The royal wedding of Prince Harry & Meghan Markle was full of wedding traditions both old and new. One element of their wedding steeped in royal tradition was their wedding invitations. Royal wedding invitations have been the same basic design, with some very minor changes, since Queen Victoria's son was married in the mid 19th century. While picking out your invitation involves picking colors, fonts, and design elements royal couples have it quite easy. The decision is made for them.
The invitation is printed on a white card stock with black writing. The only element of color is the royal crest printed at the top which is gold foil. The foil was not added to royal invitations (wedding or otherwise) until the 1950's. Who's crest is to be printed on the invitation depends on who is hosting the wedding. They are always printed landscape.
The first line of the invitation is where the host is revealed. If the Queen is hosting the invitation will state "The Lord Chamberlain is commanded by the Queen to invite" while if another member of the royal family is hosting the line reads more traditionally as "requests the pleasure of the company." The hosting royal family member's name will be their full royal title while if the Queen is hosting it will read only "The Queen" or "Her Majesty."
The next two lines will be blank lines that the names of the invited guests will be written in before the invitations are mailed. The names will be written formally and will include all titles the guests may have. Traditionally there are no "plus 1s." Royal protocol follows the "no ring, no bring" mantra. That means that if you are not engaged or married it is expected that you will attend alone.
The names of the couple getting married will be listed based on aristocratic ranking. This means that the name of the royal getting married will be listed first and then the name of their fiance, regardless of gender. In non-royal tradition the bride's name is written first. So in this case the names were listed "His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales with Ms. Meghan Markle" indicating Prince Harry's formal name including the location since his father is the Prince of Wales.
As not customary by wedding etiquette but customary in royal etiquette the RSVP information is listed on the wedding invitation itself. This is more to do with the royal wedding following RSVP tradition customary for all royal events. Guests also don't RSVP to the couple but instead to the royal household secretary.
It is amazing to me that royal invitations have had the same design for well over a century. It shows that every detail in wedding planning is important and steeped in tradition.
Congrats to the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex!!!
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