With large swathes of the world currently in lockdown, the glorious wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex feels like a lifetime ago. But as they celebrate their second anniversary in their new Los Angeles home, Harry and Meghan have so many amazing memories to reflect on and share with their one-year-old son Archie.
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Their fairytale nuptials at St George's Chapel, followed by a glorious carriage ride through the streets of Windsor charmed the nation and millions more across the globe. And for those of us lucky enough to be inside the Castle on May 19, 2018, it was a day we will never forget.
Brilliant sunshine bathed the town from the early morning, when as part of a select group of accredited journalists, I was given a walk-through of the Chapel and a got a closer glimpse – and smell - of the fragrant cascading flowers over the West Door and organ screen.
A peek at the seating plans also hinted at the starry guestlist and there were soon flurries of excitement as the likes of Oprah Winfrey, George and Amal Clooney and David and Victoria Beckham began to arrive. They were followed by members of the royal family and cheers erupted as Harry and William arrived, dashing in their military dress.
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HELLO!'s Emily Nash with Huw Edwards on the day of the royal wedding in 2018
From the makeshift TV studios on the castle's Guards Room roof, I remember looking across the ramparts to see a sea of people gathering outside, with banners, flags and bands conjuring up a real carnival atmosphere. Then, from a room behind the Chapel, we watched – over a glass of champagne – as Meghan arrived in her flawless dress by Clare Waight-Keller, with her adorable troupe of page boys and flower girls in tow.
I remember being struck by how serene she appeared as she walked alone, then with the Prince of Wales, down the sunlit aisle. And there were sighs from even the most hardened hacks in the room as a clearly emotional Harry lifted her veil to tell her: "You look amazing".
From the stirring address by Bishop Michael Curry to the exquisite performance of Stand by Me by the Kingdom Choir, Harry and Meghan became man and wife during one of the most uplifting ceremonies many of us had ever seen and their spectacular procession back up the Long Walk was like something straight from a Disney movie.
Harry and Meghan celebrate their second wedding anniversary on 19 May 2020
As they left the castle to share their happiness with the thousands who had lined the route there was just time for us to dash outside to wave them off. The tide of goodwill towards the bride and groom had already been huge, but after watching them exchange their vows there was a real sense of euphoria from the crowds.
The rest of the day was a blur of writing and interviews, and wonderful details from inside the reception about lemon and elderflower cake, affectionate words from the Prince of Wales and a performance from Elton John. And as I walked back to my hotel later that night, fireworks exploded into the night sky over nearby Frogmore House – a fitting end for a fabulous day.
So much has changed for the Duke and Duchess – and the rest of the world – since then. But as they continue their new LA life in lockdown with their adorable one-year-old son Archie, I hope the amazing memories of their special day will continue to bring them joy.
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