If you're a fan of the royals, you've likely fantasized about what it's like to attend a royal wedding. And now that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's inevitable engagement looms near, your fantasies have likely kicked into overdrive.
But while we can only imagine what it's like to be a wedding guest, journalist Duncan Larcombe knows first-hand how glamourous the affair actually is.
While we were glued to our TV screens watching Kate Middleton and Prince William get hitched in April 2011, Larcombe was actually among the 1,900 people at the service in Westminster Abbey.
The former royal editor of The Sun was one of six journalists who attended the nuptials. "We were told in advance about two or three weeks before that we were invited, but we were told not to tell anybody," he told Elle U.K. in a recent interview. "They wouldn't have wanted word to get out amongst other journalists."
It's a very weird experience, kind of like sitting in Madame Tussauds with moving waxwork.
So what was it like being among so many royals at the ceremony? According to Larcombe, it was just as surreal as we imagine.
"It's a very weird experience, kind of like sitting in Madame Tussauds with moving waxwork," he said. "It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. You know when you're there that you're watching history unfold in front of your eyes."
"It's not like any wedding I've ever been to," he added. "If you like people watching there's probably nothing better than a royal wedding. There isn't a room that has that many famous and royal people all under one roof."
Larcombe also got to witness candid moments among the royals, including Prince William trying to compose himself beside brother Prince Harry before the ceremony ("[He] looked absolutely terrified"), and when complete silence filled the church when the Duchess of Cambridge finally arrived.
"All we could hear was the echoes of the crowds outside," he said.
While Larcombe admitted that there was a lot of waiting around for the nuptials to begin, the event was well worth it. Not only did he get to see history in the making, but he revealed that every guest was treated as an equal — no matter how famous (or not famous) they were.
"It was quite clear at the wedding that no matter if you were the Sultan of Brunei or a guy who's been at Sandhurst with William, or a big Hollywood star, everyone got there early," he explained, noting that the Queen was the last to arrive and then the bride. "I think for someone like Sir Elton John, who is normally one to be the centre of attention, it was probably quite humbling."
Although there's much excitement over Prince Harry's possible engagement and wedding, his nuptials will likely be very different from his brother's, considering Harry is fifth-in-line (sixth-in-line when William and Catherine's third child arrives) to the throne and William is second. This means his and Markle's wedding will likely be more informal.
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Last month, a source close to Harry told Us Weekly that a low-key wedding is more his style.
"Pomp and pageantry is the last thing he would want," the insider told the site. "I can see him wanting to get married at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. It would stop it from turning into a total media circus and give the day a sense of privacy that Harry so badly craves."
Only time will tell what Harry's wedding will actually be like. Here's hoping our invites don't get lost in the mail!
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