The balcony kiss may be one of the most iconic parts of a royal wedding, but it’s one tradition Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will not be participating in come May 19. On Friday, Us Weekly reported that the couple will not be posing on the balcony for a photo op after their nuptials, according to a palace spokesperson.
It’s not clear why they’ve chosen to skip the tradition, but Us Weekly speculates that it’s only because St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle doesn’t have a balcony. And since Buckingham Palace, where the balcony shots are traditionally taken, is located about an hour away from Windsor Castle, it could be simply too far for Prince Harry and Markle to make the trip.
While the balcony photo dates back at least as far as Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II, who married at Westminster Abbey and then drove to Buckingham Palace for the photos, Prince Charles and Princess Diana are the ones who started the tradition of the royal wedding’s balcony kiss in 1981. Five years later, Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, the Duke and Duchess of York, recreated the kiss at their wedding, and Prince William and Kate Middleton did it again in 2011.
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The trend of the balcony kiss is all because the Church of England actually forbids kissing in sacred places, so the royal couple’s first kiss has to be taken elsewhere. “There will be no kiss during the wedding ceremony,” Very Reverend Dr. John Hall, the Dean of Westminster, said before the royal wedding in 2011, ExtraTV reported. “We don’t do that in the Church of England. That’s sort of a Hollywood thing: ‘You may now kiss the bride.’ It doesn’t happen here.”
But just because the balcony kiss is off the table, doesn’t necessarily mean we won’t get to see a first kiss between Prince Harry and Markle. As Brides previously reported, some experts think the first kiss will take place on the steps of St. George’s Chapel.
“They know how eagerly this will be anticipated and I think there is certain to be a kiss for the cameras to reach the vast global audience who will be watching and waiting,” Richard Fitzwilliams, a royal expert, previously told Express U.K..