Word on the street is that Prince Harry is dating American actress Meghan Markle. But before things get serious and we start planning the next royal wedding, there's one crucial thing that needs to be discussed. Could Prince Harry ever marry Meghan Markle since she's been divorced?
Besides the fact that we already know she looks killer in a wedding dress, there may be some hoops to jump through to make it happen. The short answer: Probably, yes. The long answer, however, involves some very interesting protocol for royal marriages — which includes an archaic rule by George III's Royal Marriages Act of 1772 prohibiting senior members of the royal families to wed a Catholic (along with commoners or divorcees). The 35-year-old American actress, best known for her role in Suits checks off two of those forbidden boxes (being that she was married before and went to Catholic school), according to People. Luckily for our favorite ginger and his new leading lady, that ban was softened last year, and the new rule is that only the first six royals in line have to ask the Queen for permission to marry (as well as senior members of the royal fam are now allowed to marry a Catholic). So we may have a royal wedding on our hands sooner rather than later — whew.
And while we wait for our favorite eligible British bachelor to get more serious with his new gal (hey, he did say he's ready to start a family!), here's a bit of a back story on the royal marriage situation. Apparently, the law came into effect in 2015 after Prince George was born, when there was talk that if the children were raised Catholic, they wouldn't be able to inherit the throne (and if Georgie had been a girl, a second-born son would have had precedence over a first-born girl in the same family, according to People). The law was established due to the monarch being the Head of the Church of England, which is of Protestant Anglican faith.
Even if the law were still an issue, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles would have some explaining to do if Prince Harry and Markle were the were forbidden to marry. In 2005, Queen Elizabeth gave Charles permission to marry fellow divorcee Camilla Parker Bowles (with some reservation, as she and Prince Philip didn't attend the ceremony — burn).
Thank goodness for papa Prince Charles, since the law now seems to be a non-issue, with the heir to the throne noting that he will be a 'defender of faiths' rather than just Anglican Protestantism — meaning that heirs to the throne can practice whichever religion they prefer.
Our wedding bells pipe dream may not be on the horizon for the the 35-year-old and our favorite ginger just yet, but at least we know that it is possible, should the time come. Praise the lawd (no pun intended!).