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ll the world loves a wedding and the nuptials of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have caused an inordinate amount of interest. Hers is a true fairy-tale story: the girl from Hollywood who overcame all kinds of adversity to become successful in the world of film and television and ended up marrying a prince.

   Her story is the media dream, especially as the last American to marry a British prince was the notorious Wallis Simpson. The future Edward VIII was so obsessed by her that he gave up so much to be at her side, propelling his unprepared brother the Duke of York on to the throne. The romance between Edward and Wallis continues to intrigue and fascinate more than 80 years after they were married.

   Meghan, at 36, is very much her own woman and must find giving up her freedom and stepping into what may seem to her like a medieval world enormously challenging. But she has coped admirably with whatever problems were laid in her path and together with Harry has captured the hearts not only of the British people but of many others all over the world. Although their wedding is steeped in royal tradition, from the moment the die-stamped and bevelled stiff white invitations from the Prince of Wales dropped on to doormats up to the procession through Windsor town centre in a carriage from the Royal Mews, it has, as promised, lots of modern touches.

   Their wedding cake will be a lemon and elderflower sponge covered in buttercream and decorated with fresh flowers, rather than the more conventional iced fruit cake. Those 600 people fortunate enough to be invited will attend a lunchtime reception in the magnificent St George’s Hall at Windsor Castle, given by the Queen, while Prince Charles will host an evening party at Frogmore for 200 of the couple’s family and younger friends.

   The flowers, which will reflect Harry and Meghan’s love of the wilderness and natural sustainability, will be sourced from royal estates wherever possible and consist of white garden roses, peonies and foxgloves, with branches of beech, birch and hornbeam. The florist is London-based Philippa Craddock, who says: ‘I am excited and honoured to have been chosen by Prince Harry and Ms. Markle to design and create their wedding flowers. Working with them has been an absolute pleasure.’

   The unfortunate news is that at the age of 96 Prince Philip has had to have a hip replacement. He was admitted to King Edward VII’s Hospital in central London on 3 April and had surgery the following day. Naturally, he hopes to be fully up and about again long before the wedding on 19 May.

   The Duke had to cancel several royal appearances, including church on Easter Day, because of the pain he was enduring. Stoic as he is, his doctors advised him to go ahead with the operation. Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother had her second hip replacement at the age of 97 after a fall at Sandringham. She was soon dancing again.


 
 
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