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Royal Wedding: Watch out Harry, things will never be the same again!

Amid reports that Meghan Markle has already put Prince Harry on a diet and revamped his wardrobe, two of our writers issue an eve-of-wedding warning to the young royal - this is just the start of the makeover


Meghan's impact on her fiance's appearance is discernible with the royal gradually ditching his casual wear

Meghan's impact on her fiance's appearance is discernible with the royal gradually ditching his casual wear

The prince cuts a rather untidy figure on the beach in South Africa in 2015

The prince cuts a rather untidy figure on the beach in South Africa in 2015

With Meghan two years later; whereas he looks a lot smarter, more debonair and distinguished these days as he steps out with his soon-to-be bride

With Meghan two years later; whereas he looks a lot smarter, more debonair and distinguished these days as he steps out with his soon-to-be bride

John Laverty with Claire

John Laverty with Claire

Laurence White with Eileen

Laurence White with Eileen

Meghan's impact on her fiance's appearance is discernible with the royal gradually ditching his casual wear

John Laverty: Fresh underwear every day. Socks too. And shower at least once. That's once a day, mate, not once a week. What do you mean, you don't do that? Well, you're clearly not married then. Or, at least, not any more. And, going by the pong emanating from your armpit area, I wouldn't sign up to Tinder just yet.

But wait a moment. My missus still got hitched to me, despite all the faults (of which, she maintained, there were many).

And, eight years later, some (I say 'some', she still says 'many) remain.

Is this a marriage, or a unilateral work in progress? Sometimes I wonder.

A friend of mine once had a partner whom he met on a raucous night out; they would share several more of those before they 'settled down' - rather suddenly - to Corrie, matching slippers, mineral water and bed before News at Ten was over.

What happened to the chandelier-swinging, Drambuie-downing, all-night-dancing party animal who'd snared him?

"I only went out to get someone to sit in with," she later conceded to my by-now barely recognisable, two-stone slimmer, no-longer-football-watching, teetotal - although, admittedly, well-rested - friend.

"But she keeps a nice prison," he offered, rather feebly.

How much will Meghan change the burger and pizza-chomping grunge aficionado Harry? Quite a lot, considering the slimmer waistline and sharp suits displayed by the prince she'll marry tomorrow.

At least he won't be one of those husbands who moan that, post nuptials, their wives began the process of moulding them into the person they'd like to marry - even though they were already wed to them.

Twisted logic, you might think, but the problem is this: too many of us men believe that the wedding day marks the triumphant finale to the mating ritual. It's what we wanted, it's what we got, end of.

Ha! It's only the start, pal.

Begin by getting into the way of putting that toilet seat down. Yes, every time.

And the days of removing your jeans at night and leaving them on the floor - like a denim cowpat, someone once said - are long over.

That habit you have of transferring everything - coins, used hankies, bits of the radio you promised to fix - from your trouser pockets to the sideboard? Gone.

And don't dare try to cook something exotic as a treat; you'll use too many ingredients, employ superfluous kitchen utensils and it still won't be as good as the one Mrs L rustled up in record time a few months back.

You want to be a dab hand at something? Try washing up, or vacuuming, or making the beds. No, don't try it, just do it.

Remember, too, that that little girl belongs to both of us.

Oh, and that pile of clothes won't iron itself …

I like to think, after all this time, that I'm a better person. Well, better dressed at least, having come to accept being told what to wear and what to try on/buy in Fat Face and White Stuff.

Not a single item of unapproved clothing has been purchased in over a decade, and the once-occasional beard hasn't had a single outing in that time either.

I'm certainly healthier; I gave up cigarettes a long time ago, and can't remember the last time I drank alcohol.

Mmmm … maybe she DOES want me around a little longer; this more thoughtful, less selfish, better groomed, tidier, cleaner, less smelly person - barely registering, these days, on the 'need to be told' meter.

But far from the finished article - and, after all this time, still possessed of one major, infuriating flaw.

Claire was reminding me what it was, the other night, but I wasn't listening.

Laurence White:

The late comedian Frank Carson probably summed up the dynamic of marriage better than any Relate counsellor. He opined that on her wedding day every bride has two words at the forefront of her mind - aisle and altar - but with a twist.

To her, life in the coming years means one thing - I'll alter him.

Like all decent gags it was not the wordplay but the kernel of truth it contained which made it resonate with audiences.

No doubt Meghan will entertain some of those same thoughts as she walks up the aisle tomorrow.

She may look all doe-eyed and dutiful in the posed pictures and meet-the-people events, but she will have her ideas on how Harry's life will change.

Prince or not, any repetition of his Las Vegas pool parties will see him attend the next Invictus games … as a competitor.

For whether we like to admit it or not, men need a good woman to steer them through life.

We start off life given unconditional love. A mother's love is not only blind but someone has also stolen its white stick and guide dog. They bring up their sons as if they will rule the world, whereas in reality they will be fortunate to be the decision-makers in their own homes.

Whereas young girls become mini-homemakers in their early teens, able to cook and keep house, boys are rarely given any responsibility. The first time I ever had to fend even remotely for myself was when I moved into a flat with some other lads in my early 20s.

By that stage I had already met Eileen, my now wife of 43 years. A relative recently said to me that marrying Eileen was the best choice I ever made in life and I certainly wouldn't disagree.

She has reared our children in her image and they have turned out all the better for it. While they may have inherited my puerile sense of humour they have also shown Eileen's sense of responsibility.

While wives no doubt see the job of changing their husband's behaviour as a lifetime project, it is usually done with relative subtlety.

Coming from the Glens of Antrim, I was used to old farmers sucking a finger, sticking it in the air and giving the weather forecast for the next fortnight with greater accuracy than Frank Mitchell can achieve with all his maps.

I sort of developed that skill over the years of marriage. It worked best when detecting frost from my better half. Not a word needed to be spoken but a withering glance spoke volumes when I had erred in some way.

This, I hasten to add, should not be taken as a criticism but rather as an indication of how gradually wives turn their husbands into the sort of people they feel comfortable in bringing into polite company, where ribald humour or being sick into the plant pots is frowned upon.

Yet in the same period Eileen has hardly changed at all. She is still the same responsible person who has a genuine concern for anyone in trouble, enjoys a joke as much as the next person, and is someone others naturally gravitate towards, recognising in her a sincerity that is rare to find.

Some of those virtues have rubbed off a little on me thanks to her unstinting efforts but I will never be her equal. Maybe that realisation is why we are still happily married.

Over the years I realised that everything Eileen did was to make me and my life better. This was brought home to me most strongly in recent times when I suffered a health scare.

Eileen accompanied me on daily visits to hospital, always encouraging and supportive while at the same time fear gnawed at the very core of her existence. Just how much she worried only became apparent afterwards as she never wanted to worry me.

That was when I realised that my wife had morphed into my mother - her unconditional love meant that my recovery was all that mattered. Yes that relative was right. I am indeed a fortunate man.

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