GOD Save THE QUEEN

Wor­ried about the Markles? Meet the Wind­sors

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - Front Page - FIONA WINGETT AS­SO­CIATE ED­I­TOR

TALK about dys­func­tional.

The world may be pil­ing onto the mid­dle­class Markle fam­ily and how it could de­rail the wed­ding of the decade, but have they met the Wind­sors? Drunks. Racist gaffes. Ex­tra­mar­i­tal af­fairs. Co­caine abuse. Body pierc­ings. Even toe-suck­ing.

Oh, and the party princess who re­cently nearly blinded a pop star with a sword dur­ing a mock knight­ing cer­e­mony. You can only imag­ine how wild this wed­ding is go­ing to be when the re­formed Prince Harry — who pre-Meghan Markle liked to ca­vort naked with bikini girls in Las Ve­gas — could be the mildest char­ac­ter of the night.

MEGHAN Markle’s clos­est friends have ar­rived in Lon­don ahead of the big­gest day of her life, ready to sup­port their soon-tobe-royal chum. Markle’s glossy posse has been a key part of her ro­mance with Harry, cov­er­ing the cou­ple’s tracks when they were first dat­ing and re­main­ing tight-lipped about their pal. And when Harry marries his true love to­mor­row, he will know that he is not only tak­ing on the woman of his dreams and her fam­ily, but her host of close girl­friends too.

And as ex­cite­ment rises in the UK, some of Markle’s mates have been spot­ted sight­see­ing in Lon­don ahead of the wed­ding of the decade.

Sarah Raf­ferty, who plays Donna in Suits and whom Markle de­scribes as her “Suits sis­ter wife”, was pic­tured out­side Buck­ing­ham Palace yes­ter­day tak­ing pho­tos with her two daugh­ters and hus­band.

“I don’t com­ment on my cast­mates’ per­sonal lives, but of course, it’s very ex­cit­ing,” Raf­ferty has said. “And I’m very happy for her.”

Also in town is Suits’ lead­ing man Gabriel Macht, 46, who plays high-fly­ing New

York lawyer Har­vey Specter, and his wife, Aus­tralian ac­tor Jacinda Bar­rett. They landed in Lon­don with their two chil­dren ear­lier this week and have stopped to take pho­tos out­side the Queen’s Lon­don res­i­dence as well.

None of 36-year-old Markle’s friends will be her maidof-hon­our, but their chil­dren will be front and cen­tre at St Ge­orge’s Chapel, Wind­sor, to­mor­row. Buck­ing­ham Palace said she did not want to choose one from among a “very closeknit group of friends” .

“They have all been ac­tively in­volved in help­ing her pre­pare and will be there with her to cel­e­brate on the day,” a state­ment said.

Markle’s cheer­leader-inchief is Jes­sica Mul­roney, who was seen shop­ping in a Marks & Spencer store near Kens­ing­ton Palace within hours of land­ing with her three kids and hus­band.

Her four year-old daugh­ter Ivy will be a brides­maid while her broth­ers Brian and John, twins aged seven, will be page boys.

The im­pec­ca­bly groomed daugh­ter-in-law of a for­mer prime min­is­ter of Canada, Mul­roney mar­ried well. Not that she needed to. Her fam­ily, mem­bers of Canada’s Browns shoe dy­nasty, is re­port­edly worth $50 mil­lion.

Ms Mul­roney at­tended an ex­clu­sive all-girls’ school be­fore study­ing in­dus­trial re­la­tions and eco­nomics at McGill Univer­sity. She later launched a busi­ness im­port­ing lin­gerie, but was pro­pelled to Canada’s A-list af­ter her mar­riage to TV host Ben Mul­roney, son of for­mer Cana­dian PM Brian Mul­roney.

She is stylist to her friend, the cur­rent Cana­dian PM Justin Trudeau’s wife, So­phie Gre­goire-Trudeau.

Mul­roney founded The Shoe­box Project aimed at help­ing women in refuges with lit­tle lux­u­ries, her at­ti­tude to so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity align­ing with Markle’s.

But she is coy about her fab­u­lous life, say­ing “most days we are your typ­i­cal ev­ery­day fam­ily: hockey prac­tice, go­ing to the movies, or bar­be­cu­ing in the back­yard”.

Mul­roney was at Meghan’s side at the In­vic­tus Games clos­ing cer­e­mony in Toronto, which was widely seen as Harry and Meghan’s first pub­lic ap­pear­ance.

An­other of Markle’s BFFs is Benita Litt. Markle de­scribes her chil­dren as her “fairy god­daugh­ters”. The girls, Ry­lan, 7, and Remi, 6, will both be brides­maids to­mor­row and Litt has kept quiet about her long-time friend­ship — al­though she couldn’t re­sist post­ing on so­cial me­dia af­ter Markle’s visit for Christ­mas 2016.

Be­fore start­ing her own brand cu­ra­tion agency Benita worked as an in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty and en­ter­tain­ment lawyer in Cal­i­for­nia. Mar­ried to Dar­ren Litt, an in­vestor and en­trepreneur, she shares Markle’s in­ter­est in char­i­ties, at­tend­ing events with her. It is thought Markle loves Benita’s no-non­sense at­ti­tude and the cou­ple’s warm, lov­ing home.

Main pic­ture: Splash News

Meghan Markle with close friend Benita Litt, and (top) Suits lead­ing man Gabriel Macht in Lon­don this week with his Aus­tralian wife Jacinda Bar­rett.

Meghan’s best friend Jes­sica Mul­roney’s twins, Brian and John, who will be page boys. Pic­ture: Aus­tralscop Prince Harry and Meghan spot­ted driv­ing into Wind­sor Cas­tle just af­ter the mil­i­tary held a dress re­hersal of their car­riage pro­ces­sion in Wind­sor. They drove along Wind­sor’s Long Walk which leads into the cas­tle where they will marry on Sat­ur­day.

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