Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to marry in May at Windsor Castle

Prince Harry and bride-to-be Meghan Markle are to marry in May at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, Kensington Palace has announced.

The American actress, who will become a senior HRH on marrying into the royals, also intends to become a British citizen.

As the couple make preparations for their big day, Ms Markle, a protestant who went to a catholic high school, will be both baptised and confirmed, ready for the religious ceremony.

The royal family will pay for the wedding, including the church service, the music, the flowers and the reception, the palace said.

Harry's communication's secretary Jason Knauf said Windsor was a "very special place" for Harry, and that he and Ms Markle had spent time there together during their 16-month romance.

He said the couple were delighted to be holding the wedding in the "beautiful grounds of Windsor".

Mr Knauf said the couple, who were grateful for the warm wishes from the public, would be putting their stamp on their wedding day.

"They will be making sure it reflects who they are as a couple," he said.

Kensington Palace also revealed that Harry and Ms Markle will carry out their first official engagement together in Nottingham on Friday.

Mr Knauf revealed that while one of Ms Markle's beloved dogs Guy was legally allowed to stay with her in the UK, the other - Bogart - would not be joining her.

"Bogart is now living with friends," Mr Knauf revealed.

In Nottingham, the pair will visit the Nottingham Contemporary which is hosting a Terrence Higgins Trust World Aids Day charity fair, and also visit Nottingham Academy to meet headteachers taking part in the Full Effect programme.

There will also be a walkabout by the bride and groom-to-be - a royal rite of passage for the future royal.

Ms Markle is to become the fourth patron of the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

The actress will not be continuing her work on gender with the UN or with other organisations, but instead will be starting her charity work as a full-time royal afresh.

The exact date of the wedding will be revealed at a later stage.

Mr Knauf said Harry and Ms Markle "want the public to feel part of their day" - and are looking at ways to achieve that.

Prince George and Princess Charlotte have also been introduced to their soon-to-be new aunt.

Mr Knauf said the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's children had met Ms Markle on many occasions.

St George's Chapel is a Royal Peculiar, with the Dean of Windsor responsible only to the sovereign.

The palace said the Queen has granted permission for the wedding to take place at the chapel.

In 2005, the monarch attended the religious blessing of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall - both divorcees - in St George's, but did not go to their civil ceremony beforehand in the Windsor Guildhall.

The palace confirmed the Queen will be a guest at Harry's wedding.

Mr Knauf said: "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are extremely grateful for the warm public response following yesterday's announcement of their engagement.

"In a happy moment in their lives, it means a great deal to them that so many people throughout the UK, the Commonwealth and around the world are celebrating with them."

He added: "Prince Harry and Ms Markle are delighted that the beautiful grounds of Windsor Castle will be where they begin their lives together as a married couple.

"The couple of course want the day to be a special, celebratory moment for their friends and family.

"They also want the day to be shaped so as to allow members of the public to feel part of the celebrations too and are currently working through ideas for how this might be achieved.

"This wedding, like all weddings, will be a moment of fun and joy that will reflect the characters of the bride and groom.

"Prince Harry and Ms Markle are leading the planning process for all aspects of the wedding.

"We look forward to sharing these details with you in the months ahead as decisions are made."

Mr Knauf said, on the visit to Nottingham, Harry was "looking forward to introducing Ms Markle to a community that has become very special to him".

The Full Effect programme, led by Harry and set up by the Royal Foundation, seeks to combat youth violence.

"Ms Markle cannot wait to meet many of the young people Prince Harry has told her so much about," Mr Knauf said.

He added the away day will begin with a civic welcome at the National Justice Museum followed by a walkabout where they will be able to greet members of the public as a couple for the first time.

The event for World Aids Day would be an "upbeat, fun event that will highlight the work to smash the stigma that can still exist around HIV in the Midlands", he said.

Prince Harry and Ms Markle will be carrying out a run of joint engagements across the country ahead of the wedding.

Mr Knauf said: "Ms Markle's very keen to get around the UK and learn more about what's being done in communities across the country."

Official engagement portraits of Harry and his fiancee will also be released at a later date - but it has not yet been decided who will be taking them.

"It was an incredibly happy day for them," Mr Knauf said of the engagement announcement.

"They've been overwhelmed by the huge outpouring of support they received from people within the UK, the Commonwealth, around the world.

"It was a celebratory day at Kensington Palace for all of us.

"You can see, that interview, it was a fun day for them as well."

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