Former Suits actress Meghan Markle and her fiancé Prince Harry are no strangers to parting from royal wedding traditions, and we are here for it. It was previously revealed that Markle plans to give a speech to Harry at her May 19 wedding, even though royal brides typically never get their turn at the mic on their special days. The bride also tinkered with the unconventional idea of her mother walking her down the aisle. But, while the couple seems to be playing by their own royal wedding planning rules, there is one tradition that remains at question—will the future bride and groom spend the night before their nuptials together?
According to the Daily Mail, the answer is a resounding no. As per one of the many, many royal wedding customs, the bride and groom are expected to remain apart from each other the night before they say "I do," and Markle and Harry will be no exception. Despite their departure from traditions, it seems this is one that will have to stick around.
So, where exactly will these lovebirds be getting their separate wedding beauty rests? Daily Mail reports that Prince Harry will bunk up at the five-star Coworth Park hotel in Berkshire—a convenient 15 minute drive away from the wedding venue, St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. Prince William, Harry's official best man, will also reportedly spend the night at the same spot (pre-wedding brother sleepover, perhaps?). The two princes are no stranger to this luxe lodge—both have frequently played polo on the Coworth Park grounds.
As for Markle, the future bride is to stay at the Cliveden House Hotel (25 minutes away from Windsor Castle) with her mother, Doria Ragland, who has already arrived in London and will escort Markle by car to the chapel the following morning. Located on the National Trust's Cliveden Estate, this venue totes rooms of up to £1,500 (about $2,038) per night, so it's safe to assume it lives up to a future royal bride's standards. Fittingly enough, the hotel even has a "Prince of Wales suite," meaning it naturally has the royals written all over it. There's no word on whether Markle's close friends (including the two helping out with her wedding day makeup) will also snag rooms in the hotel before the wedding.
Both hotels have no shortage of spa options and amenities to melt away the pre-ceremony stress, because even the couple's wedding officiant is feeling the pressure of the worldwide televised affair. Unfortunately, if you're trying to
stalk bump into the bride or groom the night before the wedding, Cliveden House and Coworth Park are fully booked until after the festivities.
Prior to these picks, Markle had no shortage of surrounding locations to stay before the nuptials, including one of the luxurious apartments stowed away in Windsor Castle, according to Hello. Queen Elizabeth II even considers Windsor her favorite weekend home spot, so Markle could have received a nudge from the monarch to make her home there for the evening. Plus, the castle has plenty of bedrooms to host Markle's nearest and dearest. Or, the bride-to-be could have potentially spent the night at Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park, where the Queen Mother lived until she passed away. However, Prince Andrew has lived in this locale since 2004, so his daughter, Princess Eugenie, will most likely get first dibs on the lodge for her upcoming fall royal wedding.
Markle and Harry currently live together on the grounds of Kensington Palace at Nottingham Cottage, which has been the redheaded royal's home for the past four years. Shortly after her engagement, Markle moved into the cottage, which is next door to Prince William and Kate Middleton's residence with Prince George and Princess Charlotte. Will and Kate made history as the first royal couple to live together before their marriage, so Harry and Markle have been following in their footsteps. It's unclear whether the soon-to-be-wed couple will remain at the cottage after they become husband and wife.
Well, one thing's for sure—if Meghan Markle and Prince Harry spend their wedding night apart, it will make their first look on the big day itself that much more special. We can't wait to tune in from across the pond—only five more days, people!