I’m not talking about the bride’s father, although it’s very sad he won’t be there to walk his daughter down the aisle. I am thinking of Harry’s mum, the late Princess Diana.
Today of all days, he will feel her loss very keenly.
She’s not there to give him a reassuring hug or offer advice to his nervous bride-to-be.
Her smile and warmth would have been a perfect antidote to the stiff protocol, awkward silences and stilted small talk among the guests.
Diana would have been in her element — considerate enough not to outshine Meghan but effortlessly elegant — the most glamorous granny on the planet, making all the other royals look dowdy by comparison.
I am convinced the sad soap opera played out by the extended Markle family would never have happened on Diana’s watch. She would have seen disaster looming and headed it off.
I’m still baffled that neither Prince Harry nor a delegation of Palace advisors went to America after the engagement announcement to prepare Meghan’s relatives for the tsunami of global attention that would engulf them.
Diana, so media savvy, would have love-bombed the toxic half-brother and sister, bringing them into the fold.
She would have visited Meghan’s dad, given wise counsel and made him a part of the process months ago.
After the hysteria of her own wedding, Diana’s help would have been invaluable to the Markles and made the past few months much easier for Meghan.
No one could blame the bride-to-be if she had a bit of a wobble — or even second thoughts about taking part in the whole circus now she has felt the full glare of the world’s media.
Some might think the actress within her revels in the attention, but no one would want the stress and headlines caused by her family’s antics.
Diana famously had her doubts on the eve of her own wedding to Prince Charles but her sister bluntly declared it was too late to back down — her face “was on all the tea towels”.
Of course, Diana’s marriage was doomed because Charles was in love with someone else.
Quite rightly, Diana was unwilling to look the other way and permit his affair with Camilla — who will stand next to Charles today but will never have the same place in the nation’s affections as Diana.
Harry and Meghan are older, wiser and deeply in love with each other.
Meghan, at 36, is the age Diana was when she died. She is a mature woman who knows her own mind.
And Harry has grown up, thanks to his stint in the Army and Meghan’s influence. We can sometimes forget the cast of this drama are not cartoons but real people who experience love, stress, pain and unhappiness.
Meghan has been in tears over her dad’s stupid deal with the paparazzi and Harry must be furious the woman he loves has been so distressed.
I bet they wished they had run away to Namibia or Botswana and married on safari under the stars with a couple of wise elephants as witnesses.
Today they must focus on one another and ignore all the hoopla.
If they can get through all this, they can conquer anything.
They both have parents who divorced and will be anxious not to repeat the same mistakes.
I reckon there will be a royal baby on the way sooner rather than later.
There’s been a great deal of sympathy for Meghan over the way her extended family has come close to ruining her wedding, and I think having Prince Charles walk her down the aisle sends out a signal of solidarity, as well as taking the pressure off her mum who is probably still jet- lagged.
It’s vital that the royals show the world the bride has their support.
There was a worrying trend of “Meghan bashing” in the months after the engagement, with some calling her a smug smarty-pants.
She must now be careful to tread that fine line between being open and friendly without seeming phoney and cloying.
I hope Diana will, in some way, be honoured today.
Both bride and groom have already vowed to carry on her charity legacy.
I’m sure she would have had a wry chuckle that her youngest son was marrying into a family that is even more dysfunctional than the Windsors.
I hope Harry and Meghan can put all the recent upset behind them and have a lovely, enjoyable day.
That lolly photo just sucks, Kim
AS I don’t tune into their reality show, the Kardashians are only on my radar when they invade their own privacy on social media with photos of their bums and boobs.
They exist to sell stuff, so I almost don’t want to mention the latest venture.
But I do think Kim needs to take a long, hard look at herself after being photographed pouting while sucking on a lollipop.
It turns out she was promoting an “appetite suppressing” product which is not just money-grabbing but potentially dangerous.
Kim has huge influence, especially among young women, and when she sends an image to her 111million Instagram followers they take notice.
This time, however, she was called out over her self-promotion with some labelling her “toxic”, and I for one couldn’t agree more.
Kim hastily deleted the post, perhaps realising that even she had gone too far.
How I wish she would use her insane level of fame to encourage young women to believe that their intelligence, education and empathy are far more important than being thin and having a flat stomach.
Judy's a legend
TELLY legend Judy Finnigan has retired from our screens, her daughter Chloe Madeley announced this week.
With husband Richard Madeley, Judy transformed daytime TV, setting a very high bar for everyone else to follow.
Judy was always herself and not afraid to show her irritation with Richard now and then.
Their marriage was strong enough to cope with on-air spats as well as the many laughs and good times.
Judy always came across as big-hearted, generous and a real “woman’s woman” on TV, because that’s how she really is.
For viewers she was a friend, a sister and, sometimes, a mum.
I salute her and wish her a very happy “retirement” writing books in her beloved Cornwall, enjoying life with family and friends.
Beauty tip's vile
I ALWAYS reckoned Sandra Bullock was one of the more down-to-earth stars in La La Land.
It turns out she’s just as self-absorbed as Gwyneth Paltrow and all the rest.
Sandra has been trilling about the joys of the “penis facial”, a beauty treatment gleaned from the FORESKINS of new-born Korean babies.
It sounds like something Cruella de Vil would rub on her face while skinning puppies to make fur coats. I had to check it wasn’t April 1.
Thankfully, the babies were due to be circumcised anyway.
Each treatment costs around £450 and is meant to generate collagen and elastin, but this is surely a fad too far.
I thought Sandra would be like the divine Joanna Lumley and just slather on Pond’s Cold Cream.
But this proves she really is talking Bullocks.
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