Furry tail wedding Move over Harry and Meghan – Stacey says there’s a new royal couple in town, and they’re far more barking...
Furry tail wedding
As soon as I stepped into the hair salon I own with my mum, Andrea, 64, she excitedly waved a letter in my face.
‘Prince Harry’s secretary says it’s OK,’ she cried.
It was July 2017, and our eightweek-old Newfoundland pup, Harry, wasn’t the only barking one in our family… Mum was, too!
Royal-mad, she’d written to Kensington Palace to ask for Harry’s blessing to name our puppy after him.
We’d collected Harry from a breeder just a couple of months earlier. When we’d chosen him at four weeks old, he’d been a tiny bundle of fluff but, bringing him home a month later, he’d turned into a wrecking ball!
‘He’s as boisterous as Prince Harry on a stag night,’ Mum laughed as he sent a coffee cup flying with his wagging tail.
Me and Mum decided to share Harry: Friday to Tuesday with me and the rest of the week with her.
We took him to work at Reflexions every day, and our clients loved him!
He grew – and grew.
I quickly learnt to move everything at tail level before his visits, and to hide all my husband Kevin’s socks – Harry’s favourite food!
In March 2018, Elaine, who sometimes dog-sits Harry, popped into the salon.
‘I’ve had a brilliant idea,’ she giggled. ‘Let’s find a dog called Meghan to marry your Harry.’
It was only weeks until the real Meghan Markle was due to walk down the aisle – the date had been in Mum’s diary since it was announced. But, hold the press, this could be even bigger! ‘Yes!’ me and Mum cried.
So, that evening, Elaine put a post on Facebook. Five dogs called Meghan applied to be Harry’s bride.
‘They’re all gorgeous – how do we choose?’ I laughed, sitting down to pick our favourite. ‘What do you think, Harry?’
He was too busy lobbing his blue squeaky dinosaur around to offer an opinion.
One of his potential brides was a pedigree springer spaniel who competed in shows.
‘She’s pretty and posh – the right credentials to be a princess,’ we decided.
The ceremony was to be held in Mum’s garden – not quite Windsor Castle, but she had a beautiful arch of roses, perfect for the puptials!
We set the date for three days before the human do – well, Mum wasn’t missing that for all the souvenir teacups made in China!
Harry ran up to sniff her bum
Elaine measured Harry up for his tuxedo – he weighed 9st now – and Meghan for her white veil.
Then we asked Harry’s mates, Shadow and Isla, from our local Newfoundland Club, to be best man and bridesmaid.
‘Are you nervous, Harry?’ I asked on the morning of his big day.
He didn’t seem it. In fact, when he saw Meghan, he raced up to her to sniff her bum!
‘Harry!’ I scolded. Meghan, though, was far more refined and ladylike.
The guest list was exclusive: just me, Mum, Meghan’s owner Helen, Elaine and her hubby, John. Well, we wouldn’t have been able to fit Elton John’s piano in the garden anyway!
Though we did find a life-sized cardboard cut-out of Harry and Meghan, which took pride of place at the altar.
As Puppy Love by Donny Osmond played, we walked Harry and Meghan down the aisle.
Just one hitch – Harry was too big to fit through the arch of roses! Elaine performed the ceremony. ‘Harry, do you promise to bark, bounce and be a loyal friend to Meghan?’ she asked.
She presented them with a biscuit to seal the deal.
Then they tucked in to the wedding cake – mashed-up kibble with chicken and rice.
Now we’re planning to get Harry and Meghan together for a play date every anniversary, with Shadow and Isla, too.
As Prince Harry embarks on a life of royal duty as a married man, his canine double is qualifying to become a therapy dog.
He’ll visit people in hospitals, just as the real Harry does. But we know HRH – His Royal Houndness – will be the most popular prince in town!
(L-R) Me, Mum and Meghan’s owner, Helen, held a wedding fit for royalty
The human Harry and Meghan tied the knot three days later