GIVEAWAY: We will be giving away a print copy of Sophie Weston’s The Prince’s Bride. Comment in our post with what you’re looking forward to in Harry and Meghan’s upcoming wedding! As this will be a continuing blog series, make sure to comment on all related posts leading up to the wedding for a chance to win each book in the Royal Wedding Invitations series!
We will announce the winners in our weekly newsletter, so make sure to subscribe if you haven’t already!
When life imitates fiction … Jessica Hart had written over 50 romances before she penned a royal story in 2010, and Prince William promptly announced his engagement to Kate Middleton. Another ten books later, Jessica joined forces with Sophie Weston, Liz Fielding and Anne McAllister to plan the Royal Wedding Invitation series of four books set around (you guessed it) a royal wedding. At which point Prince Harry obligingly asked Meghan Markle to marry him and they decided to get married at Windsor Castle. By a happy coincidence, Jessica has just finished writing a history of the castle with her other writing hat on, too.
Sophie, Liz, Anne and Jessica had great fun together plotting the wedding of commoner Hope Kennard to Prince Jonas, and they’ve been following Harry and Meghan’s wedding plans with interest. So how does the real royal wedding compare to their fictional one?
PLANNING A ROYAL WEDDING 1: THE VENUE
Jessica Hart and Sophie Weston
Decisions, decisions … That first momentous decision to get married is promptly followed by all the other decisions you need to make about the wedding itself. Where are you going to get married? Who will you invite? What about best man and bridesmaids? Oh, and then there’s the reception, the menu, the flowers …
Every bride wrestles with decisions like these when she’s marrying her prince. But what if the love your life really is a prince? That can change everything, not least how you plan your perfect wedding.
Of course, if you marry into the British royal family, as Meghan Markle is doing on 19 May 2018, your options are limited: barefoot ceremonies on some tropical island or a dash to a Las Vegas chapel are unlikely to go well with your future in-laws.
Meghan and Prince Harry have wisely opted to be married in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, as has Princess Eugenie, who is marrying her fiancé there later this year. You can see why they chose it. Nearly a thousand years old, Windsor Castle not only reeks of history and tradition, but has long been a favourite residence of the royal family. It’s where the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh spend their private weekends, a home as well as a spectacular backdrop for state occasions.
St George’s Chapel itself is one of the glories of Gothic architecture, but between you and me, it isn’t ideal as a wedding venue. The wedding itself will take place in the amazing Quire with its carved medieval stalls, but which is hidden from the view of guests sitting in the nave. Deciding who gets to sit in the Quire to watch the ceremony is likely to be a major headache.
In Sophie Weston’s The Prince’s Bride – the first book in the Royal Wedding Invitations series – Hope Kennard is, like Meghan Markle, a commoner marrying a prince. Prince Jonas has persuaded her – not without some difficulty – to marry him, but Hope has definite ideas about the wedding and is determined to push back against palace protocol. She isn’t big on protocol.
Hope wants to marry Prince Jonas in her home village of Combe St Philip. Instead of the grandeur of the San Michele castle and cathedral, Hope opts for the charm of a little country church, close to her childhood home, Hasebury Hall. So close, in fact, that on her wedding day Hope can walk to the church with her brother, Max, and walk back, a princess, with her new husband.
Harry and Meghan’s guests will also be able to walk to the reception on 19 May. St George’s Chapel lies within the precincts of Windsor Castle, so they will just need to walk up past the Round Tower and into the Upper Ward, where the state and private apartments are ranged around the Quadrangle.
Harry and Meghan themselves will be taking the long route to the Upper Ward. A horse-drawn carriage driven by liveried coachmen from the Royal Mews will take them through the town and back along the iconic Long Walk to join their guests at a reception in St George’s Hall. Hope and Jonas will be back at the manor sharing that first glass of champagne long before Harry and Meghan get to their reception!
Jonas and Hope’s decision to marry in Combe St Philip rather than with pomp and ceremony in San Michele embroils their friends and relatives in complications and entanglements galore – follow their stories in The Baronet’s Wedding Engagement by Jessica Hart, The Bridesmaid’s Royal Bodyguard by Liz Fielding and The Best Man’s Bride by Anne McAllister, all available now!
In Hope’s position, what kind of wedding would you choose? Would you go for the pomp and pageantry of a royal wedding, or hold out for a more intimate ceremony like Hope does?
The Prince’s Bride, Sophie Weston
The Baronet’s Wedding Engagement, Jessica Hart (available for FREE via BookBub for a limited time)
The Bridesmaid’s Royal Bodyguard, Liz Fielding
The Best Man’s Bride, Anne McAllister
* Photos from Bigstock or authors’ own
Jessica Hart is the author of more than 60 romances. She also writes historical novels under her real name, Pamela Hartshorne, and non-fiction, including most recently – and coincidentally – a history of Windsor Castle.
Find out more about Jessica at her website www.jessicahart.co.uk or keep in touch on Twitter @JessicaHartXX.
Sophie Weston started reading at four and wrote her first book shortly after. She even drew the pictures. She has published 48 romantic novels mainly as Sophie Weston for Harlequin Mills & Boon, with whom she sold more than 11 million copies in 27 languages and over 100 countries – they made an interesting calling card when she traveled widely for the day job. She also writes women’s fiction and has published To Marry a Prince as Sophie Page with Random House, and Red Hot Lover independently. She blogs regularly at LibertaBooks.com and lives in London, England. That fascinates her so much that she occasionally whips unsuspecting readers and authors on a walk round Georgette Heyer’s Regency Mayfair.