Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are scheduled to get married on May 19, 2018, and while the date will undoubtedly be a high-water mark for the year for the British monarchy, the subject of why they chose that particular date has come up.
As the Express reports, there are a couple of reasons why the couple has chosen that date. The first reason has to do with family: Meghan’s soon-to-be sister-in-law, Princess Kate, is due to give birth in April, and the royal couple wanted to wait until after their niece or nephew was born to have their wedding. That makes sense: the royal baby will also be a huge deal for the British public, and the couple wouldn’t want to detract from the attention the event deserves. That and they probably don’t want to share the spotlight with a baby’s birth (although they will probably never admit that publicly).
The second reason is a little more historical: no other royal weddings — at least, in the British monarchy — have taken place on that date. This allows them to reserve a date in history and have it more-or-less all to themselves. The date is significant because it’s not significant, in other words.
That appears to be something of a tradition among members of the Royal Family. Back in 1947, when then-Princess Elizabeth married Phillip Mountbatten, she did so on November 20, a date on which no other weddings in the British royal family had taken place. Further, there were no other historically significant weddings anywhere on that date.
— NBC Chicago (@nbcchicago) November 19, 2017
Similarly, Prince Harry’s mother and father — Prince Charles and Lady Diana — chose a wedding date (July 29) that was devoid of other famous marriages. So did Harry’s uncle, Prince Andrew, and his first wife, Sarah Ferguson (July 23). Unfortunately for Harry’s brother and sister-in-law, it appears they didn’t do their research: their wedding date (April 29) also happens to be the same date of Adolf Hitler’s marriage to Eva Braun. Oops.
Still, there’s another reason why the couple’s wedding date may not be their best choice — that is, if you believe in ancient superstitions. An old Roman saying (translated into modern English rhyme and meter) says, “Marry in May, rue the day.” That’s because the ancient Roman calendar placed several festivals honoring the dead during that month, and having your wedding during the same month as a feast honoring the dead would be seen as invoking bad luck.
Of course, Romans haven’t occupied Britain for 1,600 years, so there’s that.