Ben Mulroney usually has the cameras on him as a Canadian television host, but it was his three kids who stole the show at Meghan Markle and Prince Harry‘s royal wedding — including one viral (and toothless!) grin.
Meghan’s best friend, Toronto-based stylist Jessica Mulroney, sat with her husband just a few feet away from the former Suits star at Saturday’s ceremony, acting as her “unofficial maid of honor.” And the couple’s three children, twins Brian and John Mulroney, 7, and daughter Ivy, 4, served important roles in the bridal party.
“There had been so much talk about getting it right with the rehearsals and these kids are so young,” he explained. “There was a lot of worry that this wouldn’t get done right, but they’re having so much fun with it. And that, to me, was the thing that gave me the most pride was that we didn’t put so much pressure on them that this wasn’t joyful for them. It was pretty darn joyful.”
Ben shared that they encouraged their kids to wave at onlookers and take in the experience, and it was clear that they did — Brian and John’s excited faces from inside the car when they arrived with the bride (they held her veil down the aisle!) instantly sparked smiles from watchers both at home and along Windsor Castle’s Long Walk.
Then there was the moment that cameras caught Brian excitedly smiling (despite missing his front teeth) behind Meghan as they entered St. George’s Chapel.
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“I asked him and he said he’d never heard a trumpet before,” Ben explained of his son’s giddy reaction. “And I think when he walked in, I think he saw all the people there and the flowers — none of that was there during the rehearsal.”
Ben also explained that their daughter Ivy, who walked in with mom Jessica, made “very good friends” with the other bridesmaids.
“The kids had a chance to get to know each other a little bit at these rehearsals and some get-togethers as well,” he shared. “They sort of came together in a little bit of a ‘club’ before this happened.”
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The twins also came away from the experience with some new buddies, as Ben noted 6-year-old Jasper Dyer, son of Harry’s old friend and mentor Mark Dyer and his American wife Amanda, told his father, “I really like those Canadian boys very much.”
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Ben also explained that they had different tactics on getting the children to behave during the ceremony.
“We did months and months of bribery and mild threatening, but in the days leading up, we changed our tune to a more Oprah-themed empowerment: ‘You can do this!’ ” he said. “And they did.”