Prince Harry, Meghan Markle to tie the knot on 19 May 2018, confirms Kensington Palace

AP

December 16, 2017 08:54:32 IST

London: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will marry in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on 19 May — the same day as one of the biggest English sports events of the year, the FA Cup final.

The date was confirmed by the prince's Kensington Palace office on 15 December.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Image from Twitter/@KensingtonRoyal.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Image from Twitter/@KensingtonRoyal

While most British royal weddings are on weekdays, this one is a Saturday, and the same day as the soccer showdown at London's Wembley Stadium.

Harry's grandmother Queen Elizabeth II and other royals are expected to attend the wedding, along with Markle's parents, Thomas Markle and Doria Ragland.

The climax of soccer's oldest cup competition could present a distraction for guests at the royal reception, although the events should at least be at different times. The FA Cup competition, which is open to hundreds of teams all the way from the top-ranked Premier League down to amateur clubs, began in August and is played every month until two teams meet in the final.

England's Football Association said in a statement that "19 May promises to be a wonderful day with such a special royal occasion being followed by English football's showpiece event."

The timing could be an issue for Harry's older brother Prince William, who is expected to be the best man at the wedding. William is president of the Football Association. He attended this year's match and presented a trophy to the winner, Arsenal — but will likely be otherwise engaged in 2018.

Harry is an Arsenal fan, and may find himself conflicted if his team makes the final for a fourth time in the last five years.

The prince and Markle announced their engagement last month after an 18-month romance.

The 33-year-old prince, who is fifth in line to the British throne, and the 36-year-old divorced American actress met through a mutual friend in 2016, bonded during a camping holiday in Botswana and managed to keep their relationship secret from the media for several months.

In a joint interview last month, Markle said Harry proposed over a roast-chicken dinner at home. He gave her a ring set with two diamonds that belonged to his late mother, Princess Diana.

Markle is to be baptized in the Church of England before the wedding, and has said she will acquire British citizenship. That will require passing an eclectic citizenship test on British life and history that is famous for tripping up applicants.

Updated Date: Dec 16, 2017 08:54 AM