April 21, 2011— -- It's official – Prince William can now marry Kate Middleton. While most men have the option to ask their girlfriend's father for permission to propose, Prince William has more formal rules to follow.
Because William is royal and a descendant of George II, he must follow The Royal marriages Act of 1772. The Act states the ruling monarch must grant written permission to the nuptials, or else the marriage isn't official.
Luckily for Will, Queen Elizabeth approves of his bride-to-be. In February, his grandmother signed the formal consent for their marriage, which was made public today. The document, called the Instrument of Consent, reads that it approves of the union of "Our Most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales, K.G., and Our Trusty and Well-Beloved Catherine Elizabeth Middleton."
Gold braiding connects a red wax Great Seal of the Realm to the formal document, which is transcribed in elaborate calligraphy. At the top right, you can see Queen Elizabeth's signature, Elizabeth R.
The prince and future princess will receive the document after they wed on April 29.