Meghan Markle may not be having a maid of honour, but her loyal friends will be on hand to support her at the royal wedding.
The American star’s close-knit group of confidantes have been helping her with the wedding preparations and will be with her in London in the run-up to May 19.
Kensington Palace said the bride-to-be had such strong bonds with her friends, who have all been invited to the wedding, that she was unable to select just one to be her maid of honour.
Instead she has picked youngsters as bridesmaids and pageboys – with Prince George and Princess Charlotte certain to be among them.
Jason Knauf, Kensington Palace’s communications secretary, said: “Ms Markle will not be having a maid of honour.
“She has a very close-knit group of friends and she did not want to choose one over the other.
They're all going to be there in Windsor with her, in the days before in London. She's very pleased to have their support on the day.Jason Knauf, KP's communications secretary
“They have all been actively involved in helping her prepare for the day.
“They’re all going to be there in Windsor with her, in the days before in London.
“She’s very pleased to have their support on the day.”
Ms Markle’s close friends include her stylist Jessica Mulroney, who runs a bridal store in Toronto and is said to have helped the bride choose her gown.
Indian actress and philanthropist Priyanka Chopra will also have been a source of support.
Chopra has paid tribute to Ms Markle as a “strong, free spirit” who “found her prince, fell in love and in turn made a cynical world believe in fairy tales again”.
The actress wrote a piece to accompany Ms Markle’s entry in Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2018, saying she would be a “princess for the people”.
.@priyankachopra on Meghan Markle: âThis ever-smiling, strong free spirit found her prince, fell in love and in turn made a cynical world believe in fairy tales againâ #TIME100 https://t.co/dllPumzsu7— TIME (@TIME) April 19, 2018
Ms Markle is also close to tennis champion Serena Williams.
Markle wrote on her lifestyle website thetig.com how she hit it off immediately with Williams after meeting her at a celebrity flag football game in 2014.
“She quickly became a confidante I would text when I was travelling, the friend I would rally around for her tennis matches, and the down-to-earth chick I was able to grab lunch with just a couple weeks ago in Toronto,” she revealed.
“We are both the same age, have a penchant for hot sauces, and adore fashion, but what connects us more than those things is perhaps our belief in exceeding expectations, our endless ambition.”
Other friends include her former Suits co-star Sarah Rafferty, actress and musician Janina Gavankar, New York socialite Olivia Palermo, former Suits and Mad Men actress Abigail Spencer, author Lindsay Jill Roth and celebrity pilates instructor Heather Dorak.
Rafferty, who plays Donna Paulsen in the hit US legal drama, has been described by Ms Markle as “not just my Suits sister wife, but my sister”.