With just six short days to go until the royal wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, the world is gearing up to watch what’s sure to be an a remarkably stunning ceremony. And even though we all might be enamored by the adorable couple and their fairytale romance, the union is short of impossible if royal protocol isn’t strictly followed.
Under the 2013 Succession of the Crown Act, it’s imperative that Harry, as sixth in line to the throne, obtain formal permission to wed—a permission that’s granted only by the current sitting monarch, the Queen. If consent is given, the couple will, following the church union, receive a written document from the royal monarch signifying her formal approval of their union.
Fear not: The Queen has formally consented to the lovely couple’s pending vows (whew!), and luckily for us, we don’t have to wait until Saturday for a first glimpse at this formal written acknowledgement.
On Sunday, Kensington Palace posted images of the Instrument of Consent, the ye-olde-sounding document that formally notes the Queen’s consent of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s marriage (one which she formally gave to the couple at the meeting of the Privy Council on March 14).
Drafted by the Crown Office, the Instrument of Consent was handwritten and illuminated on vellum, a medium used only for highly important state documents in the U.K.
The paperwork is stunning, to say the least: It definitely looks more like something in a museum than your average city clerk-bestowed marriage license. Here are a few close-ups of the beautifully-crafted document, penned in stunning script:
Adorned with intricate and colorful designs, the document celebrates Harry and Meghan’s heritage and adjoining future together and is embellished with symbols representing both the U.K. and the U.S. On the left side of the text, for instance, you’ll see a red dragon, symbolic of Wales, with a rose, thistle and shamrock, which are the official floral emblems of the U.K. The design also features Prince Harry’s Label and includes three tiny red shells from the Spencer family arms, a tribute to the prince’s mother, the late Princess Diana.
Illustrations to the right of the text include a rose, emblematic of the United States, which is adorned by two golden poppies, symbols of Markle’s birthplace of California. Additionally, beneath Prince Harry’s label are two olive branches: adopted from the U.S. Great Seal.