In 2011, Melissa Doyle covered the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton as part of her job on Channel Seven morning show Sunrise. Seven years later, she'll be taking a break from her Sunday Night commitments to do the same thing for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's upcoming nuptials.
Along with Michael Usher, Doyle will anchor the network's live coverage of the event, and be joined by a line-up of royal experts, commentators and insiders, including Angela Rippon, Tim Ewart and Victoria Arbiter. But this will be a very different royal wedding to that of Harry's older brother, as Doyle explains to WHO.
How will this wedding compare to William and Kate’s?
Obviously this one is not quite so formal. Harry and Meghan didn’t have to invite a lot of international dignitaries and politicians that William and Kate had to because William being in line to the throne clearly has some requirements for his wedding. For Harry and Meghan, they can have everybody they want there, so it’s a bit smaller. It almost feels to me a bit more intimate.
Windsor Castle is the Queen’s main residence, that’s where she spends most of her time. I was there recently and we headed out and I was surprised that Windsor is a small little town. It’s gorgeous and quaint and quintessentially English, and in the middle of it is this amazing, imposing, magnificent castle with these incredible grounds. We caught a glimpse of her, the Queen, coming back in from her morning ride.
We were told Harry and Meghan actually spent a lot of time there during their courtship because they could sort of sneak into Windsor Castle and spend time there under the radar in a way that they couldn’t have at Kensington Palace. So clearly it holds a really special place for the two of them.
Why do you think people are just wild about Harry?
I think everyone remembers seeing Harry walk behind his mum’s coffin and that is an image that is seared into the memories of everybody who remembers that day. To know that this young man has, you know, a bit of a wild history and got up to a bit of mischief and then joined the army and got himself back on the straight and narrow, and has found the one, whether we know him personally or not, we want nothing but happiness for him. To know this is bringing that to him, we can all feel like we can share a bit of that joy.
What makes Meghan such a unique person to come into the Royal Family?
I am really so impressed. The fact that Harry is marrying an older woman, a biracial educated divorcee, all those things make me actually love him even more. But I think Meghan is so impressive. She studied international relations and theatre at university, she comes to the royal family as this 36-year-old woman who knows who she is.
She’s lived life, she’s been places, she’s a World Vision ambassador, she’s travelled to Rwanda, she’s seen things, she has had experiences, she has had a career. I think she is going to bring something fresh and different and unique, and the fact that Harry is not marrying a 20-year-old English rose heiress, he’s marrying a woman who has seen a bit of the world and knows things that probably will be a really unique perspective for the Royal Family makes her really interesting and their relationship interesting.
She is obviously used to limelight and crowds, and all of the good and bad that comes with it, so he’s obviously picked a woman who can handle the relationship, the marriage, the situation. A number of the girlfriends Harry’s had in the past, it was the spotlight on them that broke the relationship. They weren’t able to manage all of what being Harry’s partner entailed.
How different are the logistics covering this wedding?
We will be out on the Long Walk leading up to Windsor Castle, where the wedding is taking place inside St George’s Chapel, so the carriage will go right past us when they do a carriage procession. They have one reception after the wedding and then they have a carriage ride through town before they’ve got two receptions that afternoon. I think that’s really lovely, that everybody will get to see them and wave and glimpse, so I’m absolutely anticipating every street in Windsor will come alive with cheering and flags and yelling as they go past.
We’ve got cameras set up all along the Long Walk, so we will have every single vantage point covered. And there are cameras inside the chapel, which are obviously being shared around the world, all those images, but we will have experts on hand to talk us through what’s happening and who’s there. That’s something those of us in Australia obviously won’t know the ins and outs of in terms of who they all are. That will be really fun to have our experts tell us what their relationships are and what they mean. To soak up the knowledge and atmosphere and bring that to our viewers, I mean, that’s what we’re there for.