Phil Dampier, author of Royally Suited, has been covering the royals since Prince Harry was two years old. He watched the boys grow up and is now watching Princess Diana and Prince Charles’s youngest son marry the woman perfectly suited for his life.
In an exclusive interview for TVGrapevine, the author revealed some fun facts and information about the family and the wedding. Below are some of the highlights from our chat.
ROYAL COVERAGE: I have been reporting on the royal family for 32 years and have travelled to 60 countries covering their tours.
My first assignment was the wedding of Prince Andrew to Sarah Ferguson in 1986.
WEDDING DRAMA: Harry and Meghan’s wedding has unfortunately been overshadowed in the week leading to it by the antics of her family the Markles.
It’s a shame but I think most of that will be forgotten on the day and it should be a tremendous occasion.
ON THE WEDDING: It is a smaller affair than William and Kate’s 2011 wedding as it’s in St George’s chapel, Windsor Castle, not Westminster Abbey.
So the guests number 600 not 2,000.
There will be no Presidents or heads of state, but plenty of celebs like Elton John, George Clooney, the Beckhams and Serena Williams, who are friends.
WHY PEOPLE ARE EXCITED ABOUT THE ROYAL WEDDING: Royal weddings don’t happen often and it’s something the British do better than anyone else.
It’s the thousand years of history which makes it special.
SECURITY MEASURES: The whole of Windsor will be sealed off with a no fly zone for drones, sniffer dogs and a massive police presence costing $40 million.
Meghan and Harry are staying at heavily protected separate hotels the night before.
MEGHAN’S ROYAL LIFE: Meghan’s life has already changed dramatically.
She has given up her career, moved to a new country, and can no longer walk dow the street without a bodyguard.
But most importantly she is impatient to throw herself into causes she believes in.
THE COUPLE’S POST-WEDDING LIFE: The couple will have jobs straight away and be seen the week after the wedding with Prince Charles and Camilla.
Their honeymoon will be a bit later.
They will make a great team and Meghan will bring a lot more interest in the royals, particularly from young people, moving forward.
WHEN PHIL KNEW IT WAS TRUE LOVE: I was in Toronto last year when Harry and Meghan appeared together at the Invictus Games.
It was then we knew it was serious.
WHAT WOULD DIANA SAY? I’m sure Diana would be absolutely delighted about Harry marrying Meghan. Harry himself has said she would be over the moon and that she and Meghan would be ‘as thick as thieves.’ It’s incredible, and rather sad, that Meghan is 36, the age Diana was when she died. Diana would be so happy that Harry has married for love and no other reason. She would always have encouraged Harry to follow his heart and that’s what he’s done. She would also be overjoyed that Meghan is a caring humanitarian who is going to get involved in such good causes, many of them dear to Diana’s heart.