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The Royal Marriage Paperwork Is Quite Intense

You may recall that the queen already gave her permission for Harry and Meghan Markle to marry back in March. Now, the official document making this royal wedding possible is on display for the world to see thanks to the royal family publishing images of it just days before the royal wedding. The document, so beautiful to look at, is definitely worth framing, but it’s also kind of intense. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

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Queen Elizabeth II’s official decree of consent for Harry and Markle to marry was something that had to be drafted since Harry, who is the sixth person in the line of succession to the throne, required his grandmother’s official consent per monarchical tradition. The website for the royal family describes the document, a work of art in its own right, as “hand-written and illuminated on vellum by one of a panel of scrivener artists retained by the Crown Office. Vellum is used only for important State documents.” Vellum is actually a thin material made from animal skin so, as Refinery29 points out, an actual animal had to die to make this thing. Yikes!

The consent decree is printed in illuminated text on the left side with official emblems representing the country and Prince Harry’s royal position. It also includes three small scallops representing Princess Diana’s family, the Spencers, which is kind of nice to see. On the right, the decorations represent Markle, and they really did put together a lovely symbol for her. The website describes it as a rose, which is the national flower of the U.S., two golden poppies, which is the state flower of California, where Markle is from, and olive branches adopted from the Great Seal of the U.S. Between the flowers are symbols representing Harry and the country of Wales.

More: Everything We Know About Meghan Markle & Prince Harry’s Wedding So Far

The text also manages to make everything sound so official: “Now know ye that We have consented and do by these Presents signify Our Consent to the contracting of Matrimony between Our Most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales, K.C.V.O., and Rachel Meghan Markle.”

“KCVO” stands for Harry’s title as a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order according to Good Housekeeping. The letter is signed by the queen and will be presented to Harry and Markle as a gift after the ceremony.

More: How to Watch Prince Harry & Meghan Markle’s Wedding

All this talk of official documents only makes us more excited for the royal wedding on May 19; we totally can’t wait for the big day to arrive.

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