Update: Amidst the celebrations of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's engagement, there was one piece of disappointing news: The wedding date wouldn't be declared a bank holiday. We predicted that a lot of people would mysteriously fall ill that day and call in sick, but it turns out that won't be necessary.
The wedding date has been announced and it's scheduled on an existing bank holiday. Prince Harry and Markle will tie the knot on May 26, 2018, as reported by The Cut. The date just so happens to be U.K.’s Spring Bank Holiday Weekend and Memorial Day for those of us watching from across the pond, so save the date.
Original story published on November 27, 2017.
Actress and humanitarian Meghan Markle is engaged to a retired British soldier! We're giddy with excitement about the news of the upcoming royal wedding (fine, he's also some kind of prince), already speculating on everything from the guest list to the type of wedding dress the Suits star will wear.
But when U.K. workers saw the news about Prince Harry's engagement to Meghan Sparkle (this is her name now, sorry), many were concerned with a more practical matter about the royal wedding: Will it mean a day off work? After all, royal weddings are traditionally held during the week, and their ceremony — slated for spring 2018 — will likely follow suit.
Every person in the country just sat up and went “bank holiday???”— chloe sugar mouse (@KloKlo) November 27, 2017
Me thinking about the monarchy on a normal day V me realising we might get a bank holiday for the Royal Wedding pic.twitter.com/tLIb0WlLC9— Gamble (@Gamble1878) November 27, 2017
Sadly, Downing Street dashed their hopes. After all the speculation on Twitter, Theresa May's official spokesperson said: "There are no plans for a Bank Holiday," according to the Independent. "There isn't a precedent in this area," the spokesperson added, mentioning that there were no bank holidays to celebrate the weddings of Prince Andrew in 1986 or Prince Edward in 1999.
BREAKING: There are "no plans for a bank holiday" on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding day, says Number 10. #RoyalEngagement— Jessica Elgot (@jessicaelgot) November 27, 2017
However, when Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, wed at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011, then-Prime Minister David Cameron did declare the day a bank holiday for workers in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Of course, many people around the world unofficially took a few hours off to watch the spectacle. The U.K. also took the day off for Princess Diana's wedding in 1981.
It didn't seem as likely that the U.K. would take a holiday for Harry, as he is only fifth in line to the throne. But, we have to admit, a day off to eat Prince Harry's famous bacon butties — which he made for late-night partiers at Will and Kate's wedding — drink Champagne, and gawk at all the dresses does sound pretty lovely.