UPDATE: Contrary to wide reporting, the empty seat next to Prince William was not in honour of the Princes’ late mother, Diana. Daily Mail reporter Rebecca English cleared things up with the statement, “Btw – I’ve seen some reports about the spare seat by Prince William in the chapel as having being left in memory of Princess Diana. It wasn’t empty for that reason. The seat in front of the Queen is always left empty.”
So there you have it. It was lovely while we all believed it.
EARLIER: Saturday’s wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was truly a joyful celebration. The happy couple spent most of the one-hour ceremony stealing glances at one another and exchanging private smiles and words of love. Even with all the pomp and circumstance, Harry and Meghan’s wedding was full of moments of genuine affection for one another and all those who came to celebrate with them, as well as those they’ve lost. In one of the most touching aspects of the wedding, Harry and Meghan chose to honour the late Princess Diana by leaving a seat open at the front of the church. Oh yeah, we’re definitely crying now.
Eagle eyed wedding viewers may have noticed that the front row included an empty seat next to Prince William. This wasn’t a mistake, but in fact a placeholder for Harry and William’s mother; where she would be sitting if she were still alive today.
Harry and William were both incredibly close to their mother, a woman who was celebrated for helping to push the British monarchy into the 20th Century. Diana was beloved worldwide for bringing a relatability to the Royal Family through her charitable work and natural charisma and empathy when speaking with the public. She set the standard and it’s a high one.
When thinking of Diana’s untimely death, one of the first images to come to mind is that of Prince Harry and Prince William walking solemnly behind their mother’s casket as it was driven through London.
Saturday’s image of the boys, now married men, smiling and looking happy is a welcome sight for those who mourned Diana along with the Royal Family. It’s difficult to not be choked up thinking about how excited Diana would be to see both her sons marry for love.
Not only do the brothers’ smiling faces cause us to shed some happy tears, but seeing Diana’s longtime friend Sir Elton John also in attendance and continuing to support Harry and William makes us feel even more like Diana’s presence was felt on Harry’s big day.
Not having your parent on your wedding day–or really any day–is incredibly painful, but seeing the empty seat for Diana truly touched us, in all the right ways.
Missed anything, or just want to relive it all again? Watch the one-hour etalk prime-time special “etalk Presents – Harry & Meghan: Happily Ever After,” recapping the highlights and unforgettable moments of the historic day, airing Saturday, May 19 at 7 p.m. ET/PT on CTV and CTV GO.