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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Pre-Royal Wedding Coverage. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired May 19, 2018 - 02:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[02:00:00]

MAX FOSTER, HOST, CNN: The countdown is nearly over, can you believe it, in just hours, Romans will reign at Windsor Castle in a truly unprecedented chapter in the British monarchy begins. Good morning, I'm Max Foster. Today, the couple rewrites tradition. As old as the castle behind me as they wed. The bride, an American actress, set to walk herself down most of the aisle. The groom sits in line to the British throne, ready to honor her late mother, Princess Diana, in many ways. We'll take you through them. This morning, we're answering today's biggest questions for you, how will the ceremony unfold? Will we see the public first kiss, where will it be and how will Harry and Meghan make their mark as a married royal couple. Well to help me answer some of these epic questions, we're joined by CNN Royal commentator, Kate Williams. Also Sally Bedell Smith, CNN Contributor and Author of the book, Elizabeth, The Queen. First of all, to you, Sally. Let's just take in the scene behind us.

SALLY BEDELL SMITH, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: So exciting.

FOSTER: I know. This is a long walk. A very historic place in England, right?

SMITH: Yes. Yes, it is.

FOSTER: So what does that say to you?

SMITH: Statue of King George at the other end. Well, it just says that people are just so incredibly excited. I think this is an extra measure of excitement because this is Anglo-American wedding. The first, really, big Anglo-American wedding there's been. There's one that we'd rather not talk about. It happened back in 1937. But this is --

FOSTER: But isn't not the point here. The monarchy society has moved forward to allow Meghan Markle to what (ph) wasn't able to do.

SMITH: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. No, I mean, the Church of England has modified and British attitude have modified. And from every appearance, she's been utterly embraced, not only by the Royal family, but by the British people and the people of the Commonwealth. She's incredibly popular around the world.

FOSTER: Absolutely. Let's bring in our resident historian, Kate. Hello. This family goes back a thousand years. It transformed in just a couple of generations, and Meghan Markle, really, itemizes that, doesn't she?

KATE WILLIAMS, ROYAL COMMENTATOR, CNN: She does. She is really moving the Royal. So many changes. And when we look at the order of service this morning, that just shows the changes. We've got a gospel choir singing, Stand by Me is being sang, they're leaving to Etta James, really, big changes, the complete transformation. Bishop Curry, I think, is really going to serve us all up with his address. And this is the future of the Royal family that we're seeing here. Harry and Meghan are not going to be king and queen, but they are going to be future representatives of Britain. And the way they're going to show us is outwardly looking its modern and really reflecting how modern is a multi-culture, multi-country. It's really exciting to see this change.

FOSTER: I was speaking to someone who is with Meghan last night. She's in good form apparently. Very much looking forward to her big day. When I asked her about this, element of her walking down the aisle on her own that first part of the aisle, I was told she just wanted to do that. That was just the choice she made. She wasn't making a big point about feminism or standing up to the British monarchy, but she thinks the symbolism of that moment will speak to history.

WILLIAMS: Oh, Max, I think, the symbolism of that moment is going to be talked about, they're going to be books about it in the future. It's incredibly symbolic because even though Queen Victoria, she walked two of her children down the aisle because she thought no one was better than the Queen, really, is the convention that a man gives a woman away, particularly the father, and even though women are independent women, we've seen this custom and Meghan is saying, she wants it completely different to walk herself halfway through the aisle and give herself to Harry, and that, I think, people are going to really say, why don't I do that. Let's change the wedding customs and that very old-fashioned, perhaps archaic section of the wedding ceremony, I think is going to be very much over in the future. She really is a trendsetter and reflecting so much about our current thinking about women of the future. And one of the things that is also significant is that Harry is having a ring. So most Royal men don't wear rings, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, wears it in his little finger. Prince William does not wear ring, but both Harry and Meghan are wearing a ring and that is modern as well.

FOSTER: It really is, and just to let the viewers know, we're expecting the first set of announcements within the hour, the rings will be

[02:05:00]

part of that where the rings come from, you know, this is not going to be royal gold, doesn't it, Sally? Tell us about that.

SMITH: It's welsh gold. And it began at the wedding of King George the VI, then the Duke of York and Elizabeth Bowles and that's when the tradition began.

FOSTER: So wedding rings, the tradition that come out of this one (ph) -- SMITH: Yes, they do.

FOSTER: And do you expect that to be the case today?

SMITH: I do. I think they're very much a traditional part of it. I think it's interesting that they're going to exchange rings, that he is going to wear a ring, whereas, with William and Kate, only Kate was wearing a wedding ring. And it's not as common place in Britain for the husband to wear a ring. Prince Charles, for example, wears his wedding ring on his little finger along with his signet ring so the fact that they're exchanging ring is, I think, indicative of just --

FOSTER: We're going to talk about that in just a moment, but probably not Jason either. But Jason is expert on the crowd. And Jason, you flew in from United States. What are you making of the British way?

JASON CARROLL, REPORTER, CNN: You know, I'm really just sort of taken aback the warmth that you keep hearing when you're out here talking to the people. We're along the long walk here where thousands of people have already started to gather this morning, but throughout the week that I've been here, we keep hearing over and over is the connection that so many people feel when they talk about Prince Harry. Prince William as well, and now, Meghan Markle. Max, I want to introduce you to two of my newest friends. They have a great point of view out here. They're from Wales. Oh, you're all from Wales. Pardon me. I get it. They're all from Wales. They brought their flags. The same t-shirt that says, what --

MALE: When Harry met Sally.

MALE: When Harry met Meghan.

CARROLL: As opposed to Sally. So you see that -- we were talking a little bit before the connection that you feel towards Prince William, Prince Harry. You said a lot of these has to do with his mother?

FEMALE: I think so. She was just -- she just broke the barriers, really. And we loved her. And at that time, she was misunderstood by the Royal family, but not by us. And I think, the boys carried out the work that she did.

CARROLL: And now you have a new young woman, Meghan Markle, breaking barriers. What's your thoughts?

FEMALE: I know. We just love her. She's just amazing.

CARROLL: Why is that?

FEMALE: Because she's vibrant and different and not like a royal person.

FEMALE: And I think she's going to be able to support him with such a public side of life, which is so difficult for people to take on and happy --

CARROLL: And what I want to explain to Max Foster on the other end, who I've been talking to here, how close they are, Max, to what's actually going to happen. You, guys, want to look around. Look at -- actually, this is where the carriage is going to come by. It's literally just several feet from where you are.

FEMALE: I know. We drove here this morning. 4 o'clock we we're in --

CARROLL: Wait, wait, you drove here? You didn't take a train?

FEMALE: No, no, no. We drove here from where we were staying in (Slaw).

CARROLL: (Slaw)?

FEMALE: From (Slaw).

CARROLL: I want an American (Slaw)? What? Close by?

FEMALE: Yes, yes.

CARROLL: It sounds very naughty, but I'm sure it's not.

FEMALE: Four kilometers. It's not naughty, but four kilometers this morning. We drive early to get here to get our little pitch.

CARROLL: Well, you got it. And we're glad that you do. We've got your flags from Wales. Thank you very much. So Max, this is what it's like out here. I mean, everyone's pulled back a blanked, a chair, a sleeping bag, whatever they need flags, just to get their front row seat for what's to come later on. Back to you.

FOSTER: Jason Carroll has gone native, ladies and gentlemen. Look at that. He's been in the country 48 hours, and he's already on a rug waiving around flags on a royal event. Sally, I need to talk to you about the dress because this is what a lot of people in the United States got out for this morning, it's about the dress, isn't it? Let's talk of the designer because it's all out of speculation. But what does it speak to you today?

SMITH: Well, I think it would be a modern version of something very traditional. I think there are certain rules that you would probably adhere to. I would be shocked if it were a strapless dress because it's a --

FOSTER: It's a church.

SMITH: It's a church. And the other day, she wore a sleeveless dress to a church service and there was some clock clocking. So I think --

FOSTER: Yes. And neck lines are important --

SMITH: I think neck line are important and I think having -- being to some extent, covered up. And I think it will probably, if they have time to do this --

[02:10:00]

-- thing that Kate did. She had this lace, embroidered with a flowers with all the parts of the United Kingdom.

FOSTER: There will be a couple of mods to America within the dress. I wasn't told anymore of a map, couple of references to the United States. What could that be, do you think?

SMITH: Yes, that may be something in the veil.

FOSTER: Flag.

SMITH: Maybe there will be something embroidered, an American flag. I can't quiet imagine that, but I'm sure very clever designer would.

FOSTER: Exactly. That's the job of the viewers to spot the American references, the first one wins.

SMITH: Yes.

FOSTER: Meghan is spending her final moments before the wedding at a rather glorious house, Cliveden. And the world is hoping to get the first dibs of her wedding dress when she actually leaves the hotel. This is her riding yesterday. We'll have all of that just ahead.

[02:15:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: There it is. The sun is rising over the Windsor Castle, a building as old as the Royal family itself. A thousand years of history in there. All those centuries, a monarch has been resident of the Windsor Castle. It's the largest, the oldest residential castle in the world. Welcome back to our special coverage of the countdown of the Royal wedding this morning. Joining us with live coverage from across Windsor is Isha Sesay. What are you looking forward to, Isha?

ISHA SESAY, CNN: Lots of things. Good morning, my friend. What a remarkable day, what a beautiful day in Windsor. Let me just set the theme for you, the crowd below me are filling up the street of Windsor and the atmosphere is amazing. What am I looking forward to? The dress and the jewels, the tiara, all of that good stuff, Max. I cannot wait to see Meghan Markle, to see how she looks on this big day, how splendid she'll look in that dress that we still don't know, the creator of that dress. So many unanswered questions. And they're going to be a lot of people on the spotlight, not just Meghan, of course, but the Royals, the wedding guests, all of them to be discussed. I want to talk about some of to be the fashion that we're expecting to be displayed over the hours ahead. And also some of the message, Max, that we may be seeing, Heather Coffey and Jessica Morgan, co-Authors of the Royal We, they join me now to talk about the day ahead. Ladies, welcome, welcome. Let me start by asking, what we know about Meghan's dress.

Jessica, you first.

JESSICA MORGAN: You know, we don't know much of anything. I think we can safely bet it would be British designer but other than that, I think it's a big question mark and obviously, this is what we're all excited to see within hours. SESAY: Heather, what are your expectations for the dress? I mean,

given what we know of Meghan Markle today and her fashion sense. What are you expecting to see her in for this big moment? Are we going traditional, are we going modern, are we going fairytale? What does your gut say to you?

HEATHER COX: My gut says it's going to be combination of modern and fairytale, which doesn't maybe sound logical, but I think that's what'll happen. I mean, if you think about it, unless I think it's really crazy, you really only get one frac in a royal wedding in your lifetime, and I think you have to lean into that moment. And you have to know that, that picture is going to be following you in every story, written about you for the rest of your life. You want it to impact. You want it to be timeless, you don't want to be stuck 30 years in the past. You always want that moment to last. So I think she's going to go very mildly princess-ey, but with a few modern touches.

SESAY: OK. I want to talk about the jewelry, ladies. I want to talk about the tiara because that's a pretty big part of all of these. Jessica, one of the questions that a lot of the people are dealing with, or as you say, contemplating, is whether she'll wear the Spencer family tiara. That would be the tiara worn by Prince Harry's mother, Princess Diana, or whether she'll wear one lended to her by the Queen. What do you think or what would either signify?

MORGAN: Well, as I was saying to Heather earlier, we were talking about this. I would be surprised if she wore the Spencer tiara, but that doesn't mean, I don't think it's necessarily going to happen. I think it would be a beautiful way to work Diana into the ceremony. My bet, if I were betting woman, and I am, is that she will loan one from the Queen, however. She may be purchase one, sometimes the Queen buys one, but I do think that she's going to end up with a loaner, a beautiful loaner. The Spencer would be a dream, but I don't know. Yes.

SESAY: OK. We know there'll be the tiara, we know the dress is going to be fantastic. We expect Meghan to get it right. Let me ask you about the misses though. What are your concerns? Do you think we might see some major fashion faux part? I mean, we did see some of that during Prince William's wedding like Prince Beatrice's hat. Do you think we can see something like that again?

MORGAN: Yes, and is it wrong to say that I sort of hope so because sometimes that's more fun. I mean, Princess Beatrice, I think, might be a little more careful because last time she swung so big, she looks like she was wearing an antique toilet seat on her head. So I think, we're going to go something a little simpler from her, but the U.S.A. is not much a hat culture as the U.K. We're going to have a lot of Americans, and possibly Canadian guests and I bet you a lot of them were sweating the head piece situation. So I'm hoping we see some fascinators that are, let's say fascinating and leave it there.

SESAY: Ladies, what can I say? Wicked, wicked, ladies with a wicked fashion sense. We are looking forward to this in the hours ahead. Heather Cox and Jessica Morgan, thank you so much for being with us. I am very excited about all of these as well. All the fashion. There is so much more ahead in the hours to come. Thank you.

And we're waiting to get our first look at Meghan Markle as she gets ready to leave Cliveden house. Next, more about the plans for her walk down the aisle, and why it is such a dramatic a statement. Stay with us.

[02:20:00]

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: Look at that glorious scene. This is the sun rising over Windsor Castle, along the long walk. So some crowds are trying to get closer to the Castle in the middle of the town here in Windsor, but actually most people are coming down there. There'll be big screens, all the front row seats --

[02:25:00]

-- are being taken up, I'm afraid to tell you, if you're planning on coming down here. But there are still, many hundreds of people pouring in because this is where the carriage procession will return to the castle after the wedding.

Welcome back to the special countdown to the Royal Wedding. Coming up, we'll have our first look of the hotel where Meghan is staying and where she'll leave in just a couple of hours time and stepping to the spotlight, Isha.

SESAY: Yes, Max. So wedding watchers having camped out for hours or even days just below me, just beneath me here, the streets are slowly filling up with well-wishers. They're all here to wish this couple a wonderful start to their wedding, wishing that they had an invitation and soon, we'll see the front guests as they begin to arrive. It all so very exciting, Max.

FOSTER: And truly British, as well. But with this amazing American twist because you see the flags there, the British bunting. Actually a lot of American bunting as well into spurs and then there'll be lot of American elements reflected in the service, I'm sure by the palace as well. Something very exciting to look forward to.

Clarissa Ward is down there at St. George's Chapel, and it's absolutely true, isn't it, Clarissa, that Meghan Markle is putting her stamp on this truly royal moment?

CLARISSA WARD, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Absolutely, Max. This is going to have all of the beauty and the tradition that so many royal weddings have had over the decades and over, indeed, the centuries, but it will also have a distinctly modern flavor and we are very privileged to have literally a front-row seat. This wedding is going to take place in St. George's Chapel just behind me. I'm going to stand out of the way so I can kind of take you through the geography a little bit of what we're going to see. This is area here directly behind me will be filled with about 1,200 members of the public who Meghan and Harry have elected to invite to their special day. These are some members of the Royal household, but also people who are notably strong within their communities who Meghan and Harry have invited.

In a few hours, of course, we will also start to see the arrivals of the guests who will be going inside the chapel, those 600 guests, they'll be going through the arch there, if you can see that beautiful fully floral arch. Most guests will enter there. The Royals, however, will be entering in an entrance that is one behind that, it's sort of a little bit secluded and cut off, so you can't really see it well with a camera.

And then Prince William and Prince Harry will come waking down the hill, you see that hill behind that, they'll come walking down from the top of the castle, they will go through this little dooryard here to my right, into the Horseshoe Cloister. There will also be about 200 members of some of their favored charities and charity workers who will be there. And then they will go in the West steps.

Meghan Markle herself will arrive also via the West steps. She will have to climb, Max, 20 steps -- it'll be interesting to see how high her heels are -- before going into the church. She will walk first on her own, then will be escorted by Prince Charles for the remainder to Prince Harry.

FOSTER: Clarissa, thank you very much, indeed. I should also point that not only she clambering up 20 steps, she's doing so with 10 children, the youngest of which is just two, madness.

SESAY: That is going to be a feat in of itself just to keep all of those children, especially that 2-year old, in line. We look to see those pictures and see how they do with all those eyes and eyes of the world on them. It's going to be an amazing moment. I mean, she's really stepping into a whole new chapter of her life.

And the world is waiting, Max, as we inch closer to that moment when she arrives at St. George's Chapel. I mean, we all know that Meghan is American, she's not aristocracy, she comes from humble beginning, the worst parent. But she made a name for herself, on that show, Suits, that one she got known for and that role as an attorney, Rachel Crane. Meghan Markle is also known for being biracial and she's been married once before. Lots to talk about here just how different she is.

Joining me now, CNN Royal Commentator, Kate Williams and Heather Cox and Jessica Morgan, co-authors of the book, "The Royal We."

Ladies, thank you. Thank you so much for being with us on this glorious day.

WILLIAMS: Good morning.

SESAY: So much to dig into. Kate Williams, I want to start with you. Good morning. I want to start with you, Kate, especially this issue of Meghan's journey down the aisle and the fact that she will be going much of the way on her own before Prince Charles step forward. Then he falls back and she makes the rest of the journey on her own towards Prince Harry.

Talk to me about that, the significance, and also what it says about Meghan?

[02:30:08]

WILLIAMS: Oh, Isha, it's so significant. It's what's going to be talked about in the future. It's such a big moment. The fact she's going up the steps on her own, meeting her bridesmaids as you are saying could be quite a -- ten bridesmaids -- under seven could be quite a job. Then going to move forward on her own. That's so significant.

Often in a wedding ceremony we have the bride being handed over by her father. Really like a sort of property. And now Meghan is giving herself a way. Prince Charles is escorting her, but he's giving her -- she's giving herself away, and that is really so important. So, significant. And it really is very meaningful and it does a lot. It will change

wedding traditions in the future. I think this is very meaningful about how Meghan sees her role in the royal family. She sees it much more as an outspoken woman, she gets to talk much more, she's an independent woman, she's a completely new type of Princess.

SESAY: Yes, she certainly is. Jessica, to you on that -- that matter of the family she's marrying into -- this is a family steeped in -- in centuries of tradition, and they have a very set way of doing things, but we see right from the outset Meghan is changing, you know, the way she conducts herself. The way she does to get married. What do you expect to be the impact of Meghan -- Meghan Markle on this royal family?

JESSICA MORGAN: Well, I think that's going to be something that's going to play out over the next however many 50 years that she's part of the family. You know, I don't think we want to put a huge amount of pressure on her right off the bat to change everything. She's just the newest member of the family. But I do think she, we hope, is going to bring a sort of a new openness and sort of an American warmth to it.

There have been reports that she says I'm a hugger. She's hugging people on staff at the palace. You know, and I think that -- I think she may well bring -- in addition to being, you know, such a smart woman who is incredibly well educated and philanthropic -- I think she's also going to bring a little bit of warmth to the royal family.

SESAY: Yes. Heather, the fact that Meghan is biracial is something that has been discussed a great deal in the US. Maybe a little bit more here than in the United Kingdom, but race is a factor in all of this. That is the world we live in. What does that - what does that mean to you in sense of having a biracial member of the royal family? What does that mean to British society as a whole?

HEATHER COFFEY: I think just the world as a whole right now is moving toward more of a sense of inclusion as it should. And this is just a really excellent high profile example for that movement. For just proving to people that, like, it's not about what you look like it's who you are and that we should be seeing people of all races getting all kinds of opportunities and then all kinds of positions in society. So, I think it's very welcome.

You know, we talked to people in Windsor yesterday from Connecticut, from Texas, from California of all races and all of them felt that massive sense of pride. And one woman from Houston, in particular, it was like, you know, I as a black woman felt marginalized as a kid and I look at this now and this is incredibly significant to me, and this is something that I can show my children and say, you know, that this could be you someday. And, I, you know, can't speak for her, but when she spoke to me she said, you know, that was -- that was what this moment really meant for her and I think multiply that by millions and that's what -- that's what you're getting at. That's what this is.

SESAY: And, Kate Williams, back to you. And to stay with this issue of Meghan's heritage, her biracial heritage, you are a historian. Can you put this in some kind of context here and how really monumental it is for the royal family itself and do you see -- do you see challenges associated with her being biracial and being part of this family ?

WILLIAMS: It is monumental. It's so meaningful. Privy to this -- prior to this you think the amount of times Harry's future bride was talked about they were always aristocrats. They were always British aristocrats who were all white. And having chosen a non-aristocrat, a biracial woman, a feminist, and intellectual self-made woman, and she's incredibly -- she's a breath of fresh air. She is really transformative for the royal family. She's already changing the royal family.

Look at what she's done already so much in terms of her engagements. She's been to Brixton talking to young people there in this a very biracial community. She is someone who - at the wedding service we are seeing today has a lot of overtones about black culture. We have the Bishop Curry here, we've got S. James, we've got the gospel choir. So exciting to see this representation of the culture of people of color. And also she is really going to transform in the future. Yes, there are going to be difficulties because the royal family is very traditional - ways of doing things.

[02:35:00] And I think the most difficult thing for Meghan is the fact that royal brides are not supposed to speak out that much. They really are supposed to be -- the Queen is politically neutral, but even beyond that you're supposed to not really talk about questions of poverty, about inequality, questions that are very close to Meghan's heart. And I think this is a battle she's going to win. We are going to see the royal family with Meghan talk much more about racism, about sexism, about poverty, about inequality and that is something that she feels so important -- is so important to her. And I think she is really going to shake things up and change them for the better. And we're - and her were going to see the royal families popularity really go shooting up.

SESAY: Yes, they have some cheese about a relaunch the royal family. Kate Williams, Heather Coffey, and Jessica Morgan my thanks to all three of you. Great conversation. Thank you.

WILLIAMS: Thank you.

MORGAN: Thank you.

COFFEY: Thank you.

SESAY: It is an American fairytale, folks. There is no doubt about it. Meghan Markle she finds her prince. We discussed America's fascination with the Royals and more next. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[02:40:00] FOSTER: All eyes on the Cliveden House. This is where Meghan Markle and her mother are staying. The dress is being prepared. One assumes the hair and makeup. Her friends are with her. We know that she's got a very close group of friends and their supporting her. She's feeling good about today. I was told late last night and the secret here really for the family is to keep the dress secret until she arrives here at the chapel. We're only guessing at the announcement of the dress as she arrives in her car at the chapel steps. But we will get a glimpse of the car as it travels towards the chapel.

Have a look at the crowds. They are gathering in quite fierce numbers. And we Brits, we dress up for these occasions. You'll have to forgive us for that but this is kind of what we do. It's a British thing. Flags everywhere and lots of percent go. And lots of people lining long walk procession will travel after the service. We are bringing it all to you live on CNN. Multiple reporters, multiple cameras and the best possible analysis. Don't go anywhere else.

It all started with a blind date of course and now Meghan Markle the American Hollywood starlet is waiting for her prince. It's a fairy tale. It really is. And it has been told time and time again but this particular Princess is someone so many people can identify with. Joining me now is CNN's Kate Bolduan. Also royal watcher Hillary Fordwich. First of all to you, Kate, this is quite the atmosphere.

KATE BOLDUAN, ANCHOR, CNN: I'm on Eaton Bridge and and it's connecting Eaton and Windsor and people are coming over. There's an area here where a lot of the guests that were involved in charities of the Prince Harry and Meghan wanted to include -- the inside the castle walls will be coming this way. So, we've watched them come over. Everyone looks great in their hats and flags. You know, we got a couple of papers this morning weddy or not heir she comes, so clever. I'm getting Harried in the morning is really I think the headline du jour. And then welcome to the family.

And of course this is a special moment for this American Princess and her mom who were last night arriving and spending time together. You know, this is one of those stories that we keep talking about the word fairytale with Meghan Markle but at the same time she's quite the feminist. She's outspoken, she's discussed things like the me to movement happening in America. She's talked about ever since she was a kid being a humanitarian, feminist, working to change the world. And these are the things that bonded her, of course, to Prince Harry.

So, while there's this sort of beautiful fairytale element and very sort of Princess like thing happening today there is also this moment of modernism as this young woman, this American woman, you know, what's life going to be like for her now that she can't necessarily speak about politics. So, she can't necessarily be too much of an activist. We will see how she adapts and how she changes. But certainly today the vibe here on this bridge is a lot of excitement. And were looking forward to watching everyone come over and fill up the inside of the castle walls.

FOSTER: Absolutely. And, Hillary, obviously the couple has said they wanted the public as involved as possible, but were also to get some high-profile guests as well aren't we? Who do you expect to turn up today. Who are you looking for?

HILLARY FORDWICH, ROYAL WATCHER: Well, actually, what's interesting is to who not to look for. It's interesting that there aren't any European Royals whatsoever. And the queen was very influential in letting Harry choose exactly who he would want to have their. When Prince William was getting married he actually went to her and said, Granny, I don't know any of the people on the list. And the Queen said then rip it up. So, he was able to invite who he wanted. If you recall we had the butcher from Berkshire who was there at their wedding. So, I think what's going to be important in who to look for is who isn't there too. This will be a wedding of their closest friends and family.

We have a lot of Suts stars that's who people should be looking for. From the show that she was filming when she was in Toronto. I'm sorry, the TV series. So, I think you're going to see many American celebrities. You won't see the European royalty. I think it's also important to look at the wedding party. There isn't going to be a matron of honor where as some of Meghan Markle's dear friends are going to be, sort of, taking care of those children. Because there's going to be six little girls and for little boys. Princess Charlotte I think is going to almost steal the show and so is Prince George. They of course are the children of Prince William and Kate Middleton. So, I think that we will look for the children and I think we will see the Suits stars. I think also Elton John will be there.

There's a touch of the -- looking back to Princess Diana because of course he sang at her funeral and was very close friends with her. He has remained close to the royal family, so he will be there with his husband David. And I think that you will see him as a big part and side by them.

[02:45:00]

Also, I think, very importantly it's Princess Diana's sister Jane Fellows, she will be reading. And the last time we heard her voice, of course, was at Princess Diana's funeral. That will be a little touch of sadness, but this is a joyous day.

FOSTER: Well, you know, Diana looms large doesn't she today, Hillary?

FORDWICH: Yes.

FOSTER: But as America watches today what are they hooked into here? FORDWICH: Well, actually one thing I can tell you is we have monsoon season here in Washington and it's sunny in England. But what Americans, I think, look at is this is a feel-good story. There is so much going on right now that is so politicized regardless of anybody's politics. There are so many things to look at that are either scary or negative and it's actually very sad. Of course, there was the shooting in Texas. And, so, there is a lot of sadness in our nation at the moment, and this is something, somewhat of escapism, but to look at that is joyous. It's a new beginning. And, yet, I think Americans are actually fascinated with the longevity of the history.

We chose not to have a royal family here in the United States, but when you look at the English royal family - the British Royal family over 1000 years. So many people watching I think are fascinated by an institution that is weathered political differences, it has whether different storms. Even in the world wars it has weathered, you know, the Queen married Prince Philip at a time where marrying a Greek was not the regard in the 1940s. So the royal family has embraced diversity over the years. German blood, Greek blood, and now biracial. I think Americans say look they are a family and a firm, because of the Royal family is called a firm, of the future. And that's a big fascination. Where are we going from here? And now Americans can feel part of it with with an American in the wedding party.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely. She's going to really define things from here I think.

FORDWICH: She will.

FOSTER: Thank you both of you. Kate, and Hillary, thanks, we are going to be with you throughout the day, of course. Full coverage here. We are just hours away from Meghan's big moment. With got all eyes currently though on Clifton house for you. This is where she's staying. This is when she arrived yesterday. But what we are obviously looking for is when she leaves. We want a glimpse. We have cameras everywhere. We have reporters everywhere. If there's a glimpse to be had to the car window you are going to see it here.

[02:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SESAY: All right. There you see the crowd lining the streets of Windsor all waiting for that big moment where they will see Meghan Markle and Prince Harry a couple hours from now when they will have tied the knot in the chapel. Which you can't quite see it. It is just behind me where I am here in Windsor. They are so excited. It is hard to put into words the feeling, the energy, the electricity here in Windsor. As I look down I can see people with blankets and they've got their deck chairs and lots and lots of flags.

Everyone here is to welcome in this new chapter for the British Royal family. And the bride herself she is waking up at the Clifton Hotel. She's an American woman about to embark on a very British fairytale. But before the day is out she will of course be a royal bride. CNN's Bianca Nobilo is live outside Clifton Hotel. Beyond that, all eyes, all interest is directed right where you are. What are you hearing about what is happening in that hotel behind you?

BIANCA NOBILO, JOURNALIST, CNN: Well, Isha, I cannot think of a better destination for this truly British fairytale to begin then Clifton house which is where I am. It's a 17th century property. In fact, let me just take a step out see can have a look at this beautiful house. It's actually remodeled by the same person, Charles Barry, who designed the house that Downton Abby was set at. So you can just imagine that quintessential Englishness and beauty.

Also the same man that designed the houses of Parliament too in the UK. So, it is gorgeous. There is also a luxury spa which I'm sure Meghan and her mother have been enjoying. It has suites that range from about $1000-$2000 a night. It really is exclusive and tranquil. A far cry from those incredibly enthusiastic and excitable streets that you were just talking about, Isha, that I've been seeing all week. This is a very peaceful place. And just the kind of place that the bride will want to be preparing, putting the final touches on her look, obviously getting her time in together, doing her hair and makeup, and putting on that dress which is sure to be one of the dresses of the decade.

SESAY: Bianca, thank you. Thank you. We are very excited to see that dress. We'll be coming in a little while as we get more details about who designed it. So far no details. Sure it is Harry and Meghan's big day but they're not the only ones that are going to be in the spotlight. Everyone around the world is watching. All eyes will be on the royal kids of course as they take on the important duties of bridesmaid and pageboy. Also, Prince Harry's first love his mother Diana very much on the minds of millions on this day and of course we are sure the groom himself. We are going to take a deeper look at Harry and Princess Di's special relationship and how he continues her legacy today.

[02:55:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FOSTER: This is where the fairytale will unfold in just a few hours time. St. George's Chapel within the grounds of Windsor Castle. A thousand year old Castle, a thousand year old family with a new member today, and she's an American actress. She's a girl from LA from a broken home who had a successful career and is today going to marry her Prince. T he fairytale doesn't become much more real than that. Spare a thought for her though to the left of that building off twenty steps she will arrive there on her own accompanied by ten children the youngest of which is two years old and she's going to clamber up them. She's going to have to heard them into the building. That's going to be a big moment I think.

But really this is what they wanted to be about. The couple said they wanted the public to be as involved as possible. So, the police have made room for hundred and 50,000 people in this small, quaint Windsor town. They are all there. Here along the long walk behind me you can see people gathered as well around big screens. You will see the carriage going down that long walk toward the castle after all these events. There will be a reception later on. But this really is a truly British moment. We are not particularly good at expressing ourselves in the UK. We are not particularly good at being patriotic. But one time of the year we do rally together it's at Royal events. Perhaps the odd sports match as well. There is one of those later, as well, today.

So this is a truly British day. We are going to bring you all the very latest information. In the next hour we are going to start getting updates from the palace. Details about the ring, possibly the tiara. We are also going to get our first glimpse of Meghan Markle, hopefully, as she leaves Cliveden House in her car.