Belfast Telegraph

Royal wedding: Beaming Harry goes walkabout ahead of the big day

By Laura Elston

Prince Harry greeted well-wishers outside Windsor Castle yesterday, on the eve of his wedding to Meghan Markle who said she is feeling "wonderful".

Harry and Meghan will spend their last night as an unmarried couple in separate luxury hotels, only meeting again at the altar today.

Joined by his brother and best man, the Duke of Cambridge, Harry looked relaxed during the 10-minute walkabout.

Wearing an open-necked white shirt and light jacket, he waved to the crowds and chatted to his brother before making a beeline to talk to a young girl waiting among the throng.

And bride-to-be Meghan said she was feeling "wonderful" as she arrived with her mother, Doria Ragland, at the luxury Cliveden House Hotel in Berkshire after meeting the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh for afternoon tea.

Meghan, with an arm briefly around her mother, smiled broadly and looked at ease as they were greeted by the hotel general manager.

The surprise walkabout by the brothers echoed the eve of William's own wedding in 2011 when the pair greeted royal fans with an impromptu public appearance on The Mall in central London.

Harry shook hands with dozens of well-wishers who shouted "good luck" to the groom.

At one point the prince was handed a small teddy bear wearing a red sweater, which he gave a quick hug before moving on to speak to a young boy sporting a red, white and blue crown-style hat.

When asked how he was feeling, Harry replied: "Great."

The prince appeared to have a neatly-trimmed beard in preparation for his big day.

Fans, many decked out in the national colours of both Britain and the United States, are camped outside the castle and have been singing loudly in readiness for the festivities.

It was announced earlier that the Prince of Wales is to step in for the father of the bride and walk Meghan down the aisle.

Meghan Markle waves to well-wishers at Cliveden House Hotel
Meghan Markle waves to well-wishers at Cliveden House Hotel

Kensington Palace said that Charles would give his soon-to-be daughter-in-law away when she marries his younger son today in the historic surroundings of St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.

The palace said the American former actress had asked her future father-in-law to accompany her as she makes her way to the altar.

In a statement, Kensington Palace said: "Ms Meghan Markle has asked His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to accompany her down the aisle of the Quire of St George's Chapel on her Wedding Day.

"The Prince of Wales is pleased to be able to welcome Ms Markle to The Royal Family in this way."

Meghan's father, Thomas Markle, was forced to pull out of performing the fatherly duty after undergoing heart surgery in a dramatic upset just two days before the wedding.

Charles previously performed the duty for Alexandra Knatchbull, the daughter of his close friend, Lord Brabourne, in 2016.

Meanwhile, a large security operation is in place, with police manning the barricades outside the castle, snipers on the rooftops of high street buildings and sniffer dogs carrying out checks ahead of today's ceremony.

US actress and fiancee of Britain's Prince Harry Meghan Markle (L) arrives with her mother Doria Ragland at Cliveden House hotel in the village of Taplow near Windsor on May 18, 2018, the eve of her wedding to Britain's Prince Harry.
US actress and fiancee of Britain's Prince Harry Meghan Markle (L) arrives with her mother Doria Ragland at Cliveden House hotel in the village of Taplow near Windsor on May 18, 2018, the eve of her wedding to Britain's Prince Harry.
Royal fans lean out of windows as they watch Britain's Prince Harry and his best man Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, greet well-wishers on the street outside Windor Castle in Windsor on May 18, 2018, the eve of Prince Harry's royal wedding to US actress Meghan Markle. Britain's Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle will marry on May 19 at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. / AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNISADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images
US actress and fiancee of Britain's Prince Harry Meghan Markle arrives with her mother Doria Ragland (not pictured) at Cliveden House hotel in the village of Taplow near Windsor on May 18, 2018, the eve of her wedding to Britain's Prince Harry. Britain's Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle will marry on May 19 at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / STEVE PARSONSSTEVE PARSONS/AFP/Getty Images
US actress and fiancee of Britain's Prince Harry Meghan Markle arrives with her mother Doria Ragland (not pictured) at Cliveden House hotel in the village of Taplow near Windsor on May 18, 2018, the eve of her wedding to Britain's Prince Harry. Britain's Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle will marry on May 19 at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / STEVE PARSONSSTEVE PARSONS/AFP/Getty Images
Britain's Prince Harry greets well-wishers on the street outside Windsor Castle in Windsor on May 18, 2018, the eve of Prince Harry's royal wedding to US actress Meghan Markle. Britain's Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle will marry on May 19 at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. / AFP PHOTO / Odd ANDERSENODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images
Britain's Prince Harry greets well-wishers on the street outside Windsor Castle in Windsor on May 18, 2018, the eve of Prince Harry's royal wedding to US actress Meghan Markle. Britain's Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle will marry on May 19 at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. / AFP PHOTO / Odd ANDERSENODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images
BERKSHIRE, ENGLAND - MAY 18: Meghan Markle arrives at Cliveden House Hotel on the National Trust's Cliveden Estate to spend the night before her wedding to Prince Harry on May 18, 2018 in Berkshire, England. (Photo by Steve Parsons - Pool / Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry greets well-wishers on the street outside Windsor Castle in Windsor on May 18, 2018, the eve of Prince Harry's royal wedding to US actress Meghan Markle. Britain's Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle will marry on May 19 at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. / AFP PHOTO / Odd ANDERSENODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images
BERKSHIRE, ENGLAND - MAY 18: Meghan Markle and her mother, Doria Ragland arrive at Cliveden House Hotel on the National Trust's Cliveden Estate to spend the night before her wedding to Prince Harry on May 18, 2018 in Berkshire, England. (Photo by Steve Parsons - Pool / Getty Images)
BERKSHIRE, ENGLAND - MAY 18: Meghan Markle arrives at Cliveden House Hotel on the National Trust's Cliveden Estate to spend the night before her wedding to Prince Harry on May 18, 2018 in Berkshire, England. (Photo by Steve Parsons - Pool / Getty Images)
BERKSHIRE, ENGLAND - MAY 18: Meghan Markle and her mother, Doria Ragland arrive at Cliveden House Hotel on the National Trust's Cliveden Estate to spend the night before her wedding to Prince Harry on May 18, 2018 in Berkshire, England. (Photo by Steve Parsons - Pool / Getty Images)
BERKSHIRE, ENGLAND - MAY 18: Meghan Markle and her mother, Doria Ragland arrive at Cliveden House Hotel on the National Trust's Cliveden Estate to spend the night before her wedding to Prince Harry on May 18, 2018 in Berkshire, England. (Photo by Steve Parsons - Pool / Getty Images)
BERKSHIRE, ENGLAND - MAY 18: Meghan Markle and her mother, Doria Ragland arrive at Cliveden House Hotel on the National Trust's Cliveden Estate to spend the night before her wedding to Prince Harry on May 18, 2018 in Berkshire, England. (Photo by Steve Parsons - Pool / Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry returns after greeting well-wishers on the street outside Windsor Castle in Windsor on May 18, 2018, the eve of Prince Harry's royal wedding to US actress Meghan Markle. Britain's Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle will marry on May 19 at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. / AFP PHOTO / Odd ANDERSENODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images
Britain's Prince Harry greets well-wishers on the street outside Windsor Castle in Windsor on May 18, 2018, the eve of Prince Harry's royal wedding to US actress Meghan Markle. Britain's Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle will marry on May 19 at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. / AFP PHOTO / Odd ANDERSENODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images
Britain's Prince Harry greets well-wishers on the street outside Windsor Castle in Windsor on May 18, 2018, the eve of Prince Harry's royal wedding to US actress Meghan Markle. Britain's Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle will marry on May 19 at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. / AFP PHOTO / Odd ANDERSENODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images
Britain's Prince Harry greets well-wishers on the street outside Windsor Castle in Windsor on May 18, 2018, the eve of Prince Harry's royal wedding to US actress Meghan Markle. Britain's Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle will marry on May 19 at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. / AFP PHOTO / Odd ANDERSENODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images
BERKSHIRE, ENGLAND - MAY 18: Meghan Markle and her mother, Doria Ragland arrive at Cliveden House Hotel on the National Trust's Cliveden Estate to spend the night before her wedding to Prince Harry on May 18, 2018 in Berkshire, England. (Photo by Steve Parsons - Pool / Getty Images)
BERKSHIRE, ENGLAND - MAY 18: Meghan Markle and her mother, Doria Ragland arrive at Cliveden House Hotel on the National Trust's Cliveden Estate to spend the night before her wedding to Prince Harry on May 18, 2018 in Berkshire, England. (Photo by Steve Parsons - Pool / Getty Images)
Members of the public arrive on the Long Walk ahead of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday May 19, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Peter Summers/PA Wire
Armed police patrol on the Long Walk leading to Windsor Castle ahead of the wedding and carriage procession of Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in Windsor, on May 19, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Tolga AKMENTOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images
Britain's Prince Harry (R) and Prince Harry's brother and best man Prince William, Duke of Cambridge greet well-wishers on the street outside Windsor Castle in Windsor on May 18, 2018, the eve of Britain's Prince Harry's royal wedding to US actress Meghan Markle. Britain's Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle will marry on May 19 at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. / AFP PHOTO / POOL / Jonathan BradyJONATHAN BRADY/AFP/Getty Images
Royal fans bedecked with Union flags and crowns pose along the Long Walk in Windsor the day before the Royal wedding (AFP PHOTO / Odd ANDERSENODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Royal fans wearing the colours of the Union flag meander along the Long Walk in Windsor on May 18, 2018, the day before the Royal wedding. Britain's Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle will marry on May 19 at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. / AFP PHOTO / Tolga AKMENTOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images
Royal fan Joseph Afrane, bedecked in Union flag colours, poses along the Long Walk in Windsor on May 18, 2018, the day before the Royal wedding. Britain's Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle will marry on May 19 at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. / AFP PHOTO / Tolga AKMENTOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images
Souvenirs in Windsor ahead of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on Saturday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 18, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
American TV presenter Gayle King CBS (right) outside Windsor Castle ahead of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on Saturday (Owen Humphreys/PA Wire)
Royal fans in Windsor ahead of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on Saturday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 18, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
Royal fans in Windsor ahead of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on Saturday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 18, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
Royal fans outside Windsor Castle ahead of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on Saturday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 18, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
Royal fans in Windsor ahead of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on Saturday. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday May 18, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
Pictures of Britain's Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle are seen in a box on a pavement in Windsor on May 18, 2018, the day before the Royal wedding. Britain's Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle will marry on May 19 at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. / AFP PHOTO / Paul ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Royal fans including John Laughry (C) and Terry Hutt (R) are pictured near Windsor Castle in Windsor on May 18, 2018, the day before the Royal wedding. Britain's Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle will marry on May 19 at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. / AFP PHOTO / Tolga AKMENTOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images
Royal fans including John Laughry (C) and Terry Hutt (R) sing for the television in Windsor on May 18, 2018, the day before the Royal wedding. Britain's Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle will marry on May 19 at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. / AFP PHOTO / Tolga AKMENTOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images
A barrista poses with a 'Megharryccino', a Royal Wedding-themed coffee decorated with the faces of Britain's Prince Harryand Meghan Markle, in a coffee shop in Windsor )AFP PHOTO / Odd ANDERSENODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Fans spend the night in front of Windsor castle, England, Friday, May 18, 2018. Preparations continue in Windsor ahead of the royal wedding of Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Saturday May 19. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Visitors take a selfie photograph near Windsor Castle in Windsor on May 18, 2018, the day before the Royal wedding. Britain's Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle will marry on May 19 at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. / AFP PHOTO / Tolga AKMENTOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images
A woman selling flags featuring Britain's Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle near Windsor Castle in Windsor on May 18, 2018, the day before the Royal wedding. Britain's Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle will marry on May 19 at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. / AFP PHOTO / Tolga AKMENTOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images
A picture shows Royal Family Top Trumps cards, a card game where you compare ratings and values to try to 'trump' and win your opponents card, showing (L-R) Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Britain's Prince Harry, hanging on a barrier in Windsor on May 18, 2018, the day before the Royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Britain's Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle will marry on May 19 at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. / AFP PHOTO / Paul ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
A man with a Royal Wedding souvenir flag rides a bicycle past Windsor Castle in Windsor on May 18, 2018, the day before the Royal wedding. Britain's Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle will marry on May 19 at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. / AFP PHOTO / Odd ANDERSENODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - Royal fan Joseph Afrane waits near the proposed route of the carriage procession of Britain's Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle, in Windsor on May 17, 2018, two days before the Royal wedding. Britain's Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle will marry on May 19 at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Royal fans wait along the proposed route of the carriage procession of Britain's Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle, in Windsor on May 17, 2018, two days before the Royal wedding. Britain's Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle will marry on May 19 at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Royal fans wait along the proposed route of the carriage procession of Britain's Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle, in Windsor on May 17, 2018, two days before the Royal wedding. Britain's Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle will marry on May 19 at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - A pedestrian walks past cut-out figures of Britain's Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle in Windsor on May 17, 2018, two days before the Royal wedding. Britain's Prince Harry and US actress Meghan Markle will marry on May 19 at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. / AFP PHOTO / Oli SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - MAY 17: Military personnel take part in a dress rehearsal of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle outside Windsor Castle on May 17, 2018 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images) ***BESTPIX***

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