The Latest: Windsor Castle sees final prep for royal wedding

 In U.S.
WINDSOR, England — The Latest on royal wedding preparations (all times local):

9 p.m.

Final preparations were being made inside the walls of Windsor Castle hours ahead of Saturday’s royal wedding between Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle.

Florists were busy adding finishing touches to the floral decorations at St. George’s Chapel.

A team of five workers was adding boughs of green foliage and white flowers to a voluminous display surrounding the South Door of the chapel. The entrance will be used by guests arriving ahead of the noon ceremony.

The wide open courtyard outside the chapel, known as the Lower Ward, was a hive of activity. Amid the bustle of castle workers, soldiers were carrying kit bags through the Henry VIII Gate into the castle grounds.

Some children of residents of the castle were playing on the clipped lawns, which were bathed in the evening sunshine, as their parents smiled.

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8 p.m.

Meghan Markle and her mother Doria Ragland have arrived at the exclusive Cliveden House Hotel where they will spend the night before the royal wedding.

Both looked happy and relaxed after Ragland’s first meeting with Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, at Windsor Castle. She has now met most of the senior British royals since her arrival from California on Wednesday.

Ragland will ride to St. George’s Chapel on the ground of Windsor Castle with Markle on Saturday morning for the ceremony that will officially bring her daughter into the royal family.

Tens of millions of TV viewers around the world are expected to watch at least part of her wedding to Prince Harry.

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6:10 p.m.

Prince Harry and his best-man brother Prince William have emerged from Windsor Castle to greet some of the thousands of well-wishers who have come to town west of London for the royal wedding.

The 33-year-old groom and his 35-year-old brother shook hands and chatted Friday with some of the royal fans from around the world who have gathered ahead of Saturday’s wedding at Windsor Castle.

A smiling Harry gave a thumb’s up and answered “Great, thank you” when asked how he was feeling. He also accepted a teddy bear from one well-wisher as he talked with people from Britain, the United States, Canada and elsewhere.

The prince is marrying American actress Meghan Markle on Saturday in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Chapel in front of 600 guests and a huge global television audience.

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5:45 p.m.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said it’s “wonderful” that Prince Charles will walk Meghan Markle down the aisle at her wedding to Prince Harry.

The heir to the throne stepped in after Markle’s father was unable to fly to Britain for the ceremony because of poor health.

Welby, who will marry Harry and Markle at Windsor Castle on Saturday, says Charles is “a very warm person and that he’s doing this is a sign of his love and concern and support. And I think it’s wonderful. It’s beautiful.”

Saturday’s wedding has drawn intense international interest and is expected to be watched by tens of millions of television viewers around the world.

The archbishop said Harry and Markle are “a very self-possessed couple” and the atmosphere in rehearsals has been “relaxed, laughing and enjoyable.”

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3:50 p.m.

The French may have overthrown their own monarchy more than two hundred years ago but for some there remains a fascination for the trappings of the royal experience.

French admirers of the British royal family were getting ready Friday for the wedding between Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle, with shops selling merchandise seeing brisk sales in recent days.

The Franco-British owner of the “British Shop” in Paris’ posh 16th district, Chantal Laserre, said customers have been rushing in to get souvenirs to mark the event. Laserre says “there’s an interest for this wedding because she is Catholic and she is divorced and she is American. It’s a big change in the royal family.”

Fresh out of Harry-and-Meghan dish towels, she was frustrated that she didn’t order more in advance.

All French news channels and other major television channels TF1, France 2, M6 will broadcast the wedding ceremony live on Saturday.

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2 p.m.

British police are manning barricades and patrolling the grounds around Windsor Castle as authorities take on the massive security operation for the wedding between Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle.

The barricades are in place to deter attackers using vehicles, such as the one on Westminster Bridge in London last year. Sniffer dogs and mounted patrols are also out and about.

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