They’ve invited 1,200 civilians to take part in their big day
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are determined to make their wedding their own, regardless of the fact that it’s a historic, royal event that will monopolize international news coverage for literal weeks.
They’re even shaking up the traditional wedding guest list protocol by inviting over a thousand civilians from all over the United Kingdom to help them celebrate their special day.
The list includes “young people who have shown strong leadership and those who have served their communities” — and that, frankly, is just really cool of them.
The couple asked Lord Lieutenants to invite 1,200 people to join the celebrations, including young people who have shown strong leadership, and those who have served their communities.— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) April 10, 2018
Harry and Meghan are (wisely) avoiding the politician route when it comes to guests, eschewing prior protocol by not inviting President Obama and Michelle or Donnie and Melania. You won’t see any politicians from the U.K. in attendance, either. These two decided to go a more unconventional route, but for great reasons.
Here are the stories of some of the people who will be joining the celebrations in the grounds of Windsor Castle on May 19th:— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) April 10, 2018
Instead, they’re inviting people like Philip Gillespie, a wounded Afghan war hero.
Philip Gillespie from Ballymena who lost his right leg in an IED incident in Afghanistan and works to raise funds and awareness for ABF The Soldiers' Charity. pic.twitter.com/WadD7gRpRq— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) April 10, 2018
As the creator of the Invictus Games — where wounded, injured, or sick veterans take part in multi-sport events — championing and recognizing members of the armed services is an important cause for Prince Harry. And both the younger prince and his brother, William, along with sister-in-law Duchess Kate, have long spoken passionately about causes like mental health and the arts.
Pamela Anomneze from Haringey. Pamela is the manager of Studio 306 Collective CIC, a social enterprise that helps those recovering from mental health issues through the creative arts. pic.twitter.com/gSNTcRt9SO— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) April 10, 2018
In the spirit of celebrating young leaders, they’ve included this fellow who spends his lunch periods at school teaching fellow students sign language. Oh our hearts.
Reuben Litherland from Derby. Reuben was born deaf and has started lunchtime lessons to teach sign language at school. pic.twitter.com/bpUUO0rIKL— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) April 10, 2018
And this young woman who helps train people with special needs for future employment.
Amy Wright from Annan. Amy is Chair of Board of Directors for the Usual Place café in Dumfries, which provides employment training and support for young people aged 16-25 with special needs. pic.twitter.com/ATZrolP2cV— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) April 10, 2018
They’ve also extended an invite to a survivor of the Manchester attack during an Ariana Grande concert last year.
This 12-year-old Manchester attack survivor has landed an invite to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding – and she couldn't be happier about it ❤️ pic.twitter.com/pbRiFcU5yB
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) April 11, 2018
Harry and Megan have asked that, in lieu of wedding gifts, anyone who “might wish to mark the occasion” consider making a donation to one of the charities they’ve chosen instead.
Their chosen charities represent a range of issues the couple is passionate about, including sport for social change, women’s empowerment, conservation, the environment, homelessness, HIV, and the Armed Forces.
— Free Radio News (@freeradionews) April 11, 2018
Seriously, how sweet is it that people all over Britain were completely surprised with invitations to the royal wedding? Call me a cliché American all you want, I think it’s incredibly modern and generous of them to include hard-working, community-focused people to take part in their big day instead of more famous names. And who could blame them for wanting to avoid any political pissing contests when it comes to who got an invite and who didn’t?
If you need me, I’ll be checking my mailbox for the ninth time today.