From the moment they announced their engagement to the world, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have made it clear their nuptials will honour the memory of his late mother, Princess Diana, who they regretted couldn't be with them on their wedding day.
Harry has stated that he's sure his mother would approve of his choice of bride. "They'd be thick as thieves, without question," Harry said. "I think she would be over the moon, jumping up and down, you know so excited for me, but then, as I said, would have probably been best friends with Meghan."
A number of decisions the couple have made about their wedding ceremony indicate Diana is in their thoughts as they become man and wife.
Meghan's engagement ring features two diamonds from Diana's collection, which Harry included "to make sure she's with us on this crazy journey together". For Meghan, the gesture was significant. “Not being able to meet his mum, it’s so important to me, to know that she is a part of this with us,” she said.
It is also rumoured that Meghan will wear the Spencer family tiara, which Diana wore at her wedding to Prince Charles in 1981, on the big day.
Since the death of their mother in 1997, Harry and older brother William have remained close to Diana's family, and several members of the Spencers will attend the wedding, including his uncle Earl Spencer, his two aunts Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes, and his cousins.
A statement from Kensington Palace on May 4 revealed, "In addition to having the support of The Queen, his father The Prince of Wales, and his brother Prince William as Best Man, Prince Harry is also 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. 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.”
The floral displays for the ceremony will include Diana's favourite bloom, the white rose. The flower was featured prominently in Diana and Charles's wedding, and are also planted at her gravesite in Althorp and the memorial garden for her at Kensington Palace.
Diana was known as "the people's princess" for the connection she made with members of the general public and the regard with which she was held by the community at large. Similarly, Harry is one of the most popular members of the Royal Family due to his ability to bond with people from all walks of life. What more fitting tribute to his mother than for Harry and Meghan to extend a warm welcome to 2,640 members of the public to celebrate their joyous occasion in the grounds of Windsor Castle?
Following the lead of William and wife Kate, Henry and Meghan have stipulated that in lieu of gifts, they would like their guests to donate to one of seven charities: CHIVA (the Children's HIV Association), Crisis, the Myna Mahila Foundation, Scotty's Little Soldiers, StreetGames, Surfers Against Sewage and the Wilderness Foundation UK.
Diana was heavily involved in charitable work during her life, with HIV/AIDS and homelessness (which Crisis addresses) two of the causes to which she was most committed—an interest she passed on to her boys from when they were very young.