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Sunday
May132018

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will get Queen Elizabeth's handwritten, formal consent to their 'contract of matrimony' 

iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Buckingham Palace today shared an image of the handwritten Instrument of Consent for the marriage of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle on Saturday.

The document reads, "Now know ye that we have consented and do by these presents signify our consent to the contracting of matrimony between our most dearly beloved grandson Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales, K.C.V.O., and Rachel Meghan Markle."

It is handwritten and illuminated on vellum by one of the artists from the Crown Office. Vellum is used only for important state documents.

The queen's signature, "Elizabeth R," can be seen at the top right of the document that will be presented to Prince Harry and Markle after the wedding.

Queen Elizabeth gave her consent to the marriage earlier, writing in a letter to the Privy Council on March 14 her support for "my most dearly beloved grandson," Prince Harry, to marry Rachel Meghan Markle.

According to a statement released today by Buckingham Palace, a design to the left of the text on the Instrument of Consent “incorporates a red dragon, the heraldic symbol of Wales, together with the U.K.'s floral emblems -- the rose, thistle and shamrock. It also features Prince Harry’s label, including three tiny red escallops from the Spencer family arms.“

To the right of the text is a rose, which is the national flower of the United States, and two golden poppies, the state flower of California where Markle was born. Between the flowers is the Welsh leek, together with Prince Harry’s label. Beneath the label are olive branches, adopted from the Great Seal of the United States. The document also incorporates the coronet for Prince Harry.

According to the Succession to the Crown Act of 2013, the first six people in line to the throne must obtain the consent of the Queen before marrying.

Queen Elizabeth also gave her consent prior to Prince William and Princess Kate's marriage in 2011.

In a statement a week before their wedding, she wrote her support for the marriage of, "our most dearly beloved grandson, Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales, K.G., and our trusty and well-beloved Catherine Elizabeth Middleton."

Also this weekend, Kensington Palace announced that Episcopal Bishop Michael Bruce Curry of Chicago will travel to Windsor to give the address at the wedding service with the Dean of Windsor, Rev. David Conner, who will conduct the service. The Hon. Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, will officiate as the couple make their marriage vows.

Bishop Curry said upon the announcement, "The love that has brought and will bind Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle together has its source and origin in God, and is the key to life and happiness. And so we celebrate and pray for them today."

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