Celebrity Weddings

Meghan Markle will reportedly have a maid of honour, not a chief bridesmaid, for royal wedding in May - and here's who it could be

Couple wants to involve friends and family as much as possible in big day

After it was reported that Meghan Markle wants her mother to walk her down the aisle when she marries Prince Harry in May, in a further twist on royal wedding tradition it seems the bride-to-be is looking to make even more changes to her bridal party for the big day.

While the custom in the past has been for a bride to have a chief bridesmaid head her bridal party for a British royal wedding, Meghan will instead have a 'maid of honour' as her first female lead on the day - and she's reportedly already chosen who it will be.

"The day of the wedding itself will certainly hold a few unconventional surprises," a source told US Weekly.

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Read more: Meghan Markle reportedly wants her mother to walk her down the aisle

"Don’t expect a royal wedding by numbers. They want to involve their friends and family as much in as much as possible throughout the day."

"She’s not picked a chief bridesmaid, she’s chosen a maid of honor,” the source added.

It's a subtle difference. A 'maid of honour' is the US equivalent of a 'chief bridesmaid' and carried out much the same duties on the day, however the title suggests that the bride may be keen to inject a few American customs in the British big day.

While the palace has yet to announce if anyone has indeed nabbed the title of maid of honour, rumours have been swirling since the couple announced their engagement as to who it might be, should the bride-to-be have a bridal party on the day.

Read more: Prince George and Princess Charlotte will play a very important role in Meghan and Harry's wedding

Who's nabbed the title?

The role of the chief bridesmaid (or maid of honour) probably wouldn't have been such a big deal if it were not for one Miss Pippa Middleton who played the part for her big sister Kate's wedding in 2011.

She later became one of the world's most iconic bridesmaids (wearing one of the now most recognisable bridesmaids dresses), which further resulted in her wedding one of the biggest news stories of the year in 2017.

Whoever takes the title is sure to be instantly thrust into the media spotlight (if they're not a part of it already) and become a bit of a mini British celeb in their own right.

Here are some of the names currently doing the rounds:

1.  Misha Nonoo

Rumours abounded after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's engagement announcement that it was mutual pal and fashion designer Misha Nonoo who introduced the pair.

And while an introduction might not make for maid of honour material, Misha might well be given a special role in the day.

2. Priyanka Chopra

Meghan and Priyanka may have only become friends in 2016, but it seems the fellow actor has her girl's back already. Famously correcting TV host Wendy Williams for referring to Meghan as 'Prince Harry's girlfriend' the Quantico star has been rumoured to be part of the bridal party since the couple announced their wedding plans.

3. Janina Gavankar

One of Meghan's oldest friends, fellow actor Janina - who played Iden Versio in the recent Star Wars Battlefront II - is US-based and could be in the running to be part of the bridal party. Meghan posted a pic of the two on Instagram before becoming engaged to her prince, saying: "Couldn't be prouder of how far we've come, and couldn't be more grateful for being able to share every step of it with you."

4. Lindsay Roth

Meghan served as a maid of honour for her friend Lindsay's big day in August 2016 (wearing a stunning bow-tied back dress from Lela Rose), so TV producer Lindsay may return the favour in May.

5. Jessica Mulroney

If the friend you take the most selfies with makes maid of honour material, it seems Meghan's pal Jessica might play the part perfectly. Jessica is often featured on the bride-to-be's Instagram page, and was reportedly appointed Meghan's personal stylist over three years ago. Jessica was with Meghan and mother Doria when she watched the Invictus games with then boyfriend Prince Harry, so she's already 'in' with the groom. She has her own Instagram page dedicated to bridal styling, so may also have had a hand in Meghan's highly anticipated wedding gown.

Who it's not likely to be

1. Kate Middleton

Meghan's future sister-in-law could take the title, however she is due to give birth a month before the big day so chances are Kate will be taking a bit of a step back from the spotlight on the big day. Kate wasn't technically given the title of chief bridesmaid for her own sister's wedding in 2017, but anyone looking at the pics on the day of the Duchess of Cambridge dutifully fixing her little sister's train before she entered the church, and keeping the kids well behaved as they waited to walk up the aisle, knew there was only one woman for the role.

2. Samantha Grant

Meghan's half-sister Samantha, 52, has been very vocal about the US actress in the past, even penning a 'tell-all' memoir with the working title 'The Diary of Princess Pushy's Sister'. After Samantha's recent Tweets directed towards Prince Harry who called his family the family Meghan 'never had', it's looking like Sam - with whom Meghan shares a father - won't even make the guest list, let alone the bridal party.

3. Ninaki Priddy

Being chief bridesmaid for Meghan's first wedding to Trevor Engelson, it's unlikely childhood pal Ninaki will retain the title for her second. Ninaki told the Daily Mail the pair had "been like sisters since we were two years old" however the two fell out after Meghan's first marriage broke down, with Nina saying she 'disapproved' of the way Meghan handled the divorce.