“There will always be nerves — I’ve never seen a bridegroom who isn’t,” a wedding guest tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story, “but what came over to me was this sheer sense of love and commitment. It was so strong. Everyone felt that. It was amazing — when you think what that boy has been through. He loves her and she clearly loves him. It really is a fairy tale.”
Harry himself expressed his love and devotion during his speech at the afternoon reception held at Windsor Castle.
“He said, ‘I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you,’ ” says the guest. “It was very informal and very dear.”
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For guest Diana Hosford, one “incredibly beautiful touch” stood out most of all on Saturday.
“Prince Charles was walking with Camilla, and he stopped and glanced over at [Meghan’s mom] Doria, and he extended his arm to her,” says Hosford, who was invited to honor her work with TAPS, a program that cares for the families of fallen service members.
“It was an incredible moment of unity, especially as Prince Charles had escorted Meghan down part of the aisle as well,” Hosford tells PEOPLE. “It was unity and love in so many ways: the two countries coming together, the individuals coming together, the families coming together. It was an incredibly beautiful touch.”
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Meghan and her new father-in-law “have been spending quite a bit of time together,” says a palace source. “There is a warmth born of their shared interest in art and culture. He was really touched to be asked [to walk her down the aisle].”
Adds the palace source: “He didn’t want to impose himself. He does what he is asked. And once he was reassured having spoken to her that this was what she really wanted, he was very happy to do so. He was touched that she asked.”