Royal wedding: In the shadow of Diana


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There is a terrible shadow hanging over this wedding; the same shadow that hung over Harry for so long; the same shadow that hangs still over the House of Windsor and the writers and photographers who chronicle it.

It is the shadow of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Much has been made of Meghan Markle’s ease with the pressures of the modern media.

She is a hugely impressive communicator, in front of the microphones and cameras, and through social media.

She has worked her way up in film and TV to a leading role in a successful show.

Along the way there have been countless interviews, tours and fan conventions.

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She will, it is said, be at ease with the day-in, day-out exposure that goes along with being a high profile member of the Royal Family.

That is nonsense.

She was a success in the legal drama Suits and she made a decent name for herself there.

But she was not Hollywood royalty, and she was stalked neither by photographers nor by gossip websites.

She lived in the relative quiet of Toronto, she shopped and ate out where she wanted and when she wanted with little or no disturbance.

No one thought to stake out her father’s house in Mexico, no one thought to pay her estranged relatives for interviews, no one made up stories about her childhood neighbourhood.

When she stepped out of her house she didn’t face a barrage of long lenses and shouted questions.

She had a pretty normal life and press exposure was controlled, on her terms and those of her publicists.

Prince Harry knew what was coming.

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Whatever smiles he manages with the press, he remembers the extraordinary attention his late mother Diana received – attention she cultivated as well as suffered from.

Courtiers speak of his abiding distrust of the media.

Previous partners of his recoiled in horror at the exposure that being “Harry’s Girl” brought.

Relationships appeared to crumble under the weight of unceasing comment, speculation and intrusion into the lives of friends and family.

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