Harry And Meghan Will Be Giving Wedding Gifts Rather Than Receiving Them
In lieu of presents they have asked for donations to seven key charities.
The first thing that strikes you when you arrive in the historic town of Windsor is that it is a happy place. Even though they will shortly be invaded by thousands of fans of the newest Royal couple, the townsfolk are eager to please. There's kilometres of Union Jack bunting, Harry and Meghan cupcakes for sale, even a specially brewed beer -- 'the Windsor Knot'.
This isn't the first Royal wedding to take place in Windsor Castle. In fact there have been 15 others over the past 150 years. Among them, Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1999, Princess Anne's son Peter Philips wed Autumn Kelley there, and Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles had a service of prayer and dedication there after they married at the local Guild Hall. And in October Prince Andrew's daughter Eugenie will use the same chapel for her wedding.
It's interesting to note that the chapel is also the final resting place of a number of monarchs: King Charles I, King Henry VIII and King George III. George III was the king forced to give up Britain's American colonies after the Revolutionary War, so the last King of America lies near where an American will join his family.
Anyone who has joined the throngs to see a member of the Royal family can attest to the joy that overcomes anyone in the crowd lucky enough to have a few moments of attention. I covered Princess Diana's tour of Australia in 1996, which would turn out to be her last. After days of monitoring her every move, and speaking to the members of the public she met, I came to the conclusion that there was no one else on the planet capable of bringing that much happiness to so many people.
I was lucky enough to interview her briefly as she visited the Royal Rehabilitation Centre at Ryde in Sydney. She had chosen to go there because Ben Robertson, the son of her former equerry, had been injured in a rugby match and was being treated there. She was happy and giggling, hushing young Ben when he revealed his Dad had told him some secrets of her previous visit to Australia with Charles.
The difference that visit made to the funding of that centre, which does incredible work with spinal injuries, was incredible. Such was her power. Institutions doing vital work, but struggling for funding, could have their luck changed.
There's no doubt her sons are carrying on her work, and they are proving to be just as effective. This is not something any old celebrity can achieve. Nor any politician. It is something unique to the Royals.
When Harry and Meghan marry on the weekend, in lieu of presents they have asked for donations to seven key charities. The benefit of this will be enormous. The 2000 media who will be stationed at Windsor, including me, will take their love story to the world. Some happy news at a time when it is becoming increasingly rare.