COMMENT:

Two years ago this week Camilla Tominey was a reporter at Harry and Meghan's wedding. She reflects on the day and what has happened since.

The day started unexpectedly early at 4.30am, when I was told I would have to have my hair and make-up done by NBC. Although Harry and Meghan's wedding wasn't due to start until noon, the American TV and news network had a cast of thousands that they needed to spruce up for the nuptials – myself included as their "royal expert".

I was also working for the Sunday Express at the time, so I was feeling very stressed about how I was going to cover the wedding live on US television while simultaneously having to write reams of copy for the newspaper. William and Kate's wedding had been much easier because it was on a Friday – but the Sussexes' Saturday wedding was happening right on deadline. The only consolation was that NBC had bought me a fabulous Roland Mouret dress for the occasion, which they let me keep afterwards.

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I had spent the run-up to the big day in Windsor soaking up the atmosphere. NBC had hired the whole of the Macdonald Hotel and built a set on the roof, which had a bird's-eye view of St George's Chapel so we could see everything. Everything appeared to be running smoothly until we heard that Meghan's father had suffered a heart attack 48 hours before he was due to walk her down the aisle – so there was a lot to report before the wedding had even begun.

William and Harry have not seemed close since Harry's wedding day. Photo / Getty Images
William and Harry have not seemed close since Harry's wedding day. Photo / Getty Images

Everyone loves a wedding, but they especially love a royal wedding. It's easy to forget amid all the column inches that have been filled since that sunny day, 19 May 2018, just how much goodwill there was behind the couple. Harry was the most popular royal after the Queen, and Meghan was seen as this bright new hope for the Royal family. I think people also really enjoyed Meghan's African-American heritage being celebrated during the service with Bishop Michael Curry's enthusiastic sermon.

One of the funniest aspects of covering any royal wedding is trying to work out what members of the family are saying to each other in the pews. Lip readers later revealed Harry's opening words to Meghan, dressed in that stunning Givenchy gown, were: "You look amazing."

It felt like a much more intimate ceremony than William and Kate's at Westminster Abbey because Windsor is so much cosier than the capital. When the couple went on their carriage procession they were almost at touching distance, which was quite exciting. You couldn't help but root for them.

It felt like a much more intimate ceremony than William and Kate's at Westminster Abbey because Windsor is so much cosier than the capital. Photo / Getty Images
It felt like a much more intimate ceremony than William and Kate's at Westminster Abbey because Windsor is so much cosier than the capital. Photo / Getty Images

When the newspaper went to press that night splashing a picture of the newly-weds kissing with the words, "So in love," I felt a sense of completeness because I was the one who broke the exclusive story of their relationship 18 months earlier.

I have no idea how I wrote all the wedding copy. I was live on US TV for four hours and then hit my laptop, knocking out about 3000 words in two hours. To be fair, the stories wrote themselves.

On reflection, it's sad to think that that was the last family occasion where Princes William and Harry seemed close. There was already distance between the brothers five months later, when Princess Eugenie married Jack Brooksbank at the same location – and Meghan announced she was pregnant.

While some have suggested it was Meghan's plan all along to move back to her native Los Angeles, I don't think anyone could have foreseen the couple "divorcing" themselves from the monarchy less than two years later. I think many people can sympathise with their decision to prioritise their immediate family – but unfortunately the way they have handled it has lacked the grace and finesse that we witnessed on that magical royal wedding day in Windsor.

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