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What it was like to cover Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s royal wedding first-hand

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Emily Nash




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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WATCH: Best moments from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding

READ: Meghan Markle’s royal wedding cake maker shares behind-the-scenes peek at preparations

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.

MORE: Meghan Markle’s friend Jessica Mulroney reveals big plans for royal wedding anniversary

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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.

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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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Why Nicole Avant Made Doc About Her Father – Variety

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When Nicole Avant was growing up in Beverly Hills in the 1970s and ’80s, her father, Clarence Avant, was one of the most connected and successful African American power brokers in the music industry. He launched record labels, owned radio stations and became a key figure in politics and the civil rights movement.

The Avant home was always buzzing with a stream of Hollywood and Washington insiders coming and going. “I knew that he was very powerful because the phone rang constantly and I always heard him fixing something or giving advice,” says Nicole, who made her producing debut with Netflix’s “The Black Godfather,” a documentary about her father. “And then I did see him on ‘Soul Train’ one day, and he was giving an interview with Don Cornelius. …That’s when I thought, ‘Oh, he must be a big deal because he’s on television.’”

That point is driven home by the documentary, which features interviews with Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Jesse Jackson, David Geffen, Jamie Foxx, Sean “Diddy” Combs and the late Bill Withers, whom Avant signed to his Sussex Records while the singer was still working as an aircraft assembler.

Nicole Avant, who is married to Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos, says she had plans to shop the doc around before her husband snapped it up for the streamer. “I actually had this idea in my head since I was a little girl. I really did,” Avant, who served as Obama’s ambassador to the Bahamas, says on this week’s episode of the Variety and iHeart podcast “The Big Ticket.” “I had told Ted, even when I was dating him, there’s this idea I have for this film, and I said to him, ‘I’m going to take it to HBO.’ Once I started getting the interviews and everyone started confirming, Ted said, ‘Do you really have all these people saying yes?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, for sure.’ He said, ‘Let me take a look at it again.’ And then at that point, Ted is a part of the family, and he saw a solid film, and he saw an important film, and he actually wanted to tell the story just as much or even more than I did.”

What do you want people to know about your dad?

I really wanted people to take away that it’s important to have a strong sense of self. It’s important to keep moving forward. It’s important to pay back. It’s important to move the needle. Also, it’s very important to take risks in life. Sometimes you’re going to fail. Sometimes people are going to say no. So what? It’s a part of life. You keep going. You pick yourself back up again.

What did you learn about your dad while making the documentary that you didn’t know already?

I took it for granted how hard his childhood was and how abusive it was — having a stepfather, really beating up my grandmother in front of him and in front of the other children. My dad didn’t really have a childhood, and he took care of seven kids because everyone was working and they were so poor.

How hard was it to hear those stories?

Very hard for me. And it made a lot of sense when everything did fall down for him and everything blew up at one time and we lost everything. I think everything triggered to his childhood again of not having things he didn’t have or anybody to really rely on.

Tell me about a time in which someone really big turned up at the house and you were like, ‘What is this person doing here?’”

The one time I was very star-struck was when Whitney Houston showed up one day and I had just been listening to the “Greatest Love of All.” I’d sing it in the car like I was Whitney Houston. I was floored; I stood at the front door and I thought, “Oh, my God, this is a real celebrity. This is a big deal.”

If you were to make a scripted narrative about your dad, who would play him?

Forest Whitaker could play him because he knows him and he could “get” him actually.

This interview has been edited and condensed. Hear it in its entirety below. You can also listen to “The Big Ticket” at iHeartRadio or wherever you find your favorite podcasts.


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Even Prince William Has To Deal With This Classic Family Dinner Challenge

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There’s no question about it: lockdown has changed our lives and transformed the way we work. And that goes for royals, too. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have adapted, taking their royal duties online, via a number of zoom calls. But not everything has changed… On his latest call, Prince William revealed that even he has to deal with this classic family dinner challenge.

Speaking to representatives of the PEEK Project, a Glasgow-based charity, on May 20, the Duke of Cambridge said the success of his family meal depend very much on “what’s on the table”. Joking with community chef Charlie Farrally, Prince William agreed that dinner time can be very challenging: “If parents put something on that children love, dinner time goes very well,” he said. “But if you put something on the table they don’t want to do, that’s another ball game.”

PEEK Project, Possibilities for Each and Every Kid, have been working throughout COVID-19 to provide balanced, and hot meals for families in need. The Duke of Cambridge praised them for their work and pointed out the immense pressure that parents are under as well.

The PEEK project has been supported in it’s work throughout the pandemic by the National Emergencies Trust Coronavirus Appeal. Were it not for lockdown, the Duke of Cambridge would have been in Scotland this week to meet representatives at the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. Obviously, this couldn’t go ahead face-to-face, but he still spoke to the chefs, volunteers, and the CEO via a video call. “I hope when I find myself up in Glasgow in the near future I can come and see you guys in person and congratulate you,” he added.


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Ozark’s Esai Morales to Replace Nicholas Hoult As ‘Mission: Impossible’ Villain – Find Out Why

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Esai Morales, known for his work in Ozark and How to Get Away with Murder, is joining the cast of Mission: Impossible 7 and Mission: Impossible 8, director Christopher McQuarrie revealed on his Instagram on Thursday (May 21).

However, Deadline is now reporting that Esai, 57, is actually replacing Nicholas Hoult in the movie in the villain role for the films.

The reason why Nicholas is being replaced? The Coronavirus pandemic has delayed production of tons of movies and television shows across the globe. As a result, the “delay put Hoult in conflict with another commitment.”

The film currently has a release date of July 23, 2021, but that could change as many films have had to alter release dates due to the global health crisis.

If you missed it, Nicholas just made a super rare comment about his two-year-old son.


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