Wellwishers wait to greet Harry and Meghan in Cardiff
Fans began arriving at Cardiff Castle as early as 7am.
Royal wellwishers are waiting in Cardiff to greet Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle.
Fans began arriving as early as 7am at Cardiff Castle, although the US actress and Harry were held up by a train delay as they set out on their Welsh away day.
The train had set out on time, but a Kensington Palace spokesman said it would be about 30 minutes late to arrive.
The prince is introducing his bride-to-be to the residents of another area of the country, following successful visits to Nottingham and Brixton in south London.
Today is the day! #RoyalVisit - Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are visiting @Cardiff_Castle at 1:30pm. Enjoying a tour of the Castles stunning interiors. #PrinceHarry #MeghanMarkle #HarryandMeghan #CardiffCastle #VisitCardiff #Cardiffis pic.twitter.com/tjEaX2LpXp— Visit Cardiff (@VisitCardiff) January 18, 2018
Inside the castle, Cardiff’s landmark building with a history dating back more than 1,000 years, the couple will tour a Welsh culture festival.
They will hear performances from musicians and poets, meet leading sportsmen and women, and see how organisations are working to promote the Welsh language and cultural identity.
June Haws, from Llandaff, Cardiff, brought Harry and Ms Markle a Welsh Love Spoon made from pewter to celebrate their upcoming wedding.
The custom of carving and giving Love Spoons dates back centuries in Wales, with young men gifting them as a token of their affection.
“It is engraved with a Welsh dragon, daffodils and wedding bells,” Mrs Haws said.
“Prince Harry has always been special to the people who have lived through the Diana years, as I have. I just want to see him happy, and to see her. It is a great atmosphere here.”
Eleanor Davies, 63, from Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, said: “I’ve seen other members of the royal family before but not Harry. It is so exciting to have them in Wales.”
Iris Bishop, 60, Linda Nubert, 67, and Pamela Lloyd, 68, all from Cardiff, held a Welsh flag and wore dragon brooches for the visit.
“I think it is lovely that they thought to come here before their marriage,” Mrs Bishop said.
“It is an early gift for us. We are big royal fans.”
Camilla the 10-year-old Cavalier King Charles spaniel wore a headband with American flags on, as well as a veil, to meet Harry and his bride-to-be.
“It is wonderfully exciting,” Anne Dale, 60, said.
“I just can’t wait to meet them and Camilla will see them too. They just look lovely together.”
Julie Feehan, 50, is throwing her son Gregory a royal-wedding themed 18th birthday party – as his birthday falls on May 19.
“We’re having a big celebration and dressing up for the occasion,” Mrs Feehan said.
“Gregory wants to go out with the boys but has to do this first. It’s so exciting that it falls on the same day.”
The prince and Ms Markle will then travel to Star Hub, a community and leisure centre in the Tremorfa area of the city, to see how sport is being used to engage young people and aid social development.
Later they will see how StreetGames, a delivery partner of Sport Wales and the Welsh Government and an organisation with which Harry has worked, is helping to make sport accessible to all young people, regardless of their social circumstances.
It does this by supporting and establishing more than 1,000 local organisations around the UK to deliver doorstep sport in disadvantaged communities.
The couple will meet young people taking part in doorstep sessions including street dance and table tennis.
They will also meet young women involved with the UsGirls project, set up with the aim of encouraging female participation in sports across the UK and tackling the barriers that prevent many girls and young women from taking part.