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With the royal wedding just days away, preparations will be in full swing – which means finalising detail around Meghan’s accommodation on the eve of her wedding, which is yet to be revealed. The palace revealed that, as is customary for many couples, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be spending the night before their wedding apart.
They announced that Harry will stay at Windsor Castle with his family while Meghan stays at an undisclosed location, to be revealed on Friday 18 May during the early evening when Meghan arrives at the accommodation.
With Harry and Meghan’s wedding set to take place in St George’s Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle, it’s likely Meghan will choose a location either in Windsor or close by.
For ease, the location is likely to be in or around Windsor Castle, with one likely option a private apartment within the grounds of the castle (it’s unlikely the engaged couple would bump into each other in the 1,000-room, 484,000 sq ft Grade I listed castle) or in a residence in the Great Park. The Royal Lodge, a Grade II listed house in Windsor Great Park, three miles south of the castle, is one such possibility.
The residence was the Queen Mother’s home until she died there in 2002 with the Queen by her side and in 1999 Sophie Wessex and her family spent the night there before her wedding to Prince Edward. However, since 2004 it has been the official residence of Prince Andrew so he may prefer to offer the rooms to his daughters Eugenie and Beatrice, who will be attending the wedding.
Frogmore House, a 17th century country house half a mile south of Windsor Castle where the couple had their official engagement photos taken, is another possible option.
It is also the location of the evening reception, where 200 guests will gather, so it would make logistical sense for family and friends to stay there.
The beautiful white stately home is used frequently for royal engagements and official business, but it is currently uninhabited.
Meghan Markle is expected to stay with her parents, Doria Ragland and Thomas Markle, who are flying in for the occasion.
Meghan will then travel to St George’s chapel by car with her mother on the morning of the wedding.
After the ceremony, the newlywed Harry and Meghan will lead a short procession through the streets of Windsor in a horse and carriage before returning to Windsor Castle for a wedding breakfast.
The evening reception for 200 guests will then take place at Frogmore House. The couple along with family and friends will return later to Windsor Castle where the couple will spend the first night as man and wife.
The last royal wedding to be held at St George’s Chapel was the marriage of Peter Phillips to his wife Autumn in 2008. The couple stayed apart on the night before the wedding, but the bride chose to stay in an apartment in the grounds of Windsor.
Ahead of her wedding day, the Duchess of Cambridge, then Kate Middleton, stayed at the Goring Hotel near to Buckingham Palace.
It is the only hotel in London to have the Queen’s royal warrant and she hosts frequent private events there, including a Christmas lunch for 60 of her staff, which she attended, and Prince Charles’ birthday party.