Yesterday, the Queen announced her official consent of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s upcoming marriage in a letter to the Privy Council. Her Majesty’s approval is great news for the engaged couple (and fans rooting for them), but some people questioned the differences between her letter for Markle and Harry and the one she penned for Kate Middleton and Prince William.
In Harry and Meghan’s letter, the Queen refers to the bride-to-be only as her full name, Rachel Meghan Markle. But in William and Kate’s letter, which she penned in 2011, the Queen calls the bride “our trusty and well-beloved Catherine Elizabeth Middleton.”
— Emily Nash (@emynash) March 15, 2018
Yes, the difference in word choice is obvious, but no, the Queen did not intentionally disrespect Markle. Hello! confirms that Her Majesty also only referred to Middleton as “trusty and well-beloved” in the official Instrument of Consent—the formal notice of her approval, which is written in calligraphy, framed, sealed with the Great Seal of the Realm, and signed by the Queen in the right hand corner. This fully-packaged decree wasn’t released until a week before William and Kate’s wedding on April 29, 2011.
Harry and Meghan’s Instrument of Consent hasn’t been issued just yet. They’ll receive theirs closer to their nuptials on May 19.
Hello! adds that when Queen declared William and Kate’s wedding to the Privy Council (like she did for Harry and Meghan yesterday), she also simply referred to Middleton as her name: “I declare My Consent to a Contract of Matrimony between My Most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales and Catherine Elizabeth Middleton.”
The queen’s written approvals were done in observance of the Royal Marriages Act of 1772, which legally requires all direct descendants of King George II obtain the sovereign’s consent in marriage, otherwise the union is invalid, The Telegraph reports.