Royal Wedding Service

That Seat Next to Prince William at the Royal Wedding Was Left Empty For Queen Elizabeth, Not Princess Diana

On Saturday, many viewers of royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle noted that the seat in St. George's Chapel next to best man Prince William, the place that was in fact closest to Harry, was left empty. A rumor quickly spread on Twitter and in the media that the space was left unoccupied in honor of the princes' late mother Diana. But actually, the meaning of the seat doesn't go quite so deep. It was just left empty so that Queen Elizabeth II, seated directly behind it, could have a better view of the nuptials. You don't block the Queen's view, after all.

It's customary to never seat someone directly in front of the monarch, according to People. At the 2011 wedding of Will and Kate, the Queen sat in the front row, so it wasn't an issue. And no, sitting in the second row isn't a sign of disrespect or anything; in some cases, it's the better view, and Queen Elizabeth reportedly favors and prefers that particular seat in St. George's Chapel. Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, was also seated in the second row, on the opposite side of the church. In fact, she was better captured by the cameras from that angle.

Seating aside, the wedding was full of nods to Diana's memory. The Duchess of Sussex carried a bouquet featuring many of the late princess' favorite flowers, and her sister, Lady Jane Fellowes, gave a ready at the ceremony. Later, Meghan wore an aquamarine ring that had been Diana's to the reception.

So let it be a lesson to all the wedding-planners out there who want to have their cake and eat it, too: you can plan a wedding that honors the deceased and gives your grandmother a nice view.

Related: How Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Paid Tribute to Diana During the Royal Wedding