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What comes next for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

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MEGHAN Markle’s father shocked the world by backing out of the royal wedding with just days to go.

But despite the new bride’s heartache, the Duchess of Sussex refuses to not turning her back on Thomas Markle and reportedly plans to visit him with Prince Harry, who still has not met him.

According to British media reports, Meghan has been worried about her absent dad — who underwent heart surgery last week — and has been keeping in touch with him, mainly by text.

Thomas Markle has allegedly told friends that his daughter and Prince Harry will visit him in Mexico after their honeymoon, TheSun reports.

“Meghan and Thomas are both devastated he wasn’t able to attend the wedding and have discussed seeing each other soon,” a family source told The Sun.

“They have been speaking all week, mostly by text.

“She has been worried about him and checking how he is regularly.

“Thomas has told other family members he hopes and expects Meghan and Harry to come to see him.”

Harry’s father, Prince Charles, agreed to walk Meghan partly down the aisle after Thomas Markle confirmed he would not be attending the wedding.

In her unprecedented speech at the evening wedding reception at Frogmore House, the new Duchess of Sussex reportedly thanked her father-in-law for welcoming her to The Firm, the royal family’s nickname.

If Thomas Markle is expecting a visit from the royal couple, it may be a while due to their delayed honeymoon.

Although Meghan and Harry have delayed their honeymoon due to public engagements, they may be planning a ‘mini-moon’.

British media reports the pair are planning a quick mini-break in Ireland for their first trip together as a married couple.

For Harry, 33, it will be his first visit to the Emerald Isle — but Meghan, 36, once visited Ireland while she was the ambassador for the One Young World summit in 2014.

The itinerary for the planned visit in June or July is only in the early stages — but it is believed the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex will just stay for one night or a few nights.

Royal biographer Andrew Morton has also told UK media outlets that he expects the newlyweds to have a baby sooner rather than later.

Unlike most weddings, there were no screaming bridesmaids jostling to catch Meghan Markle’s beautiful bouquet.

Instead, she took a more solemn approach.

She followed tradition when she lay the bunch of beautiful hand-picked blooms on the tomb of the unknown warrior.

The Queen Mother began the tradition in 1923, which is known to take place at Westminster Abbey the day after wedding.

The elegant array of flowers was designed by London florist, Philippa Craddock, and featured myrtle sprigs, scented sweet peas, lily of the valley, among others.

It was also another opportunity for the Duchess to pay tribute to Prince Harry’s mother, Princess Diana.

The bouquet also had a few flowers hand-picked by her new husband, Harry.

Forget-me-nots, Diana’s favourite flowers, were also included in the bouquet, which were bound with a naturally dyed, raw silk ribbon.

The Duchess of Cambridge also left her bouquet on the unknown warrior’s grave when she tied the knot with Prince William in 2011.

It contains the body of a soldier brought back from France after World War I, who was buried on Remembrance Day in 1920.

At the time, there was a huge public ceremony, where King George lay a wreath of red roses and bay leaves on the coffin.

It is adorned by a slab of black Belgian marble, with an inscription that includes the words: “They buried him among the kings because he had done good toward God and toward his house.”

The service may have broken from tradition, but when it came to greeting wellwishers afterwards, new bride Meghan Markle delivered a textbook royal wave.

Royal commentators are taking note at how gracefully the 36-year-old handled the crowds at Windsor during Saturday’s wedding when she produced a wave that would have made the Queen proud.

Often a focal point of royal commentary, etiquette experts say the royal wave requires that the fingers are kept together and the hand is gently moved from side to side.

Royal historian Victoria Howard said it was likely the new Duchess of Sussex was given some advice on waving ahead of the big day.

“She’s been working as a royal in effect since November so she’s had plenty of practice. But I’m sure someone offered her a few tips for the day,” Ms Howard said.

Former royal butler and etiquette expert Grant Harrold told News Corp Harry would have schooled Meghan on royal protocol ahead of the wedding.

“From what I’ve seen with the royal family they very much learn from each other,” Mr Harrold said.

“She’s got a wonderful support system, she’s got a wonderful husband who’s very down to earth … he’ll make sure she knows what to do and when to do it.”

He said Meghan’s background as an actor meant she was at ease greeting the public.

It has previously been speculated that the royals developed the famous wave as a way of ensuring they did not strain their wrists when greeting the public.

Before Meghan Markle became The Duchess of Sussex, she was known and loved as an actor for her role in hit US television series, Suits. But it appears if the royal family had their way, that’s something they would prefer you to forget.

As an official member of the monarchy now, Meghan has been given her own section on the royal.uk website — and while the “About the Duchess of Sussex” page highlights in great detail her activism and humanitarian work with UN Women, One Young World and World Vision, it downplays her successful acting career with only a passing reference to “filming in Toronto”.

“While filming in Toronto, The Duchess actively volunteered at a Canadian soup kitchen from 2011-2013,” it reads.

“She also established the program at her place of work to ensure that leftover meals from the set were donated to local homeless shelters.”

But the bio also includes Meghan’s famous quote from a United Nations conference in New York in 2015 when she said: “I am proud to be a woman and a feminist”.

And it makes reference to Meghan’s “keen awareness of social issues and actively participated in charitable work” from a young age.

But you have to click the second “Biography” page to read up on her work on Suits — a show she was on for seven years, filming 100 episodes until she gave up her role to marry Prince Harry.

British media reports a major overseas tour is being considered for Prince Harry and Meghan that would start in Australia.

The pair are expected to make their first overseas trip shortly to Ireland, with other, shorter trips planned in coming months.

They have already committed to visiting Australia for a week in October for the Invictus Games, Harry’s charitable event for wounded and ill soldiers, which will be held in Sydney.

Britain’s Mail Online reports palace aides are considering a major tour which would start with the Invictus trip in Sydney, then take in New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga, three more of the 53 Commonwealth countries.

No details were provided, but the Mail said the trip was important because Harry’s grandmother the Queen is head of state in Australia and New Zealand.

The couple have embarked on married life together after an extraordinary wedding hailed for modernising the royal family — and a party that lasted all night.

The new Duke and Duchess of Sussex will undertake their first official duties as a married royal couple on Tuesday when they attend a garden party for 6000 charity workers at Buckingham Palace.

But first they will recover from their groundbreaking wedding service which celebrated Meghan’s cultural heritage as the first woman of colour to marry into the British royal family.

The newlyweds celebrated their union with a party for 200 close friends and family members, as fireworks erupted over the ramparts of the 1000-year-old Windsor Castle, west of London.

Music boomed across the castle grounds until the early hours of the morning as guests ate, drank and danced at a private party held in a specially-built, $600,000 glass marquee.

According to The Sun, Prince Harry moved his wedding guests to tears when he praised his new wife during an emotional speech to family and friends.

The Royal said he and his new wife make a “great team” and told her: “I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you.”

Prince Harry spoke at lunchtime, cracking jokes in what one guest told the British media was a “very off-the-cuff’’ and “lovely’’ speech.

The Prince also praised the Duchess, saying she had “navigated everything with such grace”.

Even her hair stylist said she was calm and chatty on the morning of the wedding.

“Harry promised that all the Americans wouldn’t steal the swords, and said, ‘Please, when you leave, be quiet as you don’t want to wake the neighbours,’ which was quite fun.’’

Prince Charles also gave an emotional speech at the lunchtime reception, praising his youngest son, and concluding with “my darling old Harry, I’m so happy for you.’’

The prince also warmly welcomed Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland, the only member of Meghan’s family at the church, into the royal family.

There was then a surprise when Prince Harry rhetorically asked guests “does anyone here know how to play the piano?’ — and pop legend Sir Elton John, who was close to Harry’s mother the late Princess Diana, got up and performed a mini-concert, belting out Your Song, Tiny Dancer, Circle of Life and I’m Still Standing.

Prince Charles and his wife Camilla later hosted the evening party, where cameras were banned and guests could let loose in the privacy of the castle grounds.

The 33-year-old prince and his 36-year-old bride arrived at the sunset reception in an open-topped 1968 E-Type Jaguar, Harry in the left-hand driving seat, the pair apparently choosing a car that reflected Meghan’s American heritage.

The bride had changed out of her wedding dress into a daring, halter-neck gown by British designer Stella McCartney and was wearing an enormous aquamarine ring that previously belonged to Princess Diana.

The ring was thought to have been a wedding gift from Prince Harry, who swapped his military uniform for a tuxedo and bow-tie as he drove his bride the short distance to the nearby Frogmore House for a reception attended by royal family members and celebrity A-list friends including George and Amal Clooney and tennis superstar Serena Williams.

In what was dubbed by some a rare oversight, the Clooney’s were forced to prove themselves to Windsor Estate security guards, as the couple arrived in their silver Audi S5.

Harry and Meghan still looked giddy with the success of their extraordinary wedding service, held in the ancient St George’s Chapel, in front of the Queen, 600 guests and a TV audience of 1.9 billion, all captivated by the modern romance story between the beautiful bi-racial American and the English prince who had lost his mother at the age of 12.

The British press hailed the modernising influence of Meghan, with two national newspapers using the headline “Kisstory’’ and opinion writers praising the diversity of a service which included a gospel choir and an electrifying speech from black American preacher Michael Curry, who invoked the words of civil rights activist Martin Luther King.

The newly-married pair spent the night under the roof of Windsor Castle, the private home of Harry’s grandparents Queen Elizabeth, 92, and Prince Philip, 96, and were to return to their cottage within the grounds of Kensington Palace in London, where they have lived for the past year.

Meghan has previously said she intended to “hit the ground running’’ as the pair embark on full-time duties as royals, and Meghan joined the Royal Foundation, the charity headed by Harry, his brother Prince William and William’s wife Catherine.

Harry’s cousins, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, were among the guests at the evening reception, and actor James Corden was the master of ceremonies.

A three-course organic dinner was served between 7.30pm and 10pm, where speeches were made including one by best man Prince William, who had earlier vowed revenge on his brother for teasing him at his own wedding in 2011. Meghan, bucking tradition, also gave a speech.

Two of Harry’s mates Tom “Skippy’’ Inskip and Tom Van Straubenzee, collaborated on another amusing speech but reportedly avoided some of Harry’s antics from the years before he met Meghan.

Society DJ Sam Totolee then played Harry’s favourite tunes, while guests enjoyed a lavish bar, fairy-floss, and burgers as a midnight snack.

The party lasted for hours, and there were unconfirmed reports some guests held an “after-after-party’’ at the trendy Chiltern Firehouse restaurant in London.

In America, Meghan’s eccentric father Thomas Markle said the service was “beautiful and it’s history’’ and called on Meghan’s half-siblings to leave her alone, saying “I pray … all of my relatives will just shut up about everything.”

Thomas Markle, who was unable to go after heart surgery, said she looked “beautiful” and “very happy”.

“The service was beautiful and it’s history,” he told TMZ after watching the ceremony from his bed in California from 4am on Saturday. “I will always regret not being able to be there and not being able to hold my daughter’s hand.”

The 73-year-old said he had texted Meghan on the day of her wedding to the 33-year-old Prince, but had not yet bought a present because of his health issues.

“My baby girl is a duchess and I love her so much,” he added, making a plea to his troublemaking family. “Now I pray that Harry and Meghan can go on a nice honeymoon and rest and relax, and all of my relatives will just shut up about everything.”

Meghan’s half-sister Samantha, 53, held a party at her home in Florida.

Meghan’s cousin, Samantha’s daughter Noel Rassumen, was also not invited to the wedding, but a tabloid newspaper: “Meghan looked so beautiful. I’m thrilled by how popular she is here.”

Meghan’s aunt Theresa Markle and cousin Nick were seen wearing Burger King paper crowns following their meal after watching the broadcast.

More than two billion people watched the wedding across the world, with more than four million of them in Australia alone.

More than 29 million people watched on television in the United States, according to Nielsen ratings released Sunday.

The estimated 29.2 million viewers for Saturday’s ceremony exceed the number for the 2011 wedding of Harry’s brother Prince William to Kate Middleton, which was watched by 22.8 million people.

Harry and Meghan tied the knot in a ceremony at Windsor Castle, where they were greeted by around 100,000 people lining the streets.

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