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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Are Making Their Own Rules

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US Magazine

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Are Making Their Own Rules

Royal rebels! When it comes to the terms of their romance, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry reign to defy tradition. Scroll down to find out how the Suits actress and the prince are making their own rules.

Together at Christmas

Although Prince William and Duchess Kate announced their engagement in November 2010, she wouldn’t spend Christmas at Sandringham House — Queen Elizabeth II’s place — with the royal family until after her wedding to William. But at Prince Harry’s request, the matriarch granted Meghan Markle permission to attend this year’s bash. Notes an insider, “Given that Meghan doesn’t have family in the U.K., it’s only right.”

Loving Out Loud

According to royal biographer Ingrid Seward, “there is no protocol” when it comes to royal PDA. But over the years, William and Kate have remained quite reserved, even making headlines over a rare December 6 pat on the knee. Markle and Harry have taken a different approach, holding hands and sharing a kiss at the September Invictus Games in Toronto — their first joint public appearance.

Her Signature Style

For their official engagement portrait released December 21, Markle chose a glamorous Ralph and Russo gown worth $75,000. The frock’s elegant tulle skirt and sheer top is a departure from the simple white Reiss dress Kate Middleton wore for her 2010 engagement photo. Markle also pushed boundaries during her first post-engagement appearance November 27, when she stepped out without panty hose. “Pretty much all of the royal women since as far back as I can remember” have worn them, says a palace source. “But there isn’t actually a rule.”

Their Wedding, Their Way

Despite pressure to tie the knot at Westminster Abbey (the site of William and Kate’s televised 2011 nuptials), Harry and Markle’s ceremony will take place at St. George’s Chapel. A palace source tells Us the smaller Windsor Castle venue “is much more fitting for someone who doesn’t always enjoy the public attention.” The last thing Harry wants, adds another insider, is “pomp and pageantry.” Among the big day’s “unconventional surprises,” predicts the source, will be Markle’s choice of a “maid of honor” as opposed to the typical British “chief bridesmaid.” Markle also hopes to have mom Ragland walk her down the aisle, instead of her father, says the insider. “Don’t expect a royal wedding by numbers,” says the source. “For them, it’s about keeping it personal.” 

Her Second Marriage

The couple’s May 19 ceremony won’t be Markle’s first trip down the aisle: The 36-year-old former actress wed talent manager Trevor Engelson in 2011, calling it quits two years later. While the queen has signed off on Harry’s vows, the last time a British royal wed an American divorcée (King Edward VIII married Wallis Simpson in 1937), he was forced to abdicate the throne.

Religious Differences

Before they tie the knot, Markle “will be getting baptized and confirmed” in the Church of England, reveals a palace source. Though she attended a Catholic high school in the States, her father Tom is Presbyterian and mother Ragland is Protestant. When she weds 33-year-old Harry, Markle (her rumored future title is the Duchess of Sussex) will also apply for British citizenship.

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