Prince Harry has thrilled the crowds camped outside Windsor Castle with a surprise walkabout. Just hours before he ties the knot with Meghan Markle at St George's Chapel, the beaming bridegroom and his best man the Duke of Cambridge stepped out to speak to some of the thousands of well-wishers lining the streets of the historic town.
To screams of excitement and cheers, the Princes emerged from the King Henry VIII Gate to shake hands and accept congratulations on Harry's marriage and William's new son. As kindhearted Prince Harry stepped beyond castle walls to meet the public, he rushed to comfort little Enes Bozkurt, 11, who was crushed by the crowds. Enes said: "He said are you okay because I got crushed by all the photographers. He asked my name so I told him and he said 'how long have you been waiting out to meet us?' He said I would get front row seats and William shook my hand.
"One second I was crushed and the next Harry was in front of my face. I pretty much couldn't breathe for a second."
Mum-of-two Leigh Bozkurt, 47, from Bracknell, Berks, said: "I actually took my older son Cameron out of school early to come and soak up the atmosphere and stood for two hours with the hope of seeing someone. Poor Enes got crushed but it worked out in our favour."
Asked: "How are you feeling?"grinning Harry replied: "Great thank you, how are you feeling?"
The Prince also managed to spot a familiar face in the sea of people, racing over the greet his friend Dean Stott, who has just broken the world record for cycling the Pan American Highway while raising money for Heads Together. Dean said: "I'm still a little bit tired. It's the first time I've seen him. I messaged to let him know I had broken the world record. He said I was looking skinny."
Dean has lost 12kg during his expedition, which saw him pedal through the night in order to get back in time for the wedding. He said of his encounter with Harry: "We just made eye contact. If he's nervous, he's hiding it. He's hiding it very well."
Dean, who last saw Harry in January before he began his epic journey, added: "I'm over the moon for him. I'm ecstatic he's found his soul mate and someone he can share his passions with, especially the charity interests." Looking around at the crowds he added: "I've never seen security like it and I'm ex-Special Forces. I've been at a lot of special events, but this has just topped it."
After introducing his soon-to-be mother-in-law Doria Ragland to the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh over tea with Meghan, the 33-year-old Prince spent his last few hours as a single man by soaking up some of the electric atmosphere outside the Castle. Harry paused to chat to seven-year-old Meghan O’Shea, from Holyport, Windsor who was visiting the town centre after school.
Meghan said: "He asked me my name and said 'is that like the one I'm going to marry? There are not many Meghans with an H."
Saskia Frayling, 14, said: "It was really, really amazing being able to talk to them so close up and see them so calm and relaxed just a day before the wedding. It was really nice that they came and talked to everyone.
"William chatted to Greta Ireson, 69, from Honiton, Devon, who is camping out overnight with daughter Sharon Avison, 50. She said: "We are camping out on chairs and he was quite astonished to think we weren't going to have sleeping bags. He said, 'are you going to have a drink tonight'," and I said we would. He said 'I think you're a G&T lady' and I said 'yes, you have hit the nail on the head.'"
New Yorker Janena Benjamin congratulated the Duke on the arrival of Prince Louis and he joked: "We are looking for a babysitter if you are all free!"
One woman who had travelled from Wigan to enjoy the spectacle, broke down in tears after meeting the princes. Andrea Bellamy, 30, was overcome after telling Prince William she is planning a sky dive to raise money for the children's mental health charity Place2Be. She said: "I thanked Prince William for all the work they have done for mental health and told him how much I am hoping to raise. He said, 'My wife will be thrilled'."
Ritu Dutt, 48, from Richmond, Surrey, said: "I asked William, 'how's the baby?' and he said 'lots of sleepless nights but it's really lovely'."
Following the walkabout the pair will headhead to Coworth Park in Ascot, where they will spend the night before Harry's royal wedding. The five-star hotel is located some 25 minutes away by car from his venue, St George's Chapel in Windsor.
The Prince will be hoping for some peace and relaxation as he prepares for his big day, while his brother and best man William will be able to give him some last-minute advice. The hotel offers stylish and modern rooms that start from £318 per night but it's likely that Harry has opted for one of the hotel's spacious suites, which cost around £1,270 per night.
Harry's fiancée Meghan Markle is spending the night away from her Prince and will be a half-hour drive away at Cliveden House Hotel, with her mum Doria Ragland. The five-star country house hotel is located on the National Trust's Cliveden Estate and is also a great choice for Meghan.
The bride and her mother may be staying at the Spring Cottage, which is located in the grounds of Cliveden House. This three-bedroom cottage, which costs from £2,055 per night, sleeps up to six guests and has a large bathroom, two lounges, a small office area and country kitchen, so Meghan would have everything she could possibly want ahead of her wedding.