For all the magnificent pre-planning which made the weekend’s Royal Wedding run as smoothly as it did, Prince Harry’s speech was given in a manner delightfully “off-the-cuff”. At the luncheon in St George’s Hall, Windsor Castle, Prince Harry’s was one of the many speeches after the meal compered by best-man Prince William, in which he thanked all those who had a hand in making the day such a success and, to the great delight of those gathered there, frequently quoted his father with “My wife and I”.
The new Duke of Sussex was keen to go further than his father had done, though, flattering his new wife when he commented on how she had navigated her way into the royal family superbly with such grace. A veiled reference, no doubt, to the issues she faced with her father, Thomas Markle, ahead of the wedding when it was uncertain whether he would be able to accompany her down the aisle.
But more than that, Prince Harry spoke about the fact that they made a great team and he looked forward to spending the rest of his life with her. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will now join forces with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, creating a formidable team to drive the monarchy forward in a positive way in the twenty-first century.
After the festivities guests spoke about the fact that it did not feel as though they were attending a formal wedding of a member of the Royal Family, but rather a relaxed, informal occasion for two people who were very much in love. No surprise given Prince Harry’s warm remarks.
There were wry smiles from guests when the Duke made a point of asking the visiting Americans not to leave with any of the swords and pleaded for everyone to leave quietly at the end of the night so as not to disturb the neighbours.