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Royal wedding: Di's Irish designer on his bond with family

By Caitlin McBride

An Irish designer who met Prince Harry when he was a child said he hopes the royal and his fiancee Meghan Markle live "happily ever after".

Paul Costelloe was one of Princess Diana's preferred designers and was a regular behind the gates of Kensington Palace during her lifetime.

Harry and Prince William will always hold a special place in his heart because of his long-standing affection for their late mother, who not only launched his career but became a close friend.

"That was the beginning, that was one of the biggest things for my career, was dressing Princess Diana (right). Meeting William as a young boy, he was no more than four or five, I met both - they wouldn't remember a boring old man," he laughed. After Diana endorsed his work in the early '90s, Costelloe went on to work with Zara Tindall and Princess Anne, both of whom are still clients.

But he believes that Meghan's American attitude to fashion is the breath of fresh air that the royal family needs.

"I think she's definitely a clothes horse - she wears colours very well.

"She's going to be very important for fashion for quite a long time," he said from his studio in London's Marylebone neighbourhood.

"She's more directional and perhaps more adventurous than Kate, even though I think Kate's got a nice, feminine, all British girl look."

Meghan is rumoured to be wearing a £100,000 dress custom-made by Ralph & Russo for the wedding tomorrow.

The design will be kept secret until the moment she emerges in her gown on the way to the chapel. Meghan is already a Ralph & Russo client and there is speculation she will stick with the London-based couturiers.

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