Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding on May 19th at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor is turning out to be a massive family reunion, bringing together those who have not seen each other for quite some time.
On Friday, it was announced that Meghan Markle’s father, Thomas Markle, would be walking his daughter down the aisle, even though he’s never even met Prince Harry and he hasn’t seen his daughter in quite some time. Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, will accompany her daughter in the car to the chapel on her wedding day, where Thomas will be waiting to accompany Meghan to the altar. Thomas and Doria will meet members of the royal family for the first time in the week before the wedding.
Harry and Meghan have also invited all three of the late Princess Diana’s siblings to the wedding. Diana’s oldest sister, Lady Jane Fellowes, will do a reading.
Lady Jane, whose husband Robert Fellowes was former private secretary to Queen Elizabeth II, has remained close to members of the royal family but avoided the limelight following Diana’s death. She will be joined by her siblings Lady Sarah McCorquodale, who dated Prince Charles before Diana, and younger brother Charles, the Earl Spencer, at Windsor Castle for the wedding. All of the Spencers have been invited including, Lady Kitty Spencer, the 27 year-old daughter of Earl Spencer, who is also a model currently appearing in Dolce & Gabbana’s advertising campaign.
Though Diana’s family has remained largely out of the public eye at royal events in recent years, Charles Spencer and Diana’s sisters attended Prince William’s wedding and have remained close with her two sons. “Both William and Harry have always been keen to keep the Spencer family in their lives as their mother would have wanted,” according to my royal source.
In 2015, I interviewed Charles Spencer when he was in New York City to promote his book, Killers of the King: The Men Who Dared to Execute Charles I. He spoke lovingly of his relationships with Princes William and Harry and marveled at the interest here in America about the two princes. “I’m always amazed that there’s more coverage here [of them] than in Britain. There seems to be something about them [in the media] every day,” he told me. He also said that the princes, in a self-protective measure, always kept themselves an arm’s length away from the coverage. “William and Harry have a team around them that keeps them separate from all that.”
“As they have gotten older, William and Harry still miss their mother greatly. They realize what she has missed and what they have missed by not having her with them,” one royal insider told me. “They have had to go on, but have never fully gotten over their mother’s death. They were 15 and 12 when she was taken from them, so how could they?”
Both William and Harry were sure to include Diana in their engagements. William gave Kate Middleton, now Duchess of Cambridge, his mother’s iconic sapphire and diamond engagement ring. Harry designed Meghan’s engagement ring surrounding the main diamond from Botswana with two diamonds from Diana’s personal collection.
“Diana has been gone 20 years,” said my source. “But she is very much alive in the hearts of her sons. Their love for Diana lives on and will be very much felt when Harry marries Meghan.” And for more amazing royals coverage, see the 15 Most Lavish Royal Weddings of All Time.
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