Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's royal wedding: Everything you need to know

It will be a quick engagement for Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle.

The couple announced their engagement in November and will wed in May 2018. Read on for a look at what we know about the much-anticipated upcoming royal wedding.

When is the wedding?

Prince Harry -- formally known as Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales -- will marry Markle on May 19 in an hour-long ceremony starting at 7 a.m. EST, or noon local time.

The date is a Saturday -- unusual, as most British royal weddings take place on a weekday.

Where is the wedding?

The wedding will take place at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

"The Dean of Windsor will conduct the service and The Archbishop of Canterbury will officiate as the couple make their vows," Kensington Palace announced on Feb. 12.

The wedding venue holds a central location in the history of the royal family. Windsor Castle, west of London, is one of Queen Elizabeth II's main residences. The 15th-Century chapel is as historic but more intimate than Westminster Abbey, where Prince William married Kate Middleton in 2011. The queen is also very involved in the College of St. George, according to its website.

When the engagement was announced, the palace said the wedding will "reflect [the couple’s] characters and personalities" and be a moment of "fun and joy."

After the ceremony, the royal couple will undertake a carriage procession from St. George's Chapel through Windsor Town and then return to Windsor Castle.

"They hope this short journey will provide an opportunity for more people to come together around Windsor and to enjoy the atmosphere of this special day," the palace said.

Wedding guests will then meet the pair at for a reception at St. George's Hall. 

Harry’s father, Prince Charles, will hold a private reception later that evening for the newlyweds, with close friends and family members in attendance at an undisclosed location.

Prince Harry, 33, and Markle, 36, are “hugely grateful for the many good wishes they have received since announcing their engagement,” the palace added. “They are very much looking f`orward to the day and to being able to share their celebrations with the public.”

Claire Ptak of Violet Cakes will create the couple's wedding cake, Kensington Palace has revealed.

"Prince Harry and Ms. Markle have asked Claire to create a lemon elderflower cake that will incorporate the bright flavours of spring," the palace tweeted March 20. "It will be covered with buttercream and decorated with fresh flowers."

The chef "focuses on using seasonal and organic ingredients in her cakes," the palace said. "Ms. Markle previously interviewed Chef Ptak for her former lifestyle website The Tig."

Floral designer Philippa Craddock will join a team of florists from St. George’s Chapel and Buckingham Palace to create the displays for the royal wedding on May 19, Kensington Palace announced April 1. The designs will include locally sourced foliage and have flowers and plants that are in season during May.

The flowers will be distributed to charities after the wedding.

What needs to happen before the wedding?

Queen Elizabeth II needs to give her formal consent before the happy couple, who have already taken their engagement photos, can marry. 

On March 14, during a Privy Council meeting, the queen did just that.

“I declare My Consent to a Contract of Matrimony between My Most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales and Rachel Meghan Markle, which Consent I am causing to be signified under the Great Seal and to be entered in the Books of the Privy Council,” the statement released to the public the following day read.

The news comes after Markle was baptized on March 6 in the Chapel Royal at St. James Palace, according to a Daily Mail report. Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby was asked to lead the 45-minute service. 

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla Parker Bowles, attended the baptism as representatives of the crown.

Afterward, Markle was reportedly confirmed into the Anglican faith, allowing her to join her soon-to-be husband at Holy Communion.

And earlier in March, Markle reportedly had a private bridal shower ahead of her big day. 

E! News reported that some of Markle's friends threw her a bridal shower at the Soho Farmhouse in Oxfordshire, England, in early March. Some of the guests reportedly included Lindsay Jill Roth, Heather Dorak and the actress' mother, Doria Ragland. 

Who is expected to attend the event?

The wedding invitations have been mailed. Six hundred people were invited to the service and another 200 close friends received an invitation to an after party at Frogmore House, Kensington Palace announced on March 22.

The invitations were created by Barnard and Westwood, a printing company that has worked with the royal family since 1985. They featured letters in black ink with the Prince Charles’ Three-Feathered Badge printed in gold on the top. The invitations were burnished, gilded on the edges and complete with a gold border.

The pair announced on April 9 that they will be accepting donations to seven charities they support as wedding gifts for their upcoming royal nuptials.

“Prince Harry & Ms. Meghan Markle are incredibly grateful for the goodwill they have received since their engagement, [and] have asked that anyone who might wish to mark the occasion of their wedding considers giving to charity, instead of sending a gift,” Kensington Palace wrote in a news release.

The soon-to-be royal couple also invited 2,640 people into the grounds of Windsor Castle, a prime location to watch the pair's arrival and carriage procession.

The majority of those invited, 1,200 to be exact, will be members of the public, nominated by local Lord Lieutenant offices.

"The couple has asked that the people chosen are from a broad range of backgrounds and ages, including young people who have shown strong leadership, and those who have served their communities," the palace said in a statement.

The pair also invited members of charities and other organizations, local schoolchildren, residents of Windsor and members of the Royal Household. However, those invitations do not include a seat at the ceremony at St. George's Chapel, which seats about 800.

Those spots are reserved for immediate family and close friends of the bride and groom.

Harry's grandmother Queen Elizabeth II and other royals are expected to attend the wedding, along with Markle's parents, Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland.

Additionally, a Dec. 26 report said that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle want former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle to attend their spring wedding. But the British government is reportedly concerned that President Trump will take it as a snub. 

When asked about the Obamas' possible attendance on Dec. 27 on BBC Radio 4’s Today program, Prince Harry replied: "I don’t know about that – we haven’t even put the invite or the guest list together. Who knows if he’s going to be invited or not? I wouldn't want to ruin that surprise." 

Spice Girls member Mel B said on the talk show "The Real" Feb. 27 that she will attend the couple's nuptials -- and revealed that her fellow bandmates were invited, too. The singer didn't confirm if the pop group would perform at the wedding reception. 

"I’ve met Prince Charles lots of times," fellow Spice Girl Mel B told The Sun at The Prince's Trust Awards on March 6. "I’m going to ask him where my invite is because I haven’t got mine yet, obviously Mel B said she has hers. I think Mel was just kind of having a bit of a joke. There are no plans to go to the wedding at the moment."

Also on March 6, Hello! reported that Markle's "Suits" castmates will be among those to get invites when they are sent out. 

What do we know about Markle’s engagement ring?

Prince Harry designed the custom engagement ring he gave to his fiancée -- and it includes some special sentiments.

The center stone is from Botswana, where the two visited in August. But the two stones that flank the center jewel honor Prince Harry’s mother as they're from Princess Diana's collection.

The ring was made by court jewelers Cleave and Company, according to Town & Country magazine.

Is there anything special or unusual about the wedding date?

There could be a newborn at the wedding.

Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince William are expecting their third child shortly before the wedding. Kensington Palace announced in October that Middleton’s due date is in April.

What’s more, the timing of the wedding could also have to do with Prince Harry’s aging grandfather, Prince Philip.

Royal expert Kate Nicholl told Entertainment Tonight that the prince’s close bond with his grandfather is behind the timing and venue of the wedding.

“In fact, one of the reasons that Prince Harry has wanted this wedding to happen quite quickly -- this is really whirlwind by royal standards -- is because his 96-year-old grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, is retired now and Prince Harry really wants him to be at his wedding,” Nicholl said. “He's incredibly close to his grandfather and, being 96, Harry thought it was it was a great thing to [have] the wedding sooner rather than later, so his grandfather could be there, fit and healthy.”

And another fact about the wedding date that is perhaps a little less romantic: May 19 is the date that Anne Boleyn, the former queen of England, was executed as ordered by her husband, King Henry VIII, in 1536.

May 19 is also the FA Cup final, one of the biggest English sports events of the year, the Associated Press reported. Prince William, Harry’s older brother, is president of the Football Association and presented the trophy to the winner in 2017.

Fox News' Katherine Lam, Sasha Savitsky, Zoe Szathmary and Morgan M. Evans contributed to this report, along with The Associated Press.

"The Dean of Windsor will conduct the service and The Archbishop of Canterbury will officiate as the couple make their vows," Kensington Palace announced in a tweet on Feb. 11.
"The Dean of Windsor will conduct the service and The Archbishop of Canterbury will officiate as the couple make their vows," Kensington Palace announced in a tweet on Feb. 11.

Madeline Farber is a Reporter for Fox News. You can follow her on Twitter @MaddieFarberUDK.