The royal wedding is nearly upon us and with that means there are a ton of last-minute preparations going on in London, England, around the clock. As the world prepares to rejoice as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tie the knot on May 19, take a look at how the royal family and Meghan's crew are getting ready for the big day.
The Queen Approves
On May 12, Buckingham Palace shared an image of the Instrument of Consent, the hand-written document which details Queen Elizabeth's approval of her grandson's marriage to the American actress. The document will be given to the newlyweds after their wedding. "NOW KNOW YE that We have consented and do by these Presents signify Our Consent to the contracting of Matrimony between Our Most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales, K.C.V.O., and Rachel Meghan Markle," the consent reads.
According to the Palace, "the Instrument of Consent is drafted by the Crown Office and is, in the case of Prince Harry's marriage, hand-written and illuminated on vellum by one of a panel of scrivener artists retained by the Crown Office. Vellum is used only for important State documents."
Let There Be Cake!
Preparations for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Saturday nuptials have begun, and the pastry chef behind their royal wedding cake is hard at work. While Claire Ptak, the owner of London's Violet Bakery since 2010, did not outright say she was already baking for the nuptials, her bakery did drop some hints on social media on May 14, sharing a photo of several crates of lemons alongside the caption, "And so it begins." A few hours later, the bakery posted another photo of what appears to be the top of a cake that includes fresh flowers, writing, "Petal perfect." According to a press release from Kensington Palace in March, the wedding cake will have a lemon elderflower flavor and be "covered with buttercream and decorated with fresh flowers."
Meghan's Mom Flies to London
Ahead of her daughter's royal wedding to Prince Harry, Doria Ragland was spotted making her way to LAX airport on May 15. The bride-to-be's mother was casually dressed in beige slacks, a white tee, a black blazer and tennis shoes, and she also carried a black purse and a Burberry garment bag.
Page Boys and Bridesmaids Announced
On May 16, Meghan and Harry's page boys and bridesmaids were named, and, to no one's surprise, the list included Prince William and Kate Middleton's two eldest children, Prince George, 4, and Princess Charlotte, 3. Royal expert Katie Nicholl told ET in March that Meghan was eager to meet the two youngsters and "really fell" for Harry after the introduction
In addition to Harry's niece and nephew, Kensington Palace announced five more bridesmaids and three more page boys. Meghan's best friend, Jessica Mulroney and her husband, Benedict Mulroney, will have their children, 7-year-old twins boys Brian and John and 4-year-old daughter Ivy, involved in the ceremony, plus Meghan's goddaughters, Remi, 6, and Rylan, 7, will also serve as bridesmaids for the big event. The two girls are the daughters of Benita Litt and Darren Litt, Meghan's close friends.
As for Harry, his godchildren, 3-year-old Florence van Custem, the daughter of Alice van Custem and Major Nicholas van Custem, and 2-year-old Zalie Warren, daughter of Zoe and Jake Warren, are part of the royal wedding party. Both sets of parents are good friends with both Harry and William. The groom-to-be's final page boy will be his 6-year-old godson Jasper Dyer, who is the son to Amanda Dyer and Mark Dyer M.V.O. According to Harper's Bazaar, Jasper's father is a former Welsh guards officer who looked after Harry growing up and is oftentimes seen as his second father.
BFF Lands in London
Meghan Markle's best friend, Jessica Mulroney, was spotted at London's Heathrow Airport along with her husband, Ben, and their three children, who are part of the wedding party. In the days leading up to highly anticipated nuptials, a source told ET that Meghan was leaning on her friend for support.
To Windsor Castle!
Rehearsals for the royal wedding officially began on May 17, when Meghan and Harry were seen arriving at Windsor Castle to finalize preparations for their big day. The engaged couple arrived in a Range Rover and were escorted by police up the Long Walk, where they were reportedly meeting Queen Elizabeth II for tea.
William and Kate Arrive
Kate Middleton and Prince William were also photographed leaving Kensington Palace and making their way to Windsor for the afternoon rehearsals that same day.
Meghan traded in her signature messy bun for a brand new 'do, debuting the new look as she made her way to Windsor Castle for royal wedding rehearsals with her fiance, Prince Harry, on May 17. The Suits alum, who is no stranger to rocking tousled tresses, seemingly gave her brunette locks a generous trim, adding wispy side fringe that perfectly framed her face. Still keeping her center part, the future royal said goodbye to the topknot and hello to a chic half-up, half-down 'do.
Members of the armed forces and those selected to lead in the carriage procession on May 19 were photographed during a parade rehearsal in Windsor. Plenty of fans gathered behind the barricades to snap photos of the cavalcade.
Update on Meghan's Dad
After a week of familial ups and downs, Meghan broke her silence about her father, Thomas Markle, on May 17, making an official statement about his wedding day status. "Sadly, my father will not be attending our wedding," the Los Angeles native announced. "I have always cared for my father and hope he can be given the space he needs to focus on his health."
Thomas reportedly had stents implanted in his blood vessels following a heart attack one week prior. As of the afternoon of May 16, he was still recovering in the hospital, according to TMZ.
Meet the Parents
Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, is getting to know the royal family! A source tells ET that Doria met Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, for tea at the Clarence House on May 17, just two days ahead of the royal wedding at St. George's Chapel in Windsor, England. "Ms. Ragland felt incredibly welcomed and thoroughly enjoyed it," the source says, adding that Meghan and Harry were also in attendance.
Icing on the Cake
On May 18, Kensington Palace announced that Harry and Meghan's wedding cake is going to be made up of 200 lemons, 500 eggs and 10 bottles of Sandringham Elderflower Cordial. "We've been so lucky to work at Buckingham Palace to bake the cake and ice the cakes," Claire Ptak, owner of Violet Bakery, said in a video posted to Twitter by the palace. "The cake is made up of lemon sponge, it has an elderflower syrup drizzle on the sponge. It has an Amalfi lemon curd and then it has a Swiss meringue buttercream with elderflower." The cake, which will be fully assembled on Saturday morning, is going to be a mix of sweet and tart.
Prince Charles to the Rescue
Kensington Palace released a statement revealing that Prince Charles will be walking Meghan down the aisle. "Ms. Meghan Markle has asked His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to accompany her down the aisle of the Quire of St George's Chapel on her Wedding Day," the palace said in a statement on May 18. "The Prince of Wales is pleased to be able to welcome Ms. Markle to The Royal Family in this way."
According to CNN, the 36-year-old soon-to-be-royal will begin the bridal processional unescorted, followed by her bridesmaids and page boys, and Prince Charles will join her when she reaches the Quire (the area where the main royal guests will be seated). He will then walk her to the foot of the altar, where he will not "give her away" but instead stand back as Meghan approaches Harry herself, breaking tradition.
A glowing Meghan and her fiance were photographed leaving Kensington Palace on May 18, just one day before their royal wedding at St. George's Chapel. The former Suits star, chic in navy blue and rocking her slighty shorter 'do, couldn't have looked happier, flashing a giant grin as she waved to fans while she and Prince Harry made their way to Windsor Castle. The two appeared to be in good spirits throughout the duration of their car ride, exchanging loving looks and smiles.
Harry was accompanied by his best man -- his brother, Prince William -- outside of Windsor Castle, where they greeted well-wishers on the eve of the younger royal's wedding day.
Meghan and Mom
Meghan told reporters that she was feeling "wonderful" just one day ahead of her wedding. She was spotted arriving to the Cliveden House Hotel, accompanied by her mother, Doria Ragland. The bride-to-be looked stunning in a chic navy blue Roland Mouret dress and light pumps, and her mom looked equally fabulous in similar black heels, a blazer, fitted off-white dress and printed headband.
For his wedding to Meghan Markle, Prince Harry is opting to do things a little differently than when his older brother, Prince William, tied the knot in 2011 -- in particular, during the portion of the service devoted to the exchanging of rings. On May 18, Kensington Palace released the official Order of Service for the royal wedding, giving the public some insight into the details of the ceremony, including that the bride and groom would be giving and receiving rings. The Order of Service details the "Giving of the Rings" at great length, including both what is to be said by the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, who is solemnizing the service, and what Meghan and Harry are to do, in steps.
It was later announced on Twitter that Meghan's ring was fashioned from a piece of Welsh gold, gifted by Her Majesty the Queen, while Harry's ring will be a platinum band with a textured finish.
Introducing the Duke and Duchess of Sussex
The royal family announced on May 19, aka #RoyalWeddingDay, that Harry and Meghan were given their new official titles of Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Royal well-wishers lined the streets of Windsor early on May 19, waving plenty of flags and other wedding memorabilia.