That Empty Seat at the Royal Wedding? It Wasn't for Princess Diana

While royal wedding watchers speculated that the empty seat next to Prince William was a tribute to Prince Harry's late mother, it was actually because of Queen Elizabeth II's placement behind it

By Tierney Bricker May 19, 2018 4:41 PMTags
Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Royal Wedding, Empty SeatJonathan Brady/PA Wire

Did Princess Diana have a seat at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding?

Viewers live-tweeting the big event on Saturday immediately speculated that the seat next Prince William during the ceremony was left empty to honor their late mother and give her a symbolic presence at her youngest son's wedding. 

However, a source tells E! News that the empty seat was not for Princess Diana, but was left unoccupied for a much more practical reason: The seat was left empty because Queen Elizabeth II was in the seat directly behind it. 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Royal Wedding Day Photos

While the seat was not a direct tribute to Princess Diana, Prince Harry and Meghan honored his mother in other ways when they exchanged vows at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle and throughout the build-up to the big day.

On May 4, a statement from the Communications Secretary to Prince Harry was released, which stated that the royal is "keen to involve his mother's family in his wedding."

"All three siblings of Diana, Princess of Wales will be in attendance and Lady Jane Fellowes will give the reading," the statement read. "Prince Harry and Ms. Markle both feel honoured that Lady Jane will be representing her family and helping to celebrate the memory of the late Princess on the wedding day."

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During the wedding, Lady Jane Fellowes gave a reading, which included, "Set me as a seal upon your heart, for love is strong as death."

And when it came to Meghan's bridal bouquet, the couple chose forget-me-nots, Diana's favorite flower, with The Palace revealing that Harry hand-picked the flowers from their private garden at Kensington Palace for the ceremony the day before the wedding.

But perhaps the most touching and unexpected tribute came when Prince Harry reportedly got emotional when "Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer" was sung as it was also sung at Princess Diana's funeral. 

After the couple announced their engagement in November 2017, Harry said in the couple's first sitdown interview that Diana and Meghan would've been "best friends."

When asked what it meant to have stones that belonged to Princess Diana included in her engagement ring, Meghan shared, "I think everything about Harry's thoughtfulness is - and the inclusion of that and obviously not being able to meet his mom it's so important to me to - to know that she's a part of this with us."