A very royal happily-ever-after

Whether or not you’re a fan of the monarchy, you can’t have failed to notice the wedding fever that’s sweeping the country in the run up to the marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.  On Saturday thousands of people will line the streets of Windsor to catch a glimpse of the royal couple, while many more around the world will watch the celebrations on television.

With the announcement that the bridal attendants will include Prince George and Princess Charlotte, and that Prince Harry and his bride Meghan will travel through the streets of Windsor in a horse-drawn carriage, it promises to be a fairytale spectacle.

Now, any wedding is cause for celebration, but a royal wedding gives us all the opportunity to join in with the festivities and to share in some good news, which, to be honest, we could all do with at the moment.  

Come Saturday I’ll be settled in front of the telly with a glass of Prosecco in my hand and with my commemoration tin of shortbread biscuits at the ready - oh yes, I know how to party - and will sit back to revel in all the glorious anticipation as we wait to catch the first glimpse of the royal party. 

I must admit my head has been full of all things bridal in recent months, not just because of the royal wedding, but because I’ve been immersed in the idyllic english country village of Little Leyton which is the setting for the Dog and Duck series of books.  

The third book in the series, aptly named Wedding Bells at the Dog & Duck, was published in March, and continues the story of Ellie Browne, and her friends and family.  In the first book, Winter at the Dog & Duck, we’re introduced to Ellie when she loses her high-flying job and flat in London, and goes home for some thinking time.  Soon, she’s running her own doggy daycare business and working shifts at the pub.  Little Leyton is the sort of place where everyone knows everybody else’s business and people look out for each other, but when a newcomer arrives in the village, hotshot property developer Max Golding, people are naturally suspicious of his intentions.  When the village looks as though it might lose their only pub, the social hub of the community, Ellie vows to do everything she can to keep The Dog and Duck open.

Summer at the Dog & Duck sees Ellie now running the pub, but life has got a whole lot more complicated as she’s fallen for the enigmatic Max Golding.  Her hopes for their fledgling rela-tionship come crashing down when Max’s ex turns up in the village very much pregnant, and Max’s teenage sister Katy, comes to live with Max at his country manor, bringing with her a whole lot of sass and attitude.

In Wedding Bells, Ellie’s been asked by her best friend to help organise her summer wedding, and Ellie is delighted to help, but she can’t help thinking about her own non-existent wedding plans.  Whether you’re a royal bride or not, there are still the same issues to consider.

What to wear? Who to invite? Which flowers to choose? What should we do about boorish Uncle Barney?  It’s such an exciting, but also nerve-wracking time and I can’t help wondering how Meghan Markle must be feeling with the world’s eyes upon her in the run up to her big day.

I’ve just finished writing the fourth and final book in the series called Happily Ever After at The Dog and Duck, which is due to be published on 1st October.  It just so happens to feature another wedding - you might realise by now that I do love to write about such happy occasions! It’s a winter wedding this time around, but it’s still doubtful whether Ellie will actually ever find her happy ending.

The books have been described as ‘fabulously romantic’ which can also be said for Prince Harry and Meghan’s relationship.

They are such a lovely young couple, very much in love, just like many other couples across the country preparing for their weddings this year.  Meghan Markle is an independent, modern and successful women, and her marriage to Prince Harry and into the royal family, will combine the traditions of old with a new and modern twist, which will be fascinating to watch un-fold.

If like me you’ll be waving a flag, watching the celebrations with a glass of fizz in hand, then I’m sure you’ll want to join me in hoping for a sunny day on Saturday (fingers crossed) and wishing Prince Harry and Meghan Markle their own Happily Ever After ending.    

Jill x