On Saturday, Meghan Markle married Prince Harry, and they broke stuffy old royal traditions in many ways. For example, Meghan is the first woman of color to be inducted in the royal family, as well as the first divorcee. At the beginning of the ceremony, they held hands before the altar, which is not normal protocol. And rather than kiss on the balcony at Buckingham Palace, they kissed in front of the crowd at Windsor Castle.
The reception had a informal, contemporary vibe as well. Reportedly the first song the royal couple danced to was by Whitney Houston, there was a game of beer pong, and talk show host James Corden compered a dance-off between the three princes, Charles, Harry and William. (Somebody please leak footage of this!) William even played an elaborate prank on Harry, by tying a ladder to the back of his brother's car. I know, I don't get it either, but it's fun to see the royal family loosen up a bit.
Kensington Palace has released three official wedding photos of Harry and Meghan, taken by photographer Alexi Lubomirski, who also took their engagement photos. Grant Harrold, known as "Britain's Official Etiquette Expert," said that these photos show the couple is "very modern." The first pic, snapped in black and white, shows them casually sitting on the steps outside. Just chillin.' No big deal.
As people watched Harry and Meghan tie the knot, they couldn't help but be reminded of the previous Royal Wedding, between Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011. Their wedding had a much more formal vibe, as you can tell from their first wedding photo: Standing bolt upright, in Buckingham Palace's throne room. Kate's wedding dress and hairstyle are more formal, as well, contrasting with Meghan's minimal, elegant gown, and 'messy bun.'
Harry and Meghan's group photo is casual, with many people sitting on the floor, and Princess Charlotte sitting on her mother's lap. If you don't know your royals, her mother is Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton. This pics features senior members of the royal family, as well as Meghan's mom, Doria Ragland. Her father, Thomas Markle, was unable to make it to the wedding due to health concerns.
In William and Kate's group photo, everyone lined up much more carefully, and some people sit in chairs. Notice that nobody sits on the floor, or on anyone's lap. The opulent decorations are in perfect symmetry, and at Buckingham Palace, their chandelier game is totally on point.
Speaking to FEMAIL, Harrold, that etiquette expert dude, explained why Prince Harry could be so informal: He's sixth in line for the throne, behind Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, and Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge.
"The official Pictures of the Prince and Princess of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were fitting for that of future Kings and Queens. As the Duke of Sussex is sixth in line to the throne have he can have a more relaxed approach as we saw in their wedding, and now in their official photographs too, which are wonderful to see and really goes to show what modern royals they are."
This explains why Meghan can kneel on the floor to take a cute photo with the bridesmaids and page boys.
However, Kate appears to be sitting in a chair. At Buckingham Palace, there will be no kneeling on the floor, like filthy peasants!
So, there you have it. Clearly, both the formal look and the casual look have their charms. I wonder, do wedding photos get increasingly informal, the farther away, in line for the throne? Maybe if a royal couple is tenth in line to the throne, the bride and groom can take their wedding photo doing keg stands. I think that would be cool.