Not a minute too soon, Meghan Markle and Prince have secured an important approval in royal wedding protocol: the queen’s blessing.
Is this the “something blue” of regal matrimony? It's actually much more formal. If you’re within six places in line for the throne, spousal approval must be granted by the reigning monarch.
Momentous as the occasion is, fans have pointed out an interesting discrepancy between this message of consent and the one Queen Elizabeth dictated for Prince William and Kate Middleton.
During a Privy Council meeting at Buckingham Palace, her majesty conveyed her approval and gave her official blessing: “My Lords, 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 signified under the Great Seal and to be entered in the books of the Privy Council."
Nice, right? Well, listen to how she introduced the soon-to-be Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011:
“Our most dearly beloved grandson Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales, K.G. and our trusty and well-beloved Catherine Elizabeth Middleton."
While William and Harry are both “dearly beloved,” their prospective spouses are not treated with equal finesse. Kate is “trusty and well-beloved,” while Meghan is simply “Rachel Meghan Markle.”
Although royal watchers are quick to call the queen’s omission “shade,” maybe it’s simply because she knew Kate a lot better at this point in their relationship? Kate and William dated on-and-off beginning somewhere around 2003. Middleton met the queen five years later, in 2008, three years prior to their 2011 nuptials. Markle, however, only met Queen Elizabeth in October of last year.
However, according to documents obtained by The Huffington Post, Queen Elizabeth's declaration of consent for Middleton and Prince William read much the same as Markle and Prince Harry's and referred to Middleton as "Catherine Elizabeth Middleton," not an adjective in sight.
As it turns out, Queen Elizabeth only added the adjectives describing Kate Middleton as "trusty and well-beloved" in the Instrument of Consent—the final document issuing her approval of the marriage, which is signed just a week or two prior to the wedding.