Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will invite more than 2,000 lucky members of the public into the grounds of Windsor Castle to watch the entrance of the bride and groom on their wedding day.
Those permitted into the castle’s grounds will include 1,200 people ‘who have served their communities’, to be picked by the Queen’s representatives around the UK.
The guests will also include 200 people from charities and organizations supported by Harry and Meghan, it was announced today.
Around 100 pupils from two local schools, 610 Windsor Castle community members and 530 members of the Royal Household will also be present.
The process of selecting members of the public to be invited to the wedding started today, Kensington Palace revealed.
The royal couple will marry at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle on May 19, with millions of people expected to watch around the world.
They will then board on a carriage procession around the Berkshire town, cheered by residents and visitors, before a reception at St George’s Hall.
In a statement today, Kensington Palace said: ‘Prince Harry and Ms Meghan Markle have said they want their Wedding Day to be shaped so as to allow members of the public to feel part of the celebrations too.
‘This wedding, like all weddings, will be a moment of fun and joy that will reflect the characters and values of the Bride and Groom.
‘In addition to the Carriage Procession in Windsor, they have today shared some further details of how the public will be involved on May 19th.
‘Prince Harry and Ms Markle have invited 2,640 people into the grounds of Windsor Castle to watch the arrivals of the Bride and Groom, and their wedding guests, at the chapel and to watch the carriage procession as it departs from the castle.’
Palace aides have previously said that the prince and Ms Markle’s wedding will ‘reflect their characters and personalities’ and be a moment of ‘fun and joy’.
The Queen will attend, as will the rest of the royal family, along with Ms Markle’s parents Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland.
Prince George and Princess Charlotte are likely to take on the roles of pageboy and bridesmaid.
The royal family is paying for the wedding, including the church service, the music, the flowers and the reception. But the security costs for the high-profile event are being covered by the state.
Harry proposed to Suits star Ms Markle during a cosy night in over a roast chicken dinner after a 16-month whirlwind romance.
In his engagement interview he told of how ‘the stars were aligned’ when he fell for his future wife, whom he met on a blind date.
The palace said further details about the wedding day would be revealed in the weeks and months ahead.
Last month, the couple revealed further details of their wedding and said they are ‘hugely grateful for the many good wishes they have received since announcing their engagement’
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will marry the couple and the Rt Rev David Conner, Dean of Windsor, will conduct the service at the Castle’s 15th century chapel.
On the evening of the wedding, the Prince of Wales will give a private evening reception for the couple and their close friends and family.
The wedding takes place on the same date as the the 2018 FA Cup Final and, as president of the Football Association, Harry’s older brother the Duke of Cambridge usually attends the FA Cup Final and presents the trophy.
Windsor Castle is less than 30 miles from Wembley Stadium and about an hour’s drive – meaning that William would be away from the celebrations for a minimum of two hours if he was to dash off to present the silverware.
Last month, the second-in-line to the throne joked about whether or not he would be best man, quipping: ‘He hasn’t asked me yet – it could be a sensitive issue.’
He also said he is ‘still working’ on the date clash between the wedding and the football.