Simon Perry
March 02, 2018 04:30 PM

Meghan Markle is set for her biggest royal event yet, the palace announced on Friday.

The American royal bride-to-be and her fiancé, Prince Harry, will join Queen Elizabeth and other senior members of the family for a special church service on March 12.

Also expected at Westminster Abbey for the celebration of the Commonwealth: Meghan’s future father-in-law Prince Charles, and soon-to-be in-laws, Prince William and Kate Middleton.

The Queen, 91, is head of the Commonwealth, the global network of 53 countries with more than two billion people, and the annual Abbey service is the largest annual inter-faith gathering in the U.K. The service will include a special performance by One Direction’s Liam Payne and a reflection by Dr. Andrew Bastawrous, an eye surgeon who turned a smartphone into an examination tool which works to combat avoidable blindness in developing counties.

Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton on Feb. 28 discussing the Royal Foundation in London.
Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images

After the service Meghan, 36, Harry, 33, William, 35, and Kate, 36, will head into the square behind the Abbey to meet school children before attending a reception.

It is thought that Meghan, alongside Harry, will have a big role to play in a Commonwealth organization when she joins the family. She addressed that commitment at the Royal Foundation Forum earlier this week, and previously addressed her interest in learning more about the Commonwealth during her engagement interview.

The fact that Meghan is joining in several official royal appearances underlines how quickly she is being acclimatized to the family and its public roles. In the weeks before she married William in 2011, Kate didn’t attend anything public with the Queen. She did, however, carry out some engagements around the country with William, such as heading to Scotland, Anglesey, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Queen Elizabeth at the Commonwealth Heads of State meeting in 2015.
Toby Melville/PA/ABACA

The news came as the palace announced that more than 2,500 special guests are being invited to join in the celebration of Meghan and Harry’s wedding day on May 19 with special viewing spots on the Windsor Castle grounds.

The Commonwealth service is about a month before the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting is held in London.

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