Let’s cast our minds back to November 2017 when the announcement came from Clarence House that Prince Harry was to marry the former actress, Meghan Markle and that their wedding would take place on a glorious spring day in May. We were excited right? We were overjoyed weren’t we? And many of you became a tiny bit hysterical.
It was dubbed the ‘People’s Wedding’ by many at the start of the year when further details were announced. The fact that immediately after their wedding Prince Harry and Meghan Markle would be taking part in a procession through the streets of Windsor excited fans beyond belief.
The icing on the cake came when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle decided to invite more than 1000 members of the public into the grounds of Windsor Castle on May 19th to be the first people to catch a glimpse of the newly married couple before they headed off on their procession.
Just recently though, as more details of the big day are being announced by Kensington Palace the wedding of the year dubbed as the ‘People’s Wedding’ is slowly becoming just ‘a wedding’.
Let us start with those lucky ‘Golden Ticket’ invitees who will flock to the grounds of Windsor Castle for what will probably be a once in a lifetime opportunity for many. In an invitation that was intended to build bridges between The Royal Family and some of the most deprived members of society, the hospitality it seems won’t extend further than an invite.
Guests have been encouraged in letters from Lord Lieutenants across the country to ‘bring a picnic lunch as it will not be possible to buy food or drink on site’.
The invitees are expected to spend nearly five hours on the grounds outside St George’s Chapel and there won’t be a cucumber sandwich or a bottle of water in sight.
Now you might wonder why that is a problem or you might not even see it as a problem but let us remember that these ‘Golden Ticket’ winners did not ask to be invited to the wedding, it was at the request of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle – a kind gesture if you will. If Harry and Meghan’s team can go to the expense of sending out these invites then surely they can provide a few snacks and some drinks for the gathered crowds – some of whom will have travelled for hours to be there.
Security will be tight on the day of the wedding and if anyone can tell me that it will be easy to pop up the Long Walk to find a Patisserie or a Cafe to grab a sausage roll then I will stop writing this piece now!
No? I didn’t think so!
The security operation around Windsor on May 19th will be massive and any invitee in the grounds of Windsor Castle will not be allowed out to go and buy a can of 7UP and a bag of Skittles.
Oh, but bring your own picnic. People are descending on Windsor from all parts of the country and the world and yet Harry and Meghan and their team are expecting these people to carry bags of food for seven or eight hours on a train and drag it through the streets of Windsor until they reach their coveted spot outside the chapel.
People across social media were bemused at the request and found it strange that the Royals weren’t putting on a small selection of snacks for the guests to enjoy.
I’ve just been listening to @theJeremyVine – it seems the guests have been sent a second letter asking them to bring chairs too. Some are delighted & will make the most of their Golden Ticket whereas for others it’s becoming a logistical challenge.
— The Royal Spectator (@RoyalSpectator) May 4, 2018
They can buy things from the shop on the day but as one caller said how much can the shop stock for so many guests? IMHO in the scheme of things it would’ve been nice to provide something for these special guests…
— The Royal Spectator (@RoyalSpectator) May 4, 2018
Add into that the added request that guests bring their own chairs. Yes really! Come on guys, you’ve invited people into one of the biggest fortresses in the world and you can’t provide some seating for the young, middle-aged and old to park their backsides on? Are we living in the 21st century or the 15th?
So then Kensington Palace announced that they are going to charge Royal photographers £750 to take photos of the special day.
Now we are being asked to pay over £700 to stand on the grass at #WindsorCastle for #RoyalWedding2018 A first for wedding at Windsor BTW any idea whether they are providing a press centre etc as part of the professional working environment that they are happy to charge us for?
— Rookie (@royalfocus1) May 4, 2018
£750! That is a month’s wage to some people. And to those photographers just starting out, trying to get their foot in the door, trying to let those people in on the special day who can’t make it to Windsor, £750 is an astonishing amount. Add into that accommodation prices, travel costs and food (because if that isn’t provided for invited guests then it certainly won’t be provided for photographers) then that price triples.
In the 30 years i’ve been doing this i can only remember having to pay for 2 events, Prince William’s wedding and now £900 for Prince Harry’s. Don’t even see the couple this time bar the top of them as the carriage goes by. Simply incredible.
— Mark Cuthbert (@markacuthbert) May 4, 2018
For those of you asking how is this the fault of Harry and Meghan, do you honestly think that these plans get approved without the Royal couple’s say so?
The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was set to be a great celebration for people of all ages to get involved with, it is what we thought we were being encouraged to do. Yet as the day approaches it seems Kensington Palace and indeed the Bride and Groom are doing everything they can to make it as complicated as possible for those who wish to share their day.
If this about Harry’s anger with the press then let me repeat something I said a number of years ago regarding William and Kate – they need the press as much as the press needs them.
1992 was The Royal Family’s ‘Annus Horribilis’ and believe this if Harry and Meghan continue to push away the press, the photographers and indeed the people, then The Royal Family’s next ‘Annus Horribilis’ will happen sooner than anyone wants it to.
Come on Harry and Meghan, you were supposed to be the ‘People’s Royals’, start acting that way!