Forces to provide ceremonial support for Harry's wedding with Meghan Markle

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding day will feature regiments and units that have a special relationship with the royal who served in the military for a decade, the Ministry of Defence has announced.

The marriage ceremony will be enhanced by the spectacle of Household Cavalry troopers in their gleaming breast plates and plumed helmets lining the staircase at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle where the couple will be married on May 19.

Streets within the precincts of the castle will be lined by members of the Windsor Castle Guard from 1st Battalion Irish Guards, and by Armed Forces personnel from the Royal Navy Small Ships and Diving, Royal Marines, 3 Regiment Army Air Corps, The Royal Gurkha Rifles and RAF Honington.

Musical support to the street liners will be provided by the Band of the Irish Guards.

Trumpeters and a Captain's Escort from the Household Cavalry will also provide ceremonial support bringing the total number of Armed Forces involved with the wedding to more than 250.

Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, Chief of the Defence Staff, said: "I am proud that members of the Armed Forces have been asked to take part in the ceremonial celebrations taking place on the royal couple's wedding day.

"It is a happy occasion for the whole country and reminds us of the role the Armed Forces play in marking important events in the life of the nation.

"I am particularly pleased to hear that members of the Armed Forces who have a close relationship with Prince Harry will be taking part. Servicemen and women from the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force will all be honoured to offer their support."

Harry began his military life in 2005 as an officer cadet at Sandhurst, and later joined the Blues and Royals and served with the Household Cavalry Regiment.

During his 10-year career he was deployed twice to Afghanistan before leaving in the summer of 2015 after rising to the rank of captain.

His first period of frontline service in Afghanistan was served with the 1st Battalion, the Royal Gurkha Rifles in 2007-08.

For his second deployment the prince retrained becoming an Apache helicopter co-pilot gunner with 662 Squadron, 3 Regiment Army Air Corps, flying in Helmand Province during 2012-13 and later in his military career became an Apache commander.

Harry recently became Captain General Royal Marines, succeeding the Duke of Edinburgh in December last year, is Commodore-in-Chief, Small Ships and Diving and Honorary Air Commandant of RAF Honington.

A Kensington Palace spokesperson said: "Prince Harry and Ms Meghan Markle are pleased that members of the Armed Forces will play such a special role in their wedding.

"The military, and these units in particular, hold a great significance for Prince Harry and the couple are incredibly grateful for their support."

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