As the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle approaches, the guessing game surrounding the nuptials is under way. Who will design the bride’s dress? Will Harry wear uniform? Might Markle’s mother walk her down the aisle?
But, why oh why weren’t we paying closer attention at the start? Had we done so, we would have realised that certain details have been right in front of our noses all along.
Markle’s lifestyle blog, The Tig, was suddenly discontinued last year, ahead of rumours of an imminent engagement. The website, which she described as a “passion project”, launched in 2014 and for three carefree years, the 36-year-old shared her loves of food, travel, charity work and fashion with thousands of followers.
Yet, hidden among her perky posts about roast chicken and dogs, were clues. Indeed, eagle-eyed Tig fans will have known all along that Markle would likely shun tradition.
For there, in her writings, was an interview with east London baker Claire Ptak. The very same Ptak tasked with baking the royal wedding cake which, Kensington Palace announced earlier, will be a lemon and elderflower affair.
Cue a collective slapping of palms against foreheads. While we might not have guessed the sponge would incorporate “the bright flavours of spring”, or be decorated with fresh flowers, we might have thought to look to Ptak — also Californian born — as a likely candidate for the job.
Similarly, Philippa Craddock, who has been chosen to design the flowers inside, both, St. George’s Chapel and the reception in St. Geroge’s Hall at Windsor Castle, will reportedly include white garden roses, foxgloves and peonies in the arrangements. Markle had posted a picture of white and pink peonies last year.
So what other titbits might The Tig offer up?
Markle might have cut off our access to a treasure trove of insights into her life and thoughts, but enough of the blog’s former content lingers on in cyberspace for us to make some informed predictions about the royal wedding day. Let’s call them “pre-Tig-tions” (sorry!), shall we?
As was evident from The Tig, Markle favours powerful female singers. About none other than our home-grown talent Sophie Ellis-Bextor, she wrote: “Yes, sweet Sophie stole our musical hearts with the hit, Murder on the Dancefloor, a tune that has stood the test of time for our requisite late night grooving, but her new album Familia offers this beat titled Come With Us that channels old-school Madonna vibes like no other.
“Love, love, love! Bravo, Sophie! Love to you and the familia!”
Might the pop star perform on the big day? It seems likely she would have to fight off competition from the Spice Girls. A 13-year-old Harry described meeting them as the best day of his life and Mel B recently hinted that the band might sing, saying that they had received a “proper” invitation.
Also thought to be a guest, however, is Ellie Goulding, Harry’s rumoured ex, who lest we forget has form — having belted out ballads at the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding reception. Curiously, there was never any mention of her on The Tig...
The bridal speech
In keeping with the couple’s desire to cast off (some of) the shackles of royal tradition and wedding protocol, the bride is expected to give a speech. We can’t reveal any of the details, largely because we don’t know them, but we can bring you this warning: it may involve inspirational quotes.
We know this because we’ve seen them liberally peppered through her former blog and social media accounts. Hardly a day seemed to go by when Meghan didn’t share some uplifting or poignant words with her followers.
Indeed, the farewell message that heralded the end of The Tig was overflowing with them: “Keep being ‘the change you wish to see in the world’,” she urged her fans, before signing off with, “as I’ve told you time and time again: you, my sweet friend, you are enough.”
Her New Year message at the dawn of 2016 ran along similar philosophical lines: “For this new year, the only thing I aim to do is to approach life playfully. To laugh and enjoy, to keep my standards high but my level of self-acceptance higher.
“My New Year’s resolution is to leave room for magic. To make my plans, and be OK if they sometimes break. To set my goals, but to be open to change.
“To let the magic know that there is an open-door policy with me in 2016 and that it is always welcome to join the party.”
If David Copperfield makes an appearance at the wedding, don’t say you never saw it coming.
Namely, the decidedly millennial trend (and Meghan and Harry just squeeze into this bracket) for a short but sweet holiday straight after the wedding, followed by a longer and more indulgent trip at a later date.
Apparently, the couple’s mini-moon will be in Ireland, although reading between the lines — “sources tell the Irish Independent that they are likely to take part in a series of engagements over two days” — this may be more of an official visit than a minimoon, following their surprise official visit to Northern Ireland this week.
Reading between some other lines — those from The Tig, of course — Paris could be on the cards. The blog was a veritable ode to the French capital. To quote: “The food, the accent, the je ne sais quoi of the women with their inherent chicness — I sigh un petit peu just typing this.”
It’s a fair bet that this will be sustainable, mindful and ethically conscious. We know that Markle has a social conscience, and wrote earnestly on The Tig about her “sustainable holiday celebration tips” and thoughts on “holiday gifts that give back”.
If we know Markle like we think we do (disclaimer: we don’t know her at all), we think she’ll ensure her post-wedding getaway is kind to the planet and its people.
High on the cards must be Botswana, where the couple revealed, in their engagement interview, their relationship blossomed.
The thank-you notes
These will almost certainly be handwritten by Markle, who once worked as a freelance calligrapher. Her previous claim to fame in this area was having done the invitations for singer Robin Thicke’s wedding to Paula Patton.
Thicke and Patton are no longer together, but we want to make clear this has nothing to do with Markle’s calligraphy, which we know to be faultless. She once said: “I think handwritten notes are a lost art form. When I booked my first [TV] pilot, my dad wrote me a letter that I still have. The idea of someone taking the time to put pen to paper is really special.”