Brainstorming the perfect wedding seating chart is no easy feat for any bride-to-be (i.e. where do you place your cousin's ex-boyfriend without causing tension...), but toss in 600 guests and a royal wedding and we feel a phantom headache coming on just thinking about this monstrous planning undertaking.
Plus, with a ceremony of such a famous nature, every guest—no matter how elite—is probably itching to earn a front-row seat at St. George's Chapel to witness Prince Harry and Meghan Markle say "I do" (and get a closer view of Markle's buzz-worthy wedding dress). But, the good news is that Harry and Markle don't have to undergo this wedding planning nightmare alone, and it (somehow?) might be easier than it sounds.
It seems that the monarchy gets the full royal treatment (pun intended) when it comes to mapping out a wedding, and the soon-to-be-married couple will be receiving plenty of seating help from the Lord Chamberlain's Office, according to royal expert Alastair Bruce via Town and Country. One of the five branches of the Royal Household, the Lord Chamberlain's Office helps plan royal public events, including weddings and their corresponding seating charts. "They will assist [Prince Harry]," Bruce told Town and Country of the royal staff. "They know the layout of St. George’s Chapel, and they will guide him."
According to Bruce, the choir (or quire) of the church (the space closest to the altar) will be reserved for family, with Harry's royal relatives most likely staking their claim on the right side (with the exception of Prince William, who will stand beside the groom) and Markle's family sitting on the left. The church's nave (the rear section of the venue) will be reserved for the rest of the pair's guests, and it's truly up to the couple's discretion where they want their nearest and dearest to sit, Bruce said. "It’s very much a matter for the bride and the groom," he added of the couple's upcoming ceremony seating.
And, seating-wise, the couple probably won't have to worry too much about arrangements for the rest of the day (insert empathetic sigh of relief). It's believed that wedding guests will be standing during the pair's formal breakfast reception in the afternoon, hosted by Queen Elizabeth II at St. George's Hall. As for the evening reception at Frogmore House, the guest list is further condensed to an expected 200, which is somewhat more reasonable in terms of accommodations.
Harry and Markle also have it slightly better than Prince William and Kate Middleton, who invited a whopping 1,900 guests to their 2011 wedding at Westminster Abbey. While St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle has the capacity to hold 800, sources report that Markle and Harry plan to rearrange the pews in a diagonal alignment to give guests a better view, hence the shortened guest list of 600.
Although Her Majesty has most likely earned the best seat in the house for the wedding ceremony, we hope each lucky guest will have a prime view of the future bride and groom, even from the St. George's Chapel distant nave seats.