Belfast Telegraph

The Queen of Hearts' son tying the knot with his glamorous American princess is a marriage made in media heaven

By Lindy McDowell

And so congratulations are in order. To Harry and Meghan, of course - and also, if we are to believe Arlene Foster's Twitter feed, an unsuspecting Prince William.

Their families are thrilled and excited. Dear friends will be hoping for wedding invites and Princess Beatrice will be sizing up the pretzel headgear.

But above all, this is such delightful news for that happiest of couples - the tabloid and magazine market, which will now go into engagement overdrive.

Nothing boosts sales like yet another royal 'fairytale' wedding. Not Katie Price's latest cosmetic procedure drama, Holly Willoughby's new skirt or Davina McCall's marital woes.

Amid the more serious headlines of the day - Brexit, Trump and the weather - it's a bit of welcome froth.

And this particular romance creating union, as it does, between the House of Windsor and US showbiz (box-set and match) has potential to do more for the special relationship between the UK and America than any amount of hand-holding between May and Trump.

On both sides of the Atlantic then, it's a win-win for the glossies and gossip columns which will bring us every breathless report in the run-up to the big day.

The dress. The guests. His past. Her past. Where she gets her facials. How many dogs she has. The royal love nest. The ring. Her coat. And where you can get one that looks a bit like it. Only at a cheaper price.

Oh, and, of course, comparisons with Diana ...

The royals can never get away from Diana, because she was, of course, the ultimate princess megastar.

Every new Windsor fiancee knows she will be forever compared and contrasted with the Queen of Hearts.

Poor Meghan. What has she let herself in for?

Actually, she looks like a girl who can well handle the attention. She also looks, refreshingly, like her own woman.

Her engagement ring may have been made from Diana's diamonds but, unlike Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, she doesn't get her late mother-in-law's actual ring.

Poor Kate has always seemed strangely cast as a mirror to her husband's mother.

That ring, the same coloured suit on her engagement day, so many similar outfits, similar poses, even the baby clothes she's chosen for her son which are almost copies of what William wore as a boy. What is that about?

Maybe it's meant as a tribute, but it does serve to stifle, more than a bit, her own personality.

Kate comes across as a diluted Diana. A wee bit too careful. Too controlled.

The arrival of a new sister-in-law-to-be will doubtless change the dynamic in the House of Windsor.

Especially since the spotlight will now inevitably shift to the House of Harry. The duchess might even be glad.

Kate, in fairness, has never come across as someone who was desperate for, or who wanted to hog, the limelight. She respected the close bond between her husband and his brother. As we say in these parts, she gave Harry his place.

But now media focus will be very much on the new royal on the block. Especially in the US, where they just love the idea of a real-life American princess (even if Meghan is more likely to become a duchess post-marriage.)

As an actress, Miss Markle is used to handling media. She isn't uncomfortable in the spotlight. She has had some sort of preparation for this.

By the time the wedding comes round, we, never mind she, may all be weary of the coverage. But for now it would be churlish not to welcome a bit of love and romance in the headlines.

A happy prince, a gorgeous American actress and an online and print industry just champing to capitalise on every nuance of royal romance?

Now that truly is a match made in (media) heaven.

Belfast Telegraph

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