Juxtaposed oddly between his beaming fiancée and the traditional, stern silhouette of his grandmother, as if peering from the trees, the image of Prince Harry that will illuminate the Royal mail this wedding week, is unveiled today.
Two of Harry and Meghan Markle’s intimate engagement portraits, taken last December, have been chosen for the release of four postage stamps that will go on sale on the morning of the wedding.
They were taken by the New York photographer Alexi Lubomirski, who also been chosen to take the pictures for the official album, and who has described the couple as being “so deliciously in love”.
As excitement mounts for Saturday’s spectacle, Kensington Palace revealed that Ms Markle will spend part of the first week of her married life at a party to mark the 70th birthday of her future father-in-law.
The event next Tuesday, the Prince of Wales’s 70th Birthday Patronage Celebration, will also see her attend her first garden party in the grounds of Buckingham Palace.
Anticipation has also been building in the US, which has not seen one of its actresses marry into the highest echelon of a Royal family since the film star Grace Kelly wed Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1956.
This time, American TV reporters have descended on Britain by the dozen, with the CBS network devoting the whole of its Sunday morning news programme to reports that bathed London in a Mary Poppins-era light. They included an interview with a Beefeater in the Tower of London and only scant reference to the fact that the wedding is actually an hour away from the capital.
British networks, too, are out in force for the biggest outside broadcast of the year. Kirsty Young – who praises Harry and Ms Markle for “an interesting change in protocol” in an interview published today – will lead the corporation’s coverage alongside Dermot O’Leary, Huw Edwards and others positioned around Windsor.
Ms Young told Radio Times that Harry and Ms Markle “are both in their 30s and have lived a life, which makes them much more typical of most couples these days – although of course they are entirely untypical in other ways”.
The bride will spend the night before her wedding at the Cliveden House Hotel, on the National Trust’s Cliveden Estate in Taplow, Berkshire.
She will check in with her mother, Doria Ragland, while Harry will be 15 miles away at the Dorchester Collection’s Coworth Park in Ascot, close to the Guards Polo Club, with his best man and brother, the Duke of Cambridge.
The Cliveden House website notes that the hotel has hosted “powerful personalities, debaucherous parties and scandalous affairs” for more than 350 years. Coworth Park, meanwhile, describes itself as the “scenic route to five-star bliss” and would be an unlikely choice had a raucous stag party been planned.
Harry and William play regularly on Coworth Park’s polo grounds, and last year Ms Markle watched her then boyfriend on the pitch there.
X-ref Picture Post supp