Queen Elizabeth II officially gave her formal consent to her grandson Prince Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle, which takes place on May 19. Her Majesty made the announcement yesterday in a letter to the Privy Council, her official group of advisors.
Her message reads:
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 signed under the Great Seal and to be entered in the Books of the Privy Council.
— Meghans Mirror (@MeghansMirror) March 15, 2018
The Queen did the same thing for Prince William and Kate Middleton ahead of their royal wedding in April 2011. However, the consent was announced when the formal letter was publicly revealed on April 21—about a week before their April 29 nuptials—featuring hand-written calligraphy, a frame, the Great Seal of the Realm, and the Queen’s signature in the top right corner.
The official notice, frame and all, is called the Instrument of Consent. William and Kate received theirs after their wedding, Reuters reports. Harry and Meghan will likely receive their own after saying “I do” too.
According to the Royal Marriages Act of 1772, all direct descendants of King George II are required by law to obtain the sovereign’s consent in marriage, otherwise the union is invalid, The Telegraph reports.
The Queen’s announcement arrives a few days after Markle’s first time accompanying her at a royal event. The former actress joined the royal family—including Harry, William, Kate, Prince Charles, Camilla Parker Bowles and Prince Philip—in the official Commonwealth Day celebrations on Monday. The group witnessed readings and performances in honor of the holiday at Westminster Abbey together, along with other high-profile guests.
Harry and Meghan also had an “intimate lunch” with the Queen on Sunday, Mother’s Day in the U.K., ABC News reports. The get-together is yet another example of how the royal family is helping Markle adjust to her new life.