Royal wedding finalities, leading ladies protest in Cannes, and looking into life on Mars: The weekend news wrap

The royal wedding has finally officially been approved by the Queen, Hollywood stars continue to make a stance for equality in film, and a new mission to Mars—here’s everything you might have missed over the weekend.

Royal wedding officially approved

Yesterday the Queen signed a document titled The Instrument of Consent, which has officially approved Harry's marriage to Meghan. While she actually gave her blessing before Harry proposed and formal consent earlier this year at the meeting of the Privy Council on March 14, this elaborate notice marks her official recognition and is a part of a tradition dating back to the 18th century.

Harry, who was fifth in line to the throne when he proposed to Meghan, required the permission of his grandmother to wed, according to the 2013 Succession to the Crown Act. Without her approval, any marriage would have been declared void. 


Buckingham Palace shared a photo of The Instrument of Consent, which will be given to the couple once they wed. The official document was drafted by the Crown Office and is hand-written and illuminated on vellum by one of a panel of scrivener artists retained by the Crown Office.

Its design incorporates various symbols to represent both Harry and Meghan and may hint at some of the emblems which could be included in their Coat of Arms: poppies from California, for example, the place where Meghan was born, and Prince Harry's Label and a red dragon to represent Wales. 

A march for more equality in Cannes

It's been a year of solidarity on the red carpet for the film industry—calling out the need for change and gender equality in the business. At the Cannes Film Festival in France over the weekend, another quiet protest was staged.

While actresses wore black and brought prominent female activists as their guests to the Golden Globes ceremony earlier this year, at the screening of Girls Of The Sun (Les Filles Du Soleil) at the Palais des Festivals at Cannes on Saturday, Cate Blanchett, Kristen Stewart, Ava DuVernay, Jane Fonda, Salma Hayek, and Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins walked in silence arm-in-arm down the carpet before stopping halfway up the stairs that lead into the festival centre. The silent march was to symbolise the difficulties women face when climbing the social and political ladder, in film and in other industries. 

The protest also pointed to the film festival's approach to women across its 72-year history. As well as archaic dress codes, such as women not being allowed to wear pants or flat shoes into the festival—only 82 films in competition in the official selection have been directed by women since the inception of the Cannes Film Festival, while some 1,645 films have been directed by men. Australian director Jane Campion is the only woman to have received the festival's highest honour, the Palme D'Or, for The Piano in 1993, a titled she shared with male director Chen Kaige. 

Is there life on Mars?

After Elon Musk successfully launched the world's most powerful rocket into space in February this year—the 'Falcon Heavy' with his own bright red Tesla roadster attached, on a path set to catapult beyond Mars—NASA has launched a new mission to the red planet, set to study its past and possible future. 

The InSight spacecraft will investigate the Martian interior, so NASA scientists can begin to understand the early solar system and how planets begin to form. InSight will essentially be taking a sonogram of Mars—in the same way that sound waves can reveal the outlines of a baby in the womb, echoes of earthquakes on Mars will reveal the planet's interior structure. These seismic sound waves could reveal underground aquifers, and places where life could possibly exist today or in the future. 



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