Contrary to popular belief, the empty seat next to the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, was not reserved to honor the late Princess Diana. It was so the Queen would have a clear view of the ceremony from the second row, where she was seated.
During the ceremony, viewers couldn’t help but notice the empty seat in the church, and started speculating that it was left reserved as a tribute to Princess Diana by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. However, British Royal reporter, Rebecca English, stated in a tweet that ‘the seat in front of the Queen is always left empty’.
English also described that the Queen always needs to be seen at such public events. During the ceremony, she chose to sit in the second row because it is her ‘favorite chair in the chapel’.
Many Royal fans speculated that the seat was, however, reserved for Princess Diana and got very emotional about it on Twitter.
The fact they left an empty seat at the royal wedding for Diana has made my heartache ?
— soph (@sophieward31) May 19, 2018
An empty seat was reserved at the Royal Wedding for Lady Diana. Most touching thing i've heard all day. I love Tumblr.
— Luigi Kwok (@LuigiKwok) May 3, 2011
Awwww, there was an empty seat reserved for Princess Diana at the royal wedding </3 may she R.I.P
— Forever. (@WrldOfBeliebers) April 30, 2011
My mom started crying when they showed the reserved seat to Princess Diana at the Royal Wedding.
— م (@bintelqamar) April 30, 2011
"An empty seat was reserved at the Royal Wedding for Princess Diana." – That's adorable ♥ #OMTY
— Gigi Hadid (@gret3henweiners) April 29, 2011
Meanwhile, the bride and groom chose to honor the late Princess of Wales in plenty of other ways at their wedding. Prince Harry wanted to ensure his mother’s presence stays with the couple from the very start of their relationship.
The diamonds used in Meghan Markle’s engagement ring were specifically chosen from Lady Diana’s collection. Prince Harry incorporated his mother into his engagement from the start. The ring, which he designed himself, consisted of two outside stones belonging to the late Princess, and a center cut diamond from Botswana, a county where the couple spent a lot of their time before they were engaged.
The floral arrangements in the church’s interior and in Meghan’s bouquet were also subtle ways of including Harry’s mother in the ceremony. Along with the flower arrangement at the ceremony, Meghan Markle’s bouquet had ‘Forget-Me-Nots’, which were known as Diana’s favorite flowers. The Duchess’ veil was also similar to the one Diana wore at her wedding in 1981.
Diana’s siblings were present at the wedding as well, another tribute made by Prince Harry. Before the wedding, Kensington Palace released a statement, saying, “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.”
In addition to Lady Jane, 61, Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, 53, and her sister, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, 63, were also present at the wedding.