Reports are the royals are looking to an unlikely family member to give the bride away
While plans seem to be taking shape for the upcoming British royal wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, one big question that still eludes royal watchers is who exactly will be walking the bride up the aisle.
Rumours have been rife since the couple announced their engagement that Meghan was hoping to be given away by her mother on her big day, with many noting that the former Suits actress is far closer to her mother than to her father. And while the greater population has very much embraced the trend of the bride choosing who 'gives her away' on her big day - male or female - for the royal family, it seems a woman walking the bride up the aisle is simply a trend too far.
When it comes to her parents, Meghan is said to be closer to her mother Dorian than she is to her father Tom, the two having divorced when she was just six years old. Her future husband Harry seems to hold her mother in high regard too, having allegedly asked Dorian - not Tom - for Meghan's hand in marriage before popping over a roast chicken dinner.
However while Harry could be on board with the idea of Meghan walking up the aisle with his future mother-in-law, according to reports the royal family isn't so keen on they aesthetics - and have gone as far as to make the unorthodox suggestion that Meghan's brother-in-law William should be the man who gives the bride away.
“The royals understand why Meghan might prefer to have her mother, but it’s not exactly traditional to have a woman walk a bride down the aisle," a royal source said, according to the Daily Star on Sunday.
“Some of the royals aren’t happy about the idea, so they suggested that William do it. He is the natural choice.
“It would be a little unorthodox, but this is Prince Harry and he’s certainly not shy about shaking things up.”
Family ties have been far from straight forward for the ex-Suits actress, who has had a tough time juggling her past and future household relations.
She couldn't even get a break from tension over Christmas when, like a lot of people at that time of year, one curious sequence of words from her partner landed her in hot water with her family again.
In their post-Christmas interview, Harry described Meghan's soon-to-be in-laws as 'the family she never had', a comment that drew a pointed response form Meghan's half sister on her father's side Samantha Grant, who said that Meghan had always had a 'large family' over 'two fun houses' and an 'amazing' and 'self sacrificing' father.
Samantha is one person we can probably rule out of walking the bride up the aisle anyway, her actual wedding invite already very much in doubt having vocally criticised the actress for turning her back on her father - who declared bankruptcy in 2016 - and reportedly actively seeking a publisher for her "tell all" tome "The Diary of Princess Pushy's Sister".
But while Samantha says she doesn't know if she'll be invited herself, she has very much insisted that Meghan's former lighting director father will be in attendance on the big day - remarking that he'll be there "unless a plane crashes through his roof".
For his part Meghan's father has spoken about his daughter's relationship with the Prince in the past, saying he was 'delighted' about their engagement and calling the pair 'a very good match', however while he has said he'd 'love to' walk his daughter up the aisle, according to the recent reports he won't be the one to give her away.
It's doubtful too that Meghan's half brother, Thomas Markle Jr., will get the job either. While he's been largely quiet throughout the engagement, Thomas Jr. gave an interview slamming family members such as his own sons and ex-wife for "cashing in" on Meghan's newfound fame, saying they "don't have the right" to use the Markle name. He was also arrested for allegedly holding a gun to his girlfriend's head last year.
One way the bride could go is to walk the aisle by herself, which from what we know about Meghan could be the most suitable option. Or she could get one of the Spice Girls to give her away.
That would be truly unorthodox indeed.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have invited 2,640 people – including 1,200 members of the public “from every corner of the United Kingdom” – into the grounds of Windsor Castle to watch the arrival and departure of the bride and groom at their wedding, Kensington Palace has said.
With so much royal etiquette to keep up with it's hard to know which are hard and fast rules, and what are just personal preferences when it comes to how Prince Harry, William and their other halves Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, dress and act.