The Queen has given her formal consent to the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
In a letter to the Privy Council, the monarch expressed her approval of the upcoming wedding between her ‘most dearly beloved grandson’ and his fiancee, 36.
The first six people in the line of succession must have the Queen’s consent before they can marry, as set out by the Succession to the Crown Act 2013.
Should Prince Harry have married Meghan without the monarch’s approval, he and his descendants would be banned from ever ascending to the throne.
A similar letter was signed by Her Majesty just one week before the 2011 wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
The Queen has given her formal consent to the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
In it, she consented to the union of ‘Our Most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales, K.G. and Our Trusty and Well-beloved Catherine Elizabeth Middleton’.
The announcement comes as it was revealed Prince Harry took Meghan Markle to a secret meeting with traumatised war veterans that he says ‘shocked us to our core’.
The 33-year-old –who himself served two tours on the frontline in Afghanistan – told how over the years he has seen his own forces buddies ‘suffer, struggling to seek out the help they desperately need’.
A few weeks ago he took Meghan, 36, to meet other former service men and women trying to get care for crippling mental health problems, as he was keen to introduce her to a side of his public work that held such enormous personal resonance.
The pair visited Colchester Garrison, in Essex, where they spent time at The North Essex Veterans Mental Health Network away from the cameras and glare of publicity.
The former actress, who will become his wife on May 19 at Windsor Castle, has herself been holding private meetings with charities as she prepares to carve out her own role in ‘The Firm’.