Could Prince Harry ever marry divorcee Meghan Markle?
PRINCE HARRY and his girlfriend Meghan Markle recently enjoyed their first holiday together, leading to speculation about a possible royal wedding.
The Prince reportedly saw in the New Year with his American girlfriend in London before whisking her away to Norway to see the Northern Lights.
A source told The Sun: “Harry wanted to make this first holiday something Meg will never forget.
“It wasn’t an obvious choice like a glitzy beach resort or tropical island.
“He’d put a lot of thought into it and wanted to make it as romantic and special as possible.”
With the relationship said to be moving “at lightning speed”, royal fans have begun discussing the possibility of a wedding.
But could Prince Harry marry previously-wed Meghan? Historically, royals have not been allowed to marry divorcées.
In 1955 Princess Margaret was forced to sacrifice her relationship with Group Captain Peter Townsend, her late father’s equerry, because he had an ex-wife.
The Queen’s younger sister was told that she would have to renounce her rights of succession in order to go through with the wedding, and ultimately chose to stay true to “the Church’s teachings that Christian marriage is indissoluble”.
Just 19 years earlier, Margaret’s uncle King Edward VIII abdicated after just 326 days on the throne in order to marry American divorcée Wallis Simpson.
The move sparked a constitutional crisis due to the Church of England’s teaching that remarriage is not allowed if the former spouse is still alive.
In the decades since, the Church and the Royal Family have modernised their attitudes to marriage.
In 2005, the Queen gave permission for Prince Charles to marry fellow divorcée Camilla Parker Bowles, now the Duchess of Cornwall.
While the monarch did not attend the couple’s civil ceremony, she and Prince Philip held a reception for them at Windsor Castle.
Constitutionally, Harry would still need the Queen’s approval before any wedding could be planned.
The Perth agreement of 2011 decrees that the first six in line to the throne need sovereign approval to marry. Harry is currently fifth-in-line, but could be pushed down should Prince William and Kate decide to expand their brood.
Although Meghan and Harry spent New Year’s together, the actress was not invited to spend Christmas with the Royal Family at Sandringham.
While some took Meghan’s absence as a possible sign of the Queen’s disproval, royal expert Katie Nicholl explained that it was simply down to protocol.
“Harry knows the rules of the Royal Family and he knows that until they get engaged, Meghan will not have a place around that Christmas dinner table,” she told ET Online.