the wedding of Pippa Middleton and James Matthews—but traveling thousands of miles didn't land her any special treatment at the British nuptials of the year. Not only did Markle not attend the private wedding ceremony, but she also wasn't allowed to sit next to Prince Harry at the reception.
The strict seating arrangement didn't apply just to the newly royal couple, though: According to the Telegraph, Middleton called for all couples to sit separately at her wedding reception. The decision to split couples in a seating chart is one that falls to the host, according to British etiquette guide Debrett's, and the practice—which is typical for private, formal dinners—"gives both husband and wife a chance to meet new people."
Markle's attendance at Middleton's wedding has been the subject of much discussion over the weeks leading up to the big event. There was plenty of debate over whether Markle would attend the ceremony despite a "no ring, no bring" policy. (She ultimately decided to skip it to avoid diverting the spotlight from Middleton.) There was also much ado about what Markle would wear to the event. (She went with a maroon, backless gown, the Telegraph reports.) Both Markle and Prince Harry were reportedly very aware of the attention they were garnering and adjusted their plans accordingly. "Right now, Harry and Meghan are leaning towards not wanting to attract extra attention, especially on a day that's not about them," a source told E! News.
That's not to say that Markle and Prince Harry did not have an amazing time together at the wedding, which was held underneath a stunning glass canopy tent on the Middleton family estate. The evening included a five-course meal, an aerial flyover from a British World War II fighter jet, and a rousing singalong to the Beatles rendition of "Shout!" And perhaps the romantic reception will serve as inspiration for the couple in the future, as Prince Harry has reportedly already asked the Queen for permission to propose to Markle.