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Royal wedding location set; Meghan Markle to become U.K. citizen

 (Chris Jackson / Associated Press)
(Chris Jackson / Associated Press)

The royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will take place in May 2018, Kensington Palace announced Tuesday.

That puts the wedding festivities right behind the birth of royal baby No. 3, since Harry’s elder brother, Prince William, and his wife, Catherine, are expecting their third child in April. (That’s the one who will displace Harry as fifth in line to the British throne.)

The nuptials will be held at Windsor Castle in the 15th century St. George’s Chapel. The castle is one of Queen Elizabeth II’s main residences, which she had to grant her grandson permission to use. The location, west of London, is far more intimate than Westminster Abbey in London proper, where Prince William and the former Kate Middleton wed in 2011.

And, in a lucky break for Markle’s parents, the royal family confirmed that it will foot the bill for the wedding. 

Harry, 33, and Markle, 36, announced their engagement on Monday after about a year and a half together. The two sat down for an extended interview about their romance and proposal shortly after the announcement, officially kicking off royal wedding fever.

Britain’s prince and his unconventional fiancée, an actress best known for her work on the TV series “Suits,” touched upon some of the “disheartening” criticisms and major changes Markle will undergo as she joins the centuries-old institution.

According to CNN and People, Markle will retain her U.S. citizenship during the lengthy process of becoming a U.K. citizen, a spokesman said. She intends to become a British citizen once she marries Harry, but it is unclear if she will maintain dual citizenship.

The actress has been married once before, but the Church of England, which the queen governs, allows divorced people to remarry. The last royal wedding involving a divorced person was that of Harry’s father, Prince Charles. The heir apparent wed for a second time in 2005 when he and Camilla Parker Bowles tied the knot in a civil ceremony at a Windsor town hall.

The allowances have been hailed as a sign of a modernizing monarchy and a far cry from the 1930s when King Edward VIII abdicated the throne to marry Wallis Simpson, a twice-divorced American.

Also on Tuesday, the palace announced that the affianced pair will undertake official royal duties together this week. Markle will join Harry in Nottingham on Friday for their first official royal engagement, visiting Terrence Higgins Trust on World AIDS Day for a charity fair.

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