Prince Harry and Meghan Markle leave Sarah Ferguson fuming with wedding reception snub
Meghan Markle's proud parents will be there to give her support on the day she marries Prince Harry. The former actress is close to both her "free-spirited" mother and her "thoughtful, inspiring" father. She has written lovingly of her relationship with both.
Her father Thomas Markle will walk her down the aisle and her mother Doria Ragland will travel with her in a car to Windsor Castle, and both are meeting the Queen and the royal family ahead of the nuptials. But, controversially, the Mirror reports The Duchess of York has been left off the guestlist for the evening celebrations. The party will be hosted by Prince Charles and the snub has left Sarah Ferguson "deeply unhappy".
250 guests will be present at the private reception.
Sarah, 58, received an invite to the ceremony at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle and to the subseqent reception - as has her ex Prince Andrew and Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie. But while they have also been invited to the later do that Charles is hosting and paying for at Frogmore House, the Daily Mail reports that Sarah hasn't. A royal insider told the newspaper: "Numbers are limited to the evening party, she is not a member of the Royal Family any more and Prince Charles simply doesn't have time for her.
"He just can't see why she is still such a big part of his brother's life."Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend a Terrence Higgins Trust World AIDS Day charity fair, during a visit to the Nottingham Contemporary in Nottingham, on their first official engagement together, earlier this month. (Image: PA)
Meghan Markle has already expressed a desire to "hit the ground running" as a full-time royal. The couple will head to Australia in October for the Invictus Games competition for wounded and sick servicemen and women, which Harry founded. They are expected to jet-set round the world on official tours, with a trip to the US, where Ms Markle was born, likely to be on the cards.
Harry and Ms Markle will also play a significant role in matters relating to the Commonwealth family of nations. The prince has been appointed a Commonwealth Youth Ambassador by the Queen, and is president of new youth charity the Queen's Commonwealth Trust. He said Ms Markle is "hugely excited" to be joining him in his Commonwealth work.
The Queen is head of the Commonwealth, but, as she no longer carries out foreign travel, the task of travelling to Commonwealth countries falls to the younger generation.(Image: PA)
With Ms Markle's work with the UN and Harry's love of Africa and his successful Caribbean tours, the couple are seen as ideally placed to support the monarch's Commonwealth duties. Ms Markle will begin to pick the charities she wants to work with. Charity patronages are long-term commitments and Ms Markle is expected to choose some connected with subjects she feels strongly about such as women's issues and worldwide humanitarian causes.
Harry and Ms Markle will set up home in the prince's current apartment, Nottingham Cottage, in the grounds of Kensington Palace. They might later move into the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester's apartment, next to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as previously suggested by Princess Michael of Kent. Princess Michael told Tatler: "(The Gloucesters) are rattling around this huge space and I think Prince Harry might go there, then they'd be next-door to each other - very good move."Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during a reception for young people at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, in Edinburgh, last month. (Image: PA)
But the newlyweds might also find themselves the new owners of a country residence.
After William and Kate married, the Queen gave them Anmer Hall, a 10-bedroom Grade II-listed mansion on the Sandringham estate, providing them with a bolthole in Norfolk. Harewood Park, near Ross-on-Wye in Herefordshire, which was renovated after being acquired by the Prince of Wales's Duchy of Cornwall in 2000, could be a contender for Harry and Ms Markle. It was thought to have initially been earmarked for William and Kate.
Charles oversaw plans for the eco-friendly six-bedroom mansion featuring solar panels and walls insulated with sheep's wool. Harry, a doting uncle to the Cambridge children, has admitted he would love to have children, and, in an interview in 2016, Ms Markle said becoming a mother was on her "bucket list". "I can't wait to start a family, but in due time," she said.Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have reportedly been made aware of the incident. (Image: Getty Images Europe)
As an HRH, Ms Markle will be entitled to round-the-clock security, with her own personal protection officer paid for by the taxpayer.
Harry has grown accustomed to the intrusion since childhood, but Ms Markle will have to adjust to a lifetime of being guarded by the Metropolitan Police's Protection Command. If she chooses to, Ms Markle can be waited on hand and foot with valets, dressers, hairdressers, chefs and butlers at the ready. The Queen will lend her priceless tiaras, and couturiers will rush to be given the chance to design her gowns.
As a celebrity she is already accustomed to a privileged way of life. But Ms Markle is unlikely to take her position for granted. Writing on her lifestyle blog, she told how her mother took her to visit the slums of Jamaica and to see poverty in Mexico when she was just 10.
"My mother raised me to be a global citizen, with eyes open to sometimes harsh realities," she said.