My bride and joy...


Daily Mirror - - FRONT PAGE - BY VIC­TO­RIA MUR­PHY Royal Cor­re­spon­dent Vic­to­ria.mur­phy@ mir­

MEGHAN Markle smiles on her way to Wind­sor yes­ter­day where wed­ding re­hearsals put the royals and the mil­i­tary through their paces ahead of the big day to­mor­row.

The bride-to-be even ap­peared to give a re­gal wave as she left Kens­ing­ton Palace, just hours af­ter sadly con­firm­ing her dad will not be at her side as she weds Prince Harry.

A source said: “She is con­cerned for her fa­ther but is also ex­cited about her wed­ding. She has her mother and all her friends around her and is very much look­ing for­ward to it.”

The well- oiled royal wed­ding ma­chine seemed in per­fect work­ing or­der as thou­sands of peo­ple lined the streets to watch troops in a dress re­hearsal for the big pro­ces­sion. No chances were be­ing taken with se­cu­rity ei­ther, with po­lice snipers on a rooftop op­po­site the cas­tle where Meghan, 36, will wed Harry, 33, in St Ge­orge’s Chapel. Mean­while in the kitchens at Buck­ing­ham Palace the fin­ish­ing touches were be­ing made to the cou­ple’s spec­tac­u­lar wed­ding cake, with bak­ers promis­ing a break with tra­di­tion. Join­ing Meghan and Harry at the re­hearsal at Wind­sor Cas­tle yes­ter­day were best man Prince Wil­liam, 35, and wife Kate, 36, plus two of their chil­dren, fouryear-old page­boy Prince Ge­orge and brides­maid Princess Char­lotte, three.

Ear­lier, the bride-tobe is­sued a state­ment re­veal­ing her sad­ness that her dad Thomas, 73, is too ill to walk her down the aisle.

Meghan, who has been in tears with worry af­ter he had a heart scare, said: “Sadly, my fa­ther will not be at­tend­ing our wed­ding. I have al­ways cared for my fa­ther and hope he can be given the space he needs to fo­cus on his health.”

She added: “Please know how much Harry and I look for­ward to shar­ing our spe­cial day with you on Satur­day.”

Mum Do­ria Ragland, 61, is now the favourite to walk her down the aisle.

The so­cial worker and yoga teacher will meet the Queen to­day, af­ter be­ing

House Ho­tel in Berk­shire tonight and travel in the car with her to the chapel to­mor­row.

Be­fore yes­ter­day’s re­hearsal, Meghan is un­der­stood to have spent time with her in­tro­duced to Wills and Kate and their clos­est friends, in­clud­ing stylist Jes­sica chil­dren yes­ter­day. She flew into the Mul­roney and au­thor Lind­say Roth. UK on Wed­nes­day from her home in In Wind­sor yes­ter­day fans be­gan to Los Angeles and is stay­ing at Kens­ing­ton camp out on the pro­ces­sion route Palace with Meghan and Harry. where the cou­ple will ride in an As­cot

Soon af­ter land­ing she met Prince Lan­dau car­riage in what is likely to be Charles and Camilla for tea at the year’s most-watched TV event. Clarence House, which sources said One big sur­prise will be the le­mon she “very much en­joyed”. and el­der­flower cake, the fi­nal de­sign She will join Meghan at the Clive­den of which will be re­vealed to­mor­row.

MEGHAN’S BROTHER’S VER­DICT: PAGES 6&7 EMO­TIONAL Meghan’s per­sonal state­ment about her ill fa­ther Thomas TEA Charles & Camilla met Do­ria C Claire Ptak, owner of the Vio Vi­o­let Bak­ery in East Lon­don, has been work­ing with her team of o six for five days at the palace. She Sh said the cake will be dis­played in an “in­stal­la­tion”, adding: “It’s a non-tra­di­tional lay­out… a slight shift from tra­di­tion.”

The lay­ered le­mon sponge is driz­zled with an el­der­flower syrup spe­cially cre­ated for the cou­ple, dec­o­rated with a white el­der­flower Swiss meringue but­ter­cream, and topped with Meghan’s favourite pe­onies and roses.

It is made with 200 Amalfi lemons, 10 bot­tles of San­dring­ham El­der­flower Cor­dial,

SUP­PORT Mum Do­ria Ragland 20kg each of but­ter, flour and sugar, and 500 or­ganic eggs from Suf­folk. The cake will be served to the 600 guests at the lunchtime re­cep­tion in St Ge­orge’s Hall af­ter the cer­e­mony. Thomas Markle told US web­site TMZ on Mon­day that he was pulling out of at­tend­ing af­ter em­bar­rass­ment over pa­parazzi pho­tos he staged. On Tues­day he told TMZ he needed surgery af­ter a heart at­tack. Meghan called and texted him, telling him she loved him and was not an­noyed with him about any­thing. He told TMZ he had three stents fit­ted, adding: “I’m OK. It’ll take a long time to heal. Stay­ing in hos­pi­tal a few more days. Not al­lowed to get ex­cited.”


HAPPY Meghan and Prince Harry leave Wind­sor Cas­tle yes­ter­day

Thomas Markle


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