Meghan Markle gave a radiant smile on the eve of her wedding and declared she was feeling “wonderful” after the final preparations for her big day.
The US actress’s comment came as she strode, looking happy and relaxed with her mother Doria Ragland by her side, into the luxury hotel where she will emerge on Saturday morning as a bride in her wedding gown.
Ms Markle had arrived at Cliveden House Hotel in Berkshire after introducing her mother to the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh over afternoon tea with her fiance Prince Harry.
She managed a friendly wave to the small group of media at the hotel entrance recording her arrival and when asked how she was feeling, replied: “Wonderful, thank you.”
Underneath confident exteriors, Ms Markle and the prince are both said to be suffering the “normal nerves” of any couple getting married.
A source said: “They are both ready. The last couple of days all their friends have been arriving. I think everything has started to feel very real after a long time planning.
“All weddings are complicated to plan and something on this scale is completely different. They have made every decision.”
While Meghan was being welcomed to the hotel, Harry and brother the Duke of Cambridge went on a brief walkabout in Windsor to meet the crowds.
Meghan and Ms Ragland both looked sleek and glamorous, dressed in high heels, having just come from meeting the head of state.
Their time at Windsor Castle not only included the mother of the bride’s first introduction to the Queen, but it was also Harry, Meghan and Ms Ragland’s final wedding rehearsal before the big day.
The mother and daughter were joined at the hotel by a trusted team of three helpers who will prepare the bride for her appearance in front of a global television audience of millions on Saturday.
They are staying in a wing of the hotel and a small marquee had been erected over the entrance to stop anyone getting a picture of the dress ahead of the bride’s appearance at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
While Ms Markle, 36, who wore an Roland Mouret outfit, was staying at Cliveden, which overlooks the Thames at Taplow, Harry was staying with his best man William 15 miles away at Coworth Park on the other side of Windsor.
The mother-and-daughter evening at Cliveden, where suites are let for up to £2,055, was a moment of calm for them both at the end of a tumultuous week.
Ms Markle’s has had a difficult week after her father Thomas Markle dropped out of the wedding following heart surgery and the furore surrounding his alleged staging of paparazzi pictures of himself.
This has meant Ms Ragland, 61, a social worker and yoga instructor who lives in Los Angeles, is now the only member of the Ms Markle’s family who will be attending the wedding.
The arrival of the two women at the hotel was one of the first sightings of Ms Ragland since she flew into Britain on Wednesday and immediately embarked on a whirlwind series of introductions to the royal family, culminating in a meeting with the Queen.
For the British, Cliveden is a house that will forever be associated with scandal.
The hotel’s own website boasts of its “history of unapologetic debauchery”, and tells how the Profumo affair began when government minister John Profumo met Christine Keeler at a swimming pool party in the grounds.
The hotel even offers a Profumo Affair Break.